By Vita Forest
As some of you know, I have just experienced “The Great Flood” of 2016, where a hidden hot-water tank exploded, flooding most of my flat with water and destroying wooden floorboards, carpet and parts of the magnesite underlay… all while I was over five hundred kilometres away.
It meant I could not live in my home for over six weeks (and the “unexpected renovation” is still not quite complete – carpet will be laid next week).
It was an interesting time, with some lovely family and friends lending me and my kids their homes while we waited on ours to be repaired. The kids’ Dad even had them for some extra time which was very helpful.
But when we were together, it was interesting to discover what we needed to make ourselves feel at “home”, to make ourselves feel safe and at ease. (I have just started teaching a unit on The Need for Shelter where my little people of six, seven and eight were able to articulate that shelters make us feel safe and relaxed as well as providing protection from danger – how wise they are!)
For Max and Lucy, what they needed most was familiar bedding. Despite the comfy beds and bedding on offer, they quickly requested their own sheets (flannette – delightful in our Sydney winter), their own pillows and their own doonas when next I visited the shell of our flat to feed the cats. I too retrieved my doona from the garage, the familiarity of its weight and the design on the cover, bringing a slight unclenching of the muscles around my neck.
What else made me feel “normal?”
- there was my silver triangle necklace hung like a talisman around my neck during the day and tipped like a handful of sand through my palm at night, to land and settle in a little mound on various bedside tables.
- a change of glasses every now and then (it’s what you can do when you buy 5 pairs from Dresden Optics at a cheaper price than your single last purchase).
- some good comfort reading (Fleur rang me after reading a This Week post and discovering I was rereading Possession – things must be bad!)
- my black leather boots which I practically lived in, good for work and short moments of play. They became my uniform, one less thing to think about.
- my pink notebook and a sharp lead pencil to get some of the junk out of my head and to continue exploring ideas for blogging.
- my phone – rather than a laptop – how many phone calls, notes, google searches, blog posts did I do on that tool over those weeks?
It’s not much really. Not much stuff that I needed. And now I am sorting through the cupboards and boxes and piles in the garage and am finding we can get rid of a lot of it. I do tend to lean towards minimalism and this experience has confirmed that trait.
What do you think? Do you have a security necklace too?