Now, I understand.

I get it. As I shuffle through the house, devoid of decades of souvenirs, collected clutter, and inherited furniture – I finally understand.

When I first began the process of minimalization, the decades of training in “stuff & things” were still binding me. I am not one that I would ever have imagined to be swept up in the consumerism mindset, but there were small portions of me that had been trained to protect, retain, preserve, and save… everything. My family came from humble beginnings, so the items that they did purchase were usually of superb quality. And our possessions were treated very well to make sure that the investment lasted and could be passed on.

Earlier today, when I was out back at the clothes line, I spied one single little flower struggling in the drought and heat of South Texas in late July. And it struck me — were there three dozen of those little flowers, I would have glanced at them and smiled at their tenacity, appreciating the splash of color they imparted to the crunchy back yard – but since there was only one, I found myself walking over to it, admiring its tenacity, appreciating its splash of color, inspecting its little petals, admiring its slender stalk that miraculously sprouted out of power-dry dust, watching a lone honey bee joining me in the inspection. Because it was singular, I appreciated it so much more…

And so it is inside the little house that we are about to leave. We have two spoons, so those two spoons are greatly appreciated. They are lovingly hand-washed as soon as they’re used. They are then dried to a brilliant shine. They are efficiently put back in their assigned storage location. Those two spoons are of great value to us.

When we had silverware place settings for twelve, none of the spoons were ever seen as individual items of use and beauty. They were simply one of 60+ matching pieces in a drawer.

I finally get it. I understand.

And I am so much happier for seeing each item around me.

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