I've been bugging my mom to get rid of stuff. At the moment, as a minimalist-who-wants-to-actually-cook-and-dry-herself-and-not-sleep-on-the-floor I often generously offer to take it off her hands. Because "there's a lot you don't use day-in-day-out", I say. "And you can't honor the stuff in the garage". I think I got that from one of those zen websites. But the truth is, it's my old stuff in the garage. And I have absolutely no idea what it's like to have two children on opposite ends of the world (Boston and Kuala Lampur), where keeping their childhood stuff is tangible hope that they'll be around soon.
With no recycling pickup, there are plastic bottles spread around. And they get re-used, eventually, for something. I'm using coke bottles for self-watering containers, and they're awesome. I'm grateful for [my?] old fishbowl full of dust in the garage: Noah could get a guppy for his birthday or something. I'm grateful that my mom kept all our old kids books, Noah is suddenly able to concentrate through 20 minutes of stories at bedtime. I'm hugely, hugely grateful that my dad kept 12 strawberry plants and 3 extra granadilla seedlings and a "free" pomegranate tree and my million bonsais and a mishmash of old pots and so on. My parents actually don't put out much trash. With the sense that plastics can't just be dumped in the trash, and the competing sense that it's a pain to drive to the recycling center, I wonder if more is saved.
Anyway, here's to embracing some of the chaos of having (at least a few) things that you don't use every day. It's a stage of generosity.