Droplets splat against the windowpanes and our bare heads as we hurried to pack the rest of the vehicle. Nearly every material thing I owned was jammed in this crevice or that: from an old pair of sneakers, a faded teal sweatshirt, and plastic tubs of books and papers ad infinitum; to Chinese scrolls and souvenirs from trips abroad, a Nutcracker figurine, iron dancers, and a cherished crocheted blanket, it was quickly becoming clear that I was only an aspiring minimalist, and not one in real life.
Thoughts of ultralight backpacks and regret swirled through my mind. I could have decluttered more, should have tossed the crumpled napkins and mountain range of post-its, would have donated the bags–so many bags!–… but ultimately, didn’t. Better to let go and move on to this new stage in my life, than to dwell in the past.
I jumped in the passenger side door, scanning the horizon–the storm was approaching from the south–just as the skies opened up. Release. How appropriate! Nature and I were finally in sync again. There was something cathartic about the rain, its steady rhythm, its fluid movement, its awesome, natural power.
Torrential rains poured down on and off for the next few hours. We drove and drove, and talked and drove, and then–uncannily–the process repeated itself at our final destination: unpacking, rushing to carry box after box inside as more storm clouds welled up outside, and a barrage of tears arriving only after the SUV had been emptied of its contents.
Why was I remembering this now, eight months later? A faint pumpkin scent wafted through the air. I had forgotten about the candles.
To be continued…