We had our sale today. There's something strange, difficult even, about selling your things that aren't like garage sale things, things you no longer use and want to get whatever you can out of them, but the items you love. The items that hold memories and precious moments. Because how do you put a price on the basket you bought on your first trip outside the city? Or on an antique little table that you spent all day rummaging around for, wrestling it out of a large mound of other antique pieces, then wrestled with the kind man with a half smoked cigarette for a reasonable price - all without a translator and a whole lot of hand motions? Do you know how many times we've used that tent? How it kept us dry when we camped by the river, and how we set it up just right in KanDing so we could see the mountains on one side and the river on the other? I have a picture of Zion sleeping on my chest inside that tent . . . do you want to see it?
How much should that cost?
And why do you, dear buyer, want it for much less?
We are fortunate that most of our larger furniture was purchased by a family who won't need it till the summer, so our house can stay somewhat normal, but still, the maps are down, the jars and baskets are sold, and a few of the side tables missing. Our house is no longer our home.
This, for me, is when it starts to get hard. This is when I just want to pack up my suitcase, and leave.
Our kids, too, are beginning to feel it. When they first walked in the door on Friday, after we had rearranged the house in preparation for today's sale, both girls' faces dropped and Zion started crying, "I don't want to get rid of all this stuff!"
So we tried talking with them and getting them excited about what might come. And we (I mean Sarah) baked muffins and made tea so they could have a sale. "Whatever you make," we told them, "you can use in America to buy some new toys or books." That seemed to help a bit.
Plus, they had fun.
Today was a good day, a weird day, and a full day.
When we were looking through some boxes we'd found, this paper fell out
Everything is not always as it seems.
Notice the patterns, stories, and movement going on around you.
What you start your day tomorrow, imagine each place you visit is new;
Use all of your senses, and find a different world.
There's something shallow to this - something surfacy. But also, it was encouraging, in a strange and simple way. A reminder to be present, and to enjoy the "adventure" of life and the day to day.
And to share it with my family, to drink raspberry and eat muffins, to sit and laugh and cry and hope for tomorrow. To be all in, not pushing along with visors on, but present, with my family, noticing the patterns, stories, and movement around, as we head towards a different world.
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