Gathering Moss

There’s an old saying that “rolling stones gather no moss”. So it stands to reason that the opposite is true – stationary stones Do gather moss. “Duh!”, you say. “That’s a no-brainer!” To which I respond – “exactly!” Maybe it’s time to shake off the moss and start using our brains.

We’ve been in our current home almost 8 years. Amazing, when we think about the fact that this home was just a way to move from one state to another, a stopover on our way to…who knows what! We bought it sight unseen. Well, we didn’t see it; but a trusted friend (who lived nearby at the time) toured it for us with her husband. She took pictures and sent us her thoughts about the area and the home. It was affordable, it was acceptable, and we wanted to get a fresh start. So we took the leap.

Moving required that we shake off a good deal of “moss”, since we were limited to what we could carry in our 2 cars. My station wagon, stuffed to the limit, also contained our dog and cat. We shipped about a dozen boxes of household goods, but everything else went – furniture, lamps, household items we didn’t need, all sold or donated. It felt…scary. But freeing. We were embarking on an adventure, stepping off a cliff into an unknown land.

My husband had lived in Arizona for a time, and we had visited 2 times in the past year, once to just vacation and see his dad, and the second time with the idea of finding an apartment here. We were unsuccessful in finding an apartment we liked – they were all so Small! We were coming from a 700 sq ft 1-bedroom, and the apartments we saw all seemed to be 500 sq ft. We wanted something bigger. We also wanted something without neighbors walking overhead – an annoyance in the apartment we were leaving. But without the necessity of climbing flights of stairs, which my old knees couldn’t take.

And so, we ended up in our current home – a singlewide mobile home where the lot rent was lower than apartment rents, and the space was larger. We loved it. But we told ourselves, it’s just temporary. We needed to find work here – we had moved without the safety net of a job, but work was plentiful, and we wanted that fresh start. We were rolling stones, on our way to great adventure!

Once settled, of course we started gathering “moss”. Our home came furnished with the basics – one of the reasons we bought it. We wouldn’t have to buy furniture right away, we thought. Over the years we did replace a lot of the furniture that was here when we moved in. And we added better steps for the back (main) door, to make it easier on my knees. We also added household items and other little comforts of daily living. But we didn’t remodel or do anything major, unlike so many of our neighbors who seem to spend their first year (or Several) painting and sawing. We were fine with the house as it was. And – it was just temporary. We thought.

But here we are, almost 8 years later, wondering where the time went. We love being near my husband’s dad. But he is getting older, and we wonder what will happen when we no longer have that tie to this state. My friend and her husband, who helped us find our home, have moved to another state to be near her daughter and grandchild. And each summer that passes seems to get hotter – or our tolerance is growing smaller.

We are inherent nomads, always looking to the horizon as soon as we are unpacked. An eternal case of thinking the grass is greener “over there”. Moving would require shaking off 8 years of moss. That gets harder each year as we get older, and the thought of packing gets less appealing. But getting older also generates a kind of desperation, a feeling of “I need to Do something.” A feeling that those youthful dreams – of traveling the world, writing a bestseller, Being Someone – are all passing by, unfulfilled.

Everyone wants to live a life of importance, do something that makes the world a better place. Growing older causes us to take stock – where are we, what have we done, where are we going? We’ve gone full circle from that childhood question of “what do you want to be when you grow up?” to the reflective “what have I done with my life?”

Looked at in those terms, it may seem we failed. No best-selling novels, no world travel, no famous save-the-earth discoveries. But life is not one single, monumental accomplishment. Rather it is a series of small, ordinary, everyday miracles. Today I helped a sad person smile. I helped someone find an answer. I gave someone hope. Today someone thought of me and smiled.

These are the hallmarks of a life well-lived. A successful life. No world-renowned fame, no televised celebrations or awards. Just – everyday events that helped other people feel better. When I look back, I see a lot of those small kindnesses, both given and received, and I am pleased. I will continue to live my life that way, seeking to make daily small differences in my corner of the world.

It’s okay to gather moss. It’s okay to stay in one place and not accomplish (what you Think are not) great things. Be who you are – the best “you” that you can be. We (the people in your world) appreciate You!

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“Wherever your journey takes you, remember~ tread lightly, wander mindfully, speak kindly; share wisdom, lend a hand, treat all as friends, if you can.”                                            

~dwylie

Want to spend time in my world? In Dee World, the sun is always shining, the sky is blue, and the outlook is rosy! All are welcome – feel free to join me.

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