The art of shedding: Choosing simplicity

“One learns first of all in beach living the art of shedding; how little one can get along with, not how much. Physical shedding to begin with, which then mysteriously spreads into other fields.”

— from Gift from the Sea by Anne Morrow Lindbergh

by-the-lakeI am heading into a few weeks of cottage time, so for the next while the posts that pop into your Inbox or your blog feed will be pre-scheduled. I am choosing fallow time.

I enjoyed a head-start on fallow time this past long weekend at our cottage. I noticed something. When there, I adopted a mind-set that I cannot seem to adopt at my city home.

When I’m at my cottage, I shed things. 

I shed make-up, the blow dryer, and all clothing but comfortable T-shirts, shorts and bathing suits. I shed the internet and a daily newspaper. I shed air-conditioning and a dishwasher. I shed matching plates. I shed the need to “get things done.” I shed vanity, anxiety and pretense.

With my toes in the sand, a book in my hands and the sound of the lake lapping against the dock, I don’t need any of those “things.” At a cottage, choosing simplicity is easy.

I wonder why it’s so difficult the rest of the time? 

“. . . today more of us in America than anywhere else in the world have the luxury of choice between simplicity and complication in life. And for the most part, we, who could choose simplicity, choose complication.”

— from Gift from the Sea by Anne Morrow Lindbergh



4 thoughts on “The art of shedding: Choosing simplicity

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