Decluttering is usually regarded as an exercise in throwing stuff away …
But my session with the Christmas decor had very much not been simply about tossing stuff out of my house.
What I’ve come to call “Second Round Decluttering,” the decluttering that comes after the obvious trash has been removed, is All About relocating herds of velveteen rabbits into their next briar patch; of finding good homes for the mementoes of once-living hopes, dreams, and plans. Sometimes those mementoes were our own. Sometimes we’re decluttering the memories of a life which has ended.
The day after we released six boxes of no-longer-wanted Christmas decor I was still reeling from my eye-opening encounter with those metaphorically – or maybe magically – alive rabbits; still grateful that we’d found the right and respectful way to honor the woman for whom they’d meant something.
While we were out and about on a round of errands, I excused myself from a session involving a hardware store and stepped into a resale shop next door, a benefit project for a local private school. The store was well-organized but so stuffed with stuff that it took me ten minutes to discover the piano for sale up against the back wall
I walked the aisles of this store with my new eyes, aware that every piece of merchandise held stories, memories of someone’s love and hopes.
There was a shelf full of clean, well-appointed white teddybears in all sorts of sizes, many accessorized with red and green Christmas wear. I stopped to marvel at their softly gleaming pelts that begged to be stroked and hugged… when a strange face emerged from among them.
It was a fluffy white bunny, harbinger of Easter and rebirth, its soft curly whiteness oddly juxtaposed against those furry guardians of Christmas!
My heart leapt as I lifted it down and felt its lucky rabbit feet. “Seventy-five cents,” read the bit of masking tape stuck in its ear.
“You have a new home,” I whispered to Snowball my very much alive rabbit. As soon as we were safely outside, I pulled the tape from his ear….