The wool coat looks worse for the non-wear. It is wrinkled from being unworn and crammed in the back of a closet for two years; dotted with dust and dog hair from a dog that departed the family a year ago; in need of a lint brush that can’t be found in the pile of things to be thrown away, donated, offered to the nanny, or shipped to Illinois.
This is the third day the packers have been here.
As I type, I hear the tearing and crinkling of paper as they carefully wrap another dish or lamp or stray toy that they’ve missed. A radio or smart phone plays Spanish music in the background. Parrots squawk outside our patio from all the activity.
The towers of boxes grow taller each day. Filled with all the things we’ll be taking with us.
There is a reckoning to be had of possessions when you move from place to place. When everything must be touched, picked up, and sent to a pile. A realization that you have too much. That even after several moves, where you’ve discarded and done away with, you have more than you need.
That the things you really want to hold onto can’t be packed in cardboard.
In two weeks I’ll arrive back in Illinois and await the arrival of my boxes. In one of them I’ll find a wool coat in dire need of a good dry cleaning. I’ll be glad to have it as comfort against the cold of a Midwestern winter.
But as I sit here now and watch the packing up of boxes, I prepare myself for the loss I’ll feel of all the things I won’t find inside.