Burning the Past…

As I unpacked at Footlights I emptied every box and decided what I wanted to keep.

There was no,

“I’ll tackle this later, let’s just put it in the attic…”

I had to surrender some of my material ties to the past if I wanted to live in the present.

Consequently every time I mentioned going through another set of boxes Hub’s face sank, he knew what was coming…a wrenching of heart strings.

It was a painful but necessary task if we didn’t want to be bogged down with so much baggage we risked suffocation.

I decided it would be better for Hubs to have a filing cabinet in the garage instead of a collection of unmarked boxes in the nether reaches of his closet.  A place where all his precious stuff could be gathered together, totally accessible thus easier to sort through.

First off though I had to clear the three large cabinets in order to free one up for him.

This took two whole days and cast my spirits down.

There were drawers full of children’s stuff, not their schoolwork (we’d already been through that before selling up) their more ‘recent’ work dating back a mere ten years or less!   Catalogues from college, scholarship papers, job applications, career paths and personal bank account information, in other words, evidence of the beginnings of an independent life.

Salt being rubbed into the wounds of empty nest.

I left anything labelled ‘Larry’ for Hubs to sort through.

Then threw away dozens of bags of hand written and typed letters from 1984 onwards.  I was astounded at how many missives I had received both from abroad and stateside.  Extreme evidence that there was a time before the electronic age when letters were sent out to travel thousands of miles via snail mail.  I kept a few dozen to show my children what correspondence had looked like years ago!

I threw away memorabilia , tax information, bills, calendars and journals.


Sacks of paper are deceptively heavy.

I had begun clearing out the fire pit in preparation for a massive, contained, bonfire


and we burned a significant part of our lives.

As I stood by watching the papers go up in flames I felt my eyes watering from the steady stream of smoke,


or was it the slow watering of my soul cascading down my cheeks refreshing me for the next part of my journey with God?

“For (He) created my inmost being, (He) knit me together in my mother’s womb.”  (Psalm 139:13)

How can I not trust such an awesome Lord who knew me before I was born?

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