When I packed for my trip to Australia a few months ago, I selected a medium-sized duffel that would suffice for the six weeks I’d be away from home. I stuffed clothes and shoes that I might need for the hot summer season in Australia on one side of my bag such as a pair of Chaco sandals, my swimsuit or swimmers as they are called down under, shorts, t-shirts, and my Tilly hat. On the other side, I arranged warmer clothing for New Zealand – hiking boots, thick socks, pants, and fleece. I even threw in a wool hat and gloves, just in case. I thought everything looked great, in its place, and easy to find. Not too much stuff. Just right. Or so I thought.
However, living out of a duffel proved to be the opposite of simple living. Every day I re-organized, only to rifle through the whole shebang the next day. Where did I put that raincoat? Most if not all the time, my stuff was in complete disarray.
Once, when confined to our campervan due to a downpour, sheets of rain that made even going to the campground communal restroom impossible, I thought it’d be a good time to catch up on a novel I bought in an airport bookstore. I propped up my pillow against the van side door and grabbed a blanket and my book, only to realize I didn’t have my reading glasses. Where were they? Search, search, search…
I spent at least an hour rummaging through my duffel and repacked everything twice, maybe three times.
I sighed and said to my husband. “I must’ve lost them.”
The next day I asked if we could stop at a nearby town to pick up a new pair of reading glasses. It was a bit windy, so I fumbled through my duffel looking for my sweatshirt. When I pulled it on, I felt something in the right pocket. I shook my head and briefly closed my eyes. My reading glasses.
You’d think I’d have learned by now that life is messy, not linear. Outcomes are uncertain. Life itself is an untidy, haphazard affair. It’s challenging trying to keep things well-ordered. So, I think next time I travel, I’ll either go super light and just buy a few things at my destination spot or shove everything into my backpack and hope for the best.
One must still have chaos in oneself to be able to give birth to a dancing star. Nietzsche
Solace is everywhere. Enjoy the passage of time.
© 2023. Sharon Kreider. All Rights Reserved