Sunday, November 7, 2010

The Stuff of Life

After five long years and $4600 worth of storage payments, my stuff arrived in Fort Lauderdale and moved into its new storage unit for only one month. This gave me time to discard or donate stuff I knew I would never use. But I would save  a few paintings, books and my writing. The other small but essential things like my hiking boots would mean a fast and easier move. For now, my 400 square foot Essex Gardens home is full like a stuffed old bird at Thanksgiving. I don't hoard or collect lots of things and enjoy living without clutter. Too much of anything disturbs the peace of a place. 

Waking up to a beautiful day, I invited my neighbor, Tina, over to show her the stuff I brought back from the storage unit. I showed her my very old Italian chest of drawers which had been damaged in 1993 in a move from Tucson to Georgia, the legs back then were barely keeping the chest upright. This last move finished her off as there was only one leg to stand on. Now she lies in the middle of the living room floor, looking like a beached whale, tired and worn out.

As Tina and I took a closer look at the damage, I glimpsed a movement out of the corner of my eye. It was one short segment of a Daddy Long Legs whose home had been made in the top drawer. How long it lived there, when it arrived and how it arrived will remain its secret.

As it eased slowly back into its corner home, Tina and I decided to do a rescue and slowly pulled out the drawer and took it outside urging it onto the braided trunk of a palm tree which I later learned was where they like to live..dark places other beasts cannot fit into, nooks where they can hang their web and lazily let their meals come to them.

This reminded me of Thoreau's final paragraph in Walden in which he tells a similar tale of a bug whose egg was concealed under concentric circles for hundreds of years in the trunk of a tree, now made into a kitchen table and brought to life by the warmth of a farmer's tea kettle.

This ending of Walden restored my faith that no matter the travail or duration of time one is held in lockdown over many years of hoping and waiting, there is a new day to come, even for such eight legged creatures. I've had such a life and know this to be true, as with clenched teeth and faithfulness, I came out of my own self made and interminable confinement.

God moves all creatures in mysterious ways, even one faithful and doggedly patient eight legged Daddy.