My first memory of moving is from the summer I was four. I remember standing on the front porch of an old farmhouse, watching grown-ups wrangle a giant wooden bookcase through a side door into what would become our living room.
That is the only memory that stands out, although I do recall asking my father, not long after settling in, when we’d move next. The question seemed to surprise him, and he explained that we weren’t going to move again: that the farm was our place now, and would be for years to come. This suited me just fine, at the time, although part of me was curious about what it would be like to keep on making homes in other parts of the world. But that farm was and remains a child’s paradise: a place that I will always be grateful to have grown up in.
Now, having done the growing up, I’ve moved out into college dorms, and then into a house I’ve rented with friends and siblings, and, soon, I will be moved out into a place (either a house or an apartment, depending how the winds blow) with my soon-to-be-husband.
I’ve been packing, sort of. Going through clothes, books, old school-papers, and boxes of this ‘n that I’ve gathered over my twenty-odd years. The habit of writing takes up a lot of space, when done my way: hundreds of handwritten pages rather than a few files on my computer’s hard-drive. The fiance doesn’t take up anywhere near this much stuff, and so I feel some responsibility to avoid clutter, to downsize, to have everything neatly put away and labelled.
I can be organized when I decide to be.
But sometimes, the stuff of life doesn’t like to be put away so easily. Some things are hard to classify, especially when they’re worn, old, physical things, things with memories attached, things that may look silly or of little value to any eye but mine.
I think, what makes a home feel like home (at least in part) are the memory-filled things there.
So, I don’t want to sort through too much. Some things are precious, because of all that they represent.