I came across this quote a couple weeks ago and I have thought about it quite a bit:
“I have reached the stage now where luxury is not in fine possessions but in carefree possessions, and the greatest luxury of all would be the completely expendable.”
-Nan Fairbrother, The House in the Country
Part of the reason this quote hits so hard is because I work in a place where the things that matter seem so fragile- a son or a daughter, the presence of our family, the love for a baby…I work in a children’s hospital. This week we lost three kids, and I am struck by the power of those relationships and the importance of clinging to those instead of fine possessions. I love Elana, Aiden and Ryan and want to cherish them.
But I don’t want to cherish them surrounded by fine possessions- I want to cherish them with the things that make those relationships grow brighter. Because that’s the truth from the quote- that luxury and beauty emerge from the things tha get expended, used, and appreciated. The things that can be emptied are the things that we cherish more because there isn’t an endless supply of it. I want the opportunities to play in sand with Ryan, or make cookies with Aiden, or walk to the mailbox with the family. These are carefree things that the writer talks about.
Carefree possessions. Possessions that find meaning through use, not cost. That’s what makes a family loving and enduring and what I always want for my family.
But it’s not easy. It’s something that I wrestle with because those fine possessions bring some momentary joy but tend to lack substance. That’s actually the reality of expendable possessions: they bring the most long lasting results of joy and peace.
Anyway, the quote above is a great challenge to me everyday as I love my family and as we grow together.