Friday, November 08, 2013

photo friday: abundance

It has taken years for this to sink in, but I think I can go ahead and say it: I want for very little. Abundance is abundant. I do not have to worry about cutting corners when buying groceries—I don't feel guilty for not soaking beans, or comparing price per pound (something I rarely did even when I had no money), and I no longer feel luxurious when I purchase whole roast chickens. If the children need shoes or sweaters or raincoats, I do not stop to fret about the cost, I find something well-made and tasteful, and then look at the price.

This has not always been the case, there has been plenty scarcity in my life, even for a privileged American. When my son's school recently sent home free lunch forms, I dutifully started filling them out, but paused when I got to the part about income. Obviously we don't qualify for free lunch. But having always qualified for free lunches growing up, it took a moment to register that my children most certainly will not.

And while only real scarcity in my present life is space, we spend much of our family time in grand, spacious, and public places—museums, parks, mansions, conservatories. It is in these settings that I feel the amazing abundance of my life most keenly. That expansive beauty paired with careful tending is so readily available to us—the magical herb garden at the Cloisters a mere ten-minute walk—leaves my heart more generous, my mind less crowded, my spirit at ease.

And for all this, and so much more, I am truly grateful.


Manuela said...

I love the photo of your daughter lying in the grass.
Abundance lies in the most simple things.

A M B E R said...

Manuela, thank you! I love that photo best too. In fact, the original shows a bit more of her panties and I felt I needed to "pull her skirt down" a bit in Photoshop, so as not to be too Balthusian with my own daughter.

Julia said...

I was just having the conversation with J that I thought my days of scouring consignment stores for winter coats for my children were over, but alas, they aren't, and his response was: You should have married a stock broker. Well, I've always felt kind of amused and even a little comforted by your innocent obliviousness to frugality and price tags. Don't change- it always seems to work for you and it's classic Amber for richer or for poorer.

A M B E R said...

Julia, there is nothing like growing up in poverty to make one allergic to frugality. Although I don't know if that fits exactly, because for me it's never really been about money or lack of it. It's always been more about beauty and quality, and a rejection of the poverty of living life surround by cheap plastic things. I would have spent $200 on nice leather boots when I had $500 to my name, and then ate cereal or left-over refectory food for the last week of the month until a new paycheck arrived. The thing that I think I was trying to get at in this post (even though I didn't do a good job of it) is that it's hard for me to fully grasp that, at least for the moment, real poverty is over. I won't be needed food stamps next month or next year or likely ever and I've not had to worry about carburetors or alternators for a long time. Having spent so much of my life quietly worrying about these things while simultaneously buying boutique clothing has built up a mentality that is hard to shake.