“Simplicity is making the journey of this life with just baggage enough.”
~Charles Dudley Warner
But when is it baggage enough?
We did not take the umbrella or the chairs or the cooler. We saw many who traveled the path bearing those things and more. Some even pushing and yanking strollers through the soft sand.
We settled for a quilt, three towels (for two of us), and a beach bag full of “essentials”–sunscreen, books, notebook, pens, camera, sunglasses, and car keys for the return journey.
And we took frequent rest breaks on the three-quarter mile trail to the beach.
We spread out the quilt–just so. Placed our shoes (Keens–but they’ve lasted for several years) on all four corners and removed the clothes we wore over our suits. I hid my cell phone (no service available) in the bag.
A family frolicked down the beach. They brought–towels. Period. And draped them on a branch.
Of course, I snapped a picture. I can’t get it out of my mind.
They traveled light.
Max Lucado (Outlive Your Life) writes about Dadhi who lives in a tiny dirt-floored mud hut in Ethiopia. They (seven family members) roll up their straw mats in the morning and store them against the side walls.
I don’t think I want to sleep on a mat in dirt.
But there’s freedom in that.
This morning I climbed down from my queen-sized mattress (Tempur-Pedic), pulled up and smoothed the 800-count white cotton sheets, and tucked the bottom of the quilt neatly at the footboard. I stacked the pillows and shams at the headboard.
Later this week, I’ll wash those sheets in hot water and soap in my washing machine–that will soon “need” to be replaced.
I’m down to four sets of dishes. Four sets!
Everyday white china–setting for 12.
A set of colorful chicken-decorated dishes (and set of glasses), bought as much for looks as use. And seldom used. Except for the mugs. I display them on open shelves.
I also have Dennis’ mother’s set of china (including soup tureen) and his grandmother’s set.
Oh, and my wedding dishes–red clay from France–are tucked away in a box.
So make that five sets, minus a few missing and chipped pieces.
Not so simple. They all need to be washed or dusted or stored.
I wonder if Dadhi has even a metal bowl for each person.
We own five television sets. And a couple we don’t use. They all need maintenance and care.
And don’t ask me about books. Or even Bible translations. Maybe I actually do “need” an eReader.
I’m imprisoned by stuff.
Even though I’ve cut the chains to so much in the last year and a half.
I’m still burdened.
Physically. Emotionally. Spiritually.
I long for simplicity.
I want to travel light.
When is it baggage enough?
“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me–watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” Matthew 11:27-29 (Message)
Linking to Emily’s Imperfect Prose on Thursdays.