It's probably just rain. That's what I thought when I first heard it. As I was putting my headphones on, something told me to pay closer attention to the noise coming from upstairs.
It's not rain. I knew something was off as soon as I started climbing the stairs. There's smoke up there. A lot of smoke, actually. Something was burning and I didn't know what to expect.
The room seemed fine at first sight. It took me a couple of seconds to see them through the holes they had created on the ceiling: flames. There was a fire in between the roof and the ceiling right where the chimney column goes through. The house is burning down.
Luckily, we were able to save it with a few buckets of water and a hose. Luckily, we caught the fire very early on.
It happened at my parents house, in a room packed with so many old things -most inflammable- that I don't want to think about what would've happened if I had ignored the noise and put my headphones on just a few minutes earlier.
All the things in that room made the situation very dangerous. They didn't give us much space to extinguish the fire, either. It was, once again, another lesson on why we need to learn to let go - even though it didn't happen at my place.
Humans have a hard time letting go.
We become attached to the past and believe that things can hold those memories forever, so we keep them.
Keeping things around is not free. Not only do they take physical space, they also take mental space in our mind, constantly reminding us that they need to be cleaned, fixed, moved... or even worse, making us feel bad for keeping them.
I used to think that I was good at owning just a few things until I started to move places more often (a few times over the last few years, including twice overseas). Turns out I had too much, much more than I needed, and that extra stuff was simply a burden.
I've been working on this and I believe it's gotten much better. Now, every time I move to a new place, I have less and less stuff to bring with me.
My possessions -besides my car- fit in one big backpack and a small camera bag; everything that doesn't isn't necessary and can be discarded; everything in the backpack is valuable but can be easily replaced.
I feel like downsizing the things I own has made me more free. I don't deprive myself of anything, I've only changed my priorities: relationships, health and even food first, things last.
During the last few months, I threw away or donated a lot of stuff. Many were things from my childhood that I thought were long gone, things that brought back some good memories.
I didn't need to have them, though. I took photos of what I thought would be nice to remember in the future and got rid of them. A photo is all I need to bring those memories back.
I can't recommend this method enough. If you have a lot of things, you could even make a book with photos of them. It's a wonderful way to hold onto memories without filling up our homes with stuff we don't use anymore.
Yesterday is history
Tomorrow is a mystery
But Today is a gift
That’s why it is called the Present
Don't let the past dictate your present, and even less your future.