As I head out to my back five acres for my ritual walk I see the trees my husband and I planted five years ago popping up from the earth. What were once seedlings are now taller than my head. It has been great to be able to watch them grow. Yet I recognize that they will outlive me. I only have them to enjoy for what will be a short time in their life. I need to tell them that I alone am not responsible for them and can not get caught up in the idea that they are mine. For they will outlive me.
I have a cousin that is very dear to me. Frances, is a mentor to me. She is not only very wise but she holds our family history in her head. Not just the stories but she was there in the past with all its sensations. She is my greatest teacher on non-attachment. She is so wrapped up in her own attachments that it does cause her great suffering even though she knows better.
When I visit her I also visit her friends. The all say the same things. They talk of all the work they did to make a home, a yard, a place for their family to grow. Only to sell it to a stranger or worse for it to sit abandoned on the prairies.
They say similar things regarding their stuff, their family heirlooms. They had imagined giving their children their family table, crystal and good china. All these things the children happen to get on their own as wedding gifts or what not. Now, they do not need what their parents had to give them and these women are forced to just let all of it go. Not just the items but their stories in the items. That seems harder to detach from than the thing itself.
So here we are with all our stuff. Here we are in our homes with our nice cars parked near by. Things that we have worked hard to attain. Yet, do we get ourselves, our identity wrapped up in these things that we loose ourselves in them?