I was shoveling the driveway early this morning for the second time this week. The snow keeps coming down.
Far from complaining about it, I’m enjoying its silence and brightness settled in all over everything. I’m pulled into the core of our home, which as we prepare for closing in less than a week, is ever-shrinking.
There’s nowhere to go when it snows like this. It relieves some of the pressure of doing, because we’re limited to what we can do in the house. The task list is shrinking quickly along with the volume of our stuff, so it’s a calm kind of puttering pace of getting ready to move.
The wood stove is blazing away in the living room. It’s cozy.
As I was hoisting yet another eight inches of snow off to the side of our driveway, one shovel-full at a time in the bright white glow of my headlamp, I willed myself not to turn my head up to see how much was still left to shovel. We don’t have a giant driveway, but it’s big enough that the job takes one person about two hours.
Longer if I stare too much at how far I have to go.
As I move through the house, I keep having intense flashes of memory, coupled with a feeling of longing, and then letting go. It happens room by room as I’m focusing on one. Bear in mind, that we’re not just moving all of our earthly belongings somewhere. We’re majorly downsizing. We are shrinking what we have to what we really want and need.
(And discovering that the adage about filling up the space you have with stuff is very, very true. Five years turns out to be a lot of years of accumulation – and that’s having culled out quite a bit for Airbnb-ing!).
It is hard to actively dismantle objects which, cumulatively, have come to fit together in a representation of home. I say that very carefully, because this place has been home, but so many other places are too: friends’ dinner tables, my childhood home, the high desert, the Mobile Art Studio.
When those memories are really hitting me as I’m dismantling and dispersing our belongings, I don’t need the consolation that “home” is, for me, a multitude. But it’s a good reminder of the long term aim. Moment by moment, working on closing out the house is more like shoveling. I let myself feel. I focus on good form as I hoist snow. I am aware of but not daunted by the effort. I enjoy the ability to feel, at all.
I don’t look down the driveway. I don’t dwell on “what if’s”.
It’s all moments. We have been very lucky to have been afforded so many amazing moments in our time in this house. And, by making this decision, we’re opening ourselves up for many more. In the meantime, I’m truly enjoying these snowed in last days here.