I do truly believe that life is a constant lesson in learning to let go. Having moved house over nine times in my lifetime, packing up the life I had made into boxes, made me realise that really most of the things I was packing were just ’things’. When we moved from the UK to France it was surreal seeing your life packed up into a container. It was a sobering moment, and as I write this I realise, now, that those things meant nothing without a home to make them come alive.
I remember us waiting in anticipation for our things to come over, but we learned a lesson in that as we had to pay to move them twice once into a rental and then move them again when we moved into our house.
So learning from that, this time the plan was to pack our stuff up and move it to Ireland once we had moved into our new home. But we hadn’t realised how long the pandemic would last, or how many further lockdowns there would be, or how long due to those lockdowns it would take us to finally purchase our home. We honestly thought that as soon as we had bought a house we would be able to go over to France and collect our things, we were so wrong. It has now been fifteen months since we packed up our things and stored them and it is only now that we are in a position to finally bring them home here to Ireland.
And here’s the thing…It is only now when we find ourselves organising the journey to go and collect our things, when it is finally becoming a possibility, that we realise just how much we have missed them. The crystal chandelier that used to hang in our living room in our Edwardian house and Montaigu…
Or the small mementoes that we we accumulated over the years from Vide Greniers in France, and charity shops in the UK. Irreplaceable, little things that make up the tapestry of our lives.
The vintage French mirrors I collected over time, or my shabby chic shelves, our hurricane lamps, or the large mirror that my old colleagues from work bought me. Or the cherub that RD bought me from the Dordogne in France for our anniversary.
The antique statue that sits at the top of this blog would have sat in an external alcove of someone’s house in France to ward off evil spirits. He is made from chalk and is in remarkable condition given that he is probably over 100 years old. I bought him for €10, and originally put him up for sale in my Etsy shop. But when the time came to sell him, for over €300, I couldn’t do it and withdrew him from sale. Whilst I am not religious I now know that I picked up an energy from him that told me I needed to keep him in my life, and he will sit here in my home when we collect him. There is something about his face, and he is truly irreplaceable.
Then there is my most treasured possession, an aged cherub, that sits alongside the antique candelabra that my mother in-law gave me. There are photos, and even the ashes of our beloved Westie Snowy. Knowing that I will now see them all again soon and we will be incorporating them back into our lives I found my eyes filling with tears at the thought of having them back. I think we had put them out of our mind to prevent us from stressing over things that were out of our control. And I realised that some things do matter, not clothes, not things that can easily be replaced, but those small irreplaceable things that make you smile when you look at them, or evoke a memory.
My heart goes out to all those who don’t have the luxury that we have.