A Gift of Luck

Packing necessitates sorting through all of the possessions that symbolize a person's life. It feels lately as though I've spent every waking moment doing just that. I don't have a lot to go through, really. The year before settling in this tiny apartment I moved from my own four-
bedroom home, to the spare bedrooms of gracious family members, to a house for sale, shown to prospective buyers regularly. Perhaps not surprisingly my view of personal possessions changed a bit during that time. For the most part now I am guided by the minimalist credo "If it's not beautiful, useful or sentimental get rid of it." Moving has given me a wonderful chance to weigh my possessions en masse against this life philosophy.

As I was sorting this week as I came across a very special gift - quite literally a gift of luck. It's a book that I've never read and if truth be told, probably never will. The story the physical book hints at is much more intriguing than the story written on its pages promises to be. Pressed into the pages of the 1945 volume of The Case of the Silent Partner are numerous four-leaf clovers. Aided by a calendar page bookmark (May '48) I imagine a lazy green spring and a daydreaming mind roaming the grass for bits of tangible luck (or hope?). But the truth is I don't know how or why the clovers came to be there. I do know that the book was given to me by someone I love and respect very much and who believes I have the strength to pursue my own dreams. It is a possession that holds a special place in my heart.

It is a perfect example of the other type of sorting that I'm doing. My brain mirrors the physical packing as I gather bits and pieces of my surroundings to hold onto and stow neatly into the corners of my mind. These sensory snapshots capturing a moment in time will come in useful in a few months as I sit enveloped by strange sounds, smells, sights, and very likely feeling as though my carefully collected sense of self is about to tumble down around me. I'll ask myself, Why did you want to give up the stable life you worked so hard to build? Why did you exchange your own cozy apartment for a single room and shared facilities? Was it worth leaving the community you spent 6 years becoming part of to surround yourself with friends not yet made? 

That moment is when I'll pull a box off a crowded shelf of the inner stockpile I'm currently building. I'll find the memory of this evening, sitting in a cool July breeze, leaves rustling. The air smells like the ocean, and the threat of rain. I am counting the clovers between the pages of this book full of luck before I pack it away. There are 15, each one an expression of hope. I'll remember this moment and the contentment I feel as I think about the steps I'm taking to pursue my dreams. The book itself will be carefully wrapped and packed with the hundreds of other books I must leave behind, but the belief in my potential that it symbolizes is essential for my journey. I've dusted off a shelf in my mind especially for it.

No comments