I've put all my belongings, except for two suitcases, into storage. A whole household, downsized and fitted into an anonymous four feet wide by nine feet long space. The moving men worked that space like it were a Chinese puzzle box. All but one chair fit. It was a defining moment, a miracle of space; an exhausting experience. But as soon as the padlock was turned, I felt only a sense of relief and walked away with a feeling of the unknown opening up in my life. A horizon forged from a sense of necessity and adventure.
I did this upon my return from France, about four months ago. For two months in France I lived, essentially, out of two panniers and a bike. I did the trip alone. The experience of having less changed my mind about a number of aspects of my living, or more generally, how we live. I was ready, a single woman at 51, to give up on a few entrenched ideas about how we are weighed by belongings, how one can find solace in the fleeting, passing world, and how we get stuck.
When I was biking one of the things I would tell myself, if the road was hard that day, if the rain was relentless, if I didn't know where I would be staying that night, is that most of the world is in transition, that a lot of people in other countries are used to carrying what they own, without a place to call a home.
Homelessness is a loaded word, full of negativity and the idea of failing to have built oneself a foundation. My pending homelessness is cushioned with adventure. Ridding myself of the burden of providing a space for belongings, things, has made room for adventure, a conscious turn in the road. The first act in a series of changes.