I’m clearing paper off my desk and found this poem which has floated around on one or another desktop for years. It’s time to share this lovely thought, even if it’s not exactly a summer day outside. Like Milosz, I feel so grateful to be alive.
Gift by Czeslaw Milosz
A day so happy.
Fog lifted early, I worked in the garden.
Hummingbirds were stopping over honeysuckle flowers.
There was no thing on earth I wanted to possess.
I knew no one worth envying him.
Whatever evil I had suffered, I forgot.
To think that once I was the same man did not embarrass me.
In my body I felt no pain.
When straightening up, I saw the blue sea and sails.
Poor: adj. characterized by poverty, lacking an adequate supply, exciting pity
Posh: adj. typical of or intended for the upper classes
Pauper: n. a person with little or no money, a person destitute of means except such as are derived from charity
I shouldn’t feel sorry for myself. And really, I don’t because I have so so much for which to be grateful.
In the space of a few months my situation has gone from middle class comfortable to precarious. If I didn’t know that there are millions of others like me out there, I’d be totally freaked out. With each plunge of the markets (stock and housing) I watch my life savings flutter away into the skies like the autumn leaves I just raked on Re-wind.
I always knew that some day I’d need to move into smaller digs. At times, when the yard work or home upkeep seems overwhelming, I actually look forward to living in a tiny place. But like so many, I envisioned that time to be years in the future.
Now it appears that time is upon me.
The question is: how do I get from where I am today – in this comfy house full of family treasures (including my mother’s baby grand piano and antique dining table, boxes of photos, framed art) – to the small digs I can afford?
It’s one thing to downsize when you can get a decent price for the stuff you must jettison in the process. It’s something else when you have to unload valuable things at a big loss (like my house – my biggest investment!). In another five or ten years my kids might live in large or permanent enough spaces to take these precious family heirlooms, but the stuff can’t wait. That hurts.
All the kids will be here for Christmas, so maybe they’ll have some good ideas about my down-sizing plan. Or maybe I’ll just have Santa bring me a sugar daddy.