Brian’s Reflection: Monday, February 1, 2010
He who would travel happily must travel light.
Antoine de Saint-Exupery [author of The Little Prince]
I could tell you countless stories about my travels! “Travelling light” is an art I have learned well over the decades. I’m glad I did. It has made space for wonderful adventures! And, of course, there is travelling light physically, and travelling light “in mind and spirit”.
When I first left my family home, age 21, to join the Order of the Holy Cross, I had one small valise. A few clothes, and several books. During the fifteen years I was in the Order, one valise is all I ever travelled with.
In 1986, travelling from Ohio to MA to be Interim Rector, I had a Rabbit convertible – very small trunk! On the Pennsylvania Turnpike I was rear-ended in an ice-storm. I had two bags of clothes and “personal effects – mostly things of emotional value. Amazingly, the small Limoges tea set I always traveled with was unscathed! There is a Goddess! Many a rest-stop traveler was nonplused to see me heating boiling tea water at a picnic table, 1890 individual Limoges Teapot, cream, sugar, and cup & saucer neatly set out with a proper linen serviette! Also, I always carried a small beach chair and a towel – many are the lakes I’ve swum in and read by in the summer sun!
In 1989, I spent three weeks in the Greek Isles. Leaving my luggage at a lovely little hotel back-room in the Plaka in Athens, I set off. I wore a T-shirt, cargo shorts, Tevas, and had a base-ball cap. I had a fanny-pack with my ID, and sunglasses, and a Swiss Army knife, and sun-tan lotion. In a small back-back, two other T’s, an extra pair of shorts, and a very light rain jacket from L. L. Bean. With that, I made it through the islands and to Istanbul and back. The Greek sun is perfect for drying things washed in a public fountain somewhere!
More important: I honed a light “spiritual” backpack. It has been refined over the years, and still serves me well. It’s something like this:
The “Golden Rule”.
Sit still and wonder at some part of Nature.
Be interested in others and Listen to their story.
Within reason, take offered opportunities for Adventure.
Get rid of what you haven’t needed for a year.
Accept love offered, and give back.
Be as generous as you can be.
Trust the Universe.
I’m a miserable failure at times. But “simple” has definitely been better. Keep evolving.