Bean is helping me write this post, which is probably why it’s not going very well, but I admire his enthusiasm.
The forest fire raging in our county has got me thinking about possessions and minimalism and life in a consumer-driven society. While we aren’t in any danger of being evacuated, our neighbors to the west have been forced to leave their houses behind in a matter of hours and deal with the uncertainty of whether or not there’s going to be anything left for them to come back to later. For some of them, there won’t be.
It does kind of put things into perspective.
I’ve been asking myself what I would take if we had to leave. Clothing is replaceable, but you’d need it in a shelter situation, as would you need medicines and toiletries (although I suppose you could buy those items later on). Documents, that seems obvious, but what documents? I won’t lie, the first things I’d grab would be my Kindle and my iPod, but I think I’d also want the girls’ baby books and portraits … and then that brings up the issue of scrapbooks, all of which are filled with photos I can’t replace.
There have been stories on the news about people who have left and what they chose to take. Looking at their filled vehicles, I’ve thought, what junk! But maybe that globe in the front seat is the equivalent of their Kindle …
There have been times in my minimalist journey where I’ve wished I could just walk away from everything I’ve collected and start over. I would make much different choices if I had to do it over again, I tell myself. But actually, I don’t know if that’s true. How do you not have scrapbooks or photos? Or blankets and dishes, clothes and furniture? Kindles and iPods?
Is the answer somewhere in the number of items you let yourself keep? The ability to give away what you no longer want? In not purchasing something in the first place?
I honestly have no idea, and it’s probably not fair to end a post like that. But I don’t know. I’m no closer to figuring out my list of items I’d take for an evacuation any more than I know what the answer is to traveling light upon this Earth. Which is kind of depressing, I suppose, considering I’ve been a minimalist for the past five years.
I’m kind of wondering if this … itch … to sort this out really just means that I need to start going through cupboards and cabinets again. Although I’m not convinced that will help, either.
Also, irony: When I’ve thought about emergency preparedness in the past, I figured it would be a snowed-in / earthquake kind of situation, not a leave-the-house scenario. It’s honestly easier to think of what you need to bring in than what you’d have to take out.
Um, the end, I guess. Wait: Too depressing. Here’s a photo of the boys to end on instead: