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  • Two years ago, we were getting ready for a big move. It wasn't big because we were moving very far away, but it was big in other ways. We were reducing our belongings by half, at least. We were letting go of clutter-security-blankets and long-time possessions to move to a much smaller apartment.

    One thing that had to go was books. Lots of books.

    We sold a few here and donated a few there, but it wasn't enough. We had 1,000 more books to get rid of. (And that left us with plenty to keep, trust me...)

    1,000 books. What was there to do, but send out the call far and wide: FREE BOOKS!

    On a sunny Saturday, we spread blankets out on the grass. We lined the books up there, spine after spine after spine.

    People came with bags and boxes and arms ready to cradle new stories. They quietly browsed. There were "hellos" and smiles, but also that bookstore hush - out there on the lawn.

    The books it had been so hard to imagine parting with, started to leave. And we then began to put more things out on the lawn. Bookcases, polished stones, toys, CDs, dishes, cutlery. People appeared who could use each item.

    A women with young children came. It turned out she'd left her husband a few months ago and they were struggling to settle into a new home. We gave them our stereo.

    We gave away a cedar chest, chairs, art supplies. We gave away our bed.

    It was beautiful to open our hands and give away hundreds and hundreds of things. It was beautiful to see people happy to receive them.

    The mother with young children emailed me later and thanked me. She said they were so happy to have music again.
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