Monday, March 28, 2011

I Own a House

I own a house, a small but comfortable.  In it is a bed, a desk, a kitchen, a closet, a telephone.  And so forth you know how it is: things collect.

…there is the mockingbird; over and over he rises from this thorn-tree and dances-he actually dances, in the air. And there are days I wish I owned nothing, like the grass.

Okay, time for true confessions. I own a house too, well mostly.  When we signed the papers to purchase the house, my heart  felt an ache, a heavy burden.  I did not want to own things.  Yet also I heard the mind saying with its middle-class ways, “Be prudent, be safe, be careful – buying a home will give you a place to live, will guard your finances, and offer security in the future.”

It’s now been nearly 4 years, and things continue to collect in our home.

Things also collect in terms of gear for my wildlife and conservation work. I leave for Guyana in 2 days and I have so looked forward to only taking 25 pounds of luggage, the suggested limit for the small planes and boats upon which we will travel.  With all the cameras and binoculars I am coming closer to 50 pounds.

I wonder, do I really need all this stuff to watch birds dance in the forests of South America?  Then the mind comes in and says, “Take the gear so as to keep the birds safe, and offer security that they and their kind will be there for the future.”

It’s a dance to be sure, this owning, not owning.

How do you dance to this melody?

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