Field Notes: Moving Day!

There comes a time a every young woman's life when she has to get dirty.  Stuck in the mud dirty.  Stuck in the mud, sliding down the hill on your butt, race under a waterfall dirty.  This is just what I did Sunday with M and two of our friends in a ferny gulch in Stillwater.  Green, lots of green and quiet.  Lots of green, quiet, water, humidity, and panting. You can hear Jesus out there - hear him speaking to you.  I think its because we could never make what exists in nature naturally.  You can't make leaves - you have to start with a seed ... which you didn't make, you found. And it all exists there without any help from us, it keeps going and going regardless of our cities and manufacturing.  I think that's why I'm drawn to literature and crafts that pay tribute to this either with their simplicity or natural texture. Mmmm, handmade things are treasures, not Wal-Mart disposables. I suppose its a rebellion on my part - ask my mother, its a theme of mine.  I'm rebelling against "grab'n'go", "buy'n'throw", "where's-it-from-I-don't-know!". 

I just keep reading about our wastefulness, and I'm not even talking about "global warming", I'm talking about how much stuff we throw away.  Writing about this isn't to guilt you or brow beat you into recycling more - I certainly don't have a clue when it comes to being a good steward - but I want to tell you what I've been thinking.  I don't want to hurt others with my waste. I don't want the leave my garbage to people with no food, or use up so many resources, they will never eat.  I won't.  I refuse.

Like most, it never used to bother me because I always wanted new things.  I was skeptical of thrift stores; if someone else didn't want it then it must not be cool. I couldn't see the beauty behind the shiny new wrappings, or promising allure of better products and a better life.  The idea of being in-style was secretly romancing my teenage heart.  Why not? I had a disposable income for the first time, no bills, and lots and lots of shopping malls within my grasp. I wanted new books, new clothes, new jewelry; I wanted to be cool.  I wasn't a loose person to begin with, I generally ranked just below a "goodie-two-shoe" on the social scale and still I was vulnerable.  

These marketing groups really got it right with teenage girls - we're all so insanely insecure that any promise of acceptance, even at the expense of our pocketbooks and self-respect, is enticing enough to coax us out of our girlish freedom and into the sexy world of celebrity, way too much eyeliner, excess, excess, and excess. At that age, we generally don't have the personal fortitude or cultivated wisdom to love ourselves enough to say no, to even value old or antique, simple and sweet  - to think about the long-term consequences of our actions isn't even on the radar - so by default, consumerism takes the reigns blaring from your TV, radio, and computer.  Oh the humanity!! (oh, phew, that's over).

In my life this obsession with "more" is made no plainer than when I move - which, you may note, has been 5 times this year alone.  Yikes. That's a lot of box moving, car stuffing, arm-caught-underneath-heavy-dresser, fun. I've learned how much I use and how much I don't use - and I don't want anymore of it.  Its too heavy!
So I've downsized and recycled - taking bits and pieces and re-purposed them for packing or crafts - used up every little scrap before investing in the new.  It feels pretty good too. Make new out of old - its what creation does every day and its incredibly lovely. Tomorrow I move to a new place and a new home.  It will be a place of creativity and fellowship - not hoarding, not strife. 

Treasures in Heaven - Matthew 6

19 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."