Monday Morning Mary: Blessing for a Discard

salt and pepper shakers-2

I’ve recently gone through a major house move, and now that the essentials have been unpacked, I’m faced with boxes of items that haven’t been looked at or touched for a dozen (or dozens) of years. Marie Kondo’s bestselling book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, the Japanese art of decluttering and organizing, offered the permission slip I needed to help me let go of many things that no longer brought me joy or had true purpose.

While this book is not a spiritual text, she mentions a practice that I have not seen in any other decluttering/organizing guide: when you decide to discard (or donate) an item, thank it for its service.

Since I love blessings, I latched onto that simple idea, and have been saying many thank-yous and good-byes. I wanted to write a general blessing, but these salt and pepper shakers caught my eye and my heart, and the blessing became specific. Once it was written, I realized the beauty of discarding: nothing, really, is lost.

Dear Little Salt and Pepper Shaker

Thank you for your faithful years
of service on my grandmother’s table
and for wanting to remind me now
of my grandmother and the long train
of holiday tables, fourteen grandchildren
every Easter, every Christmas
eating cappelletti and cannoli
from Union City, where my Italian grandfather
who had died before my birth
once lived.

But I need no reminder.

Better that I free you
from the quiet corner
of my china closet
and send you to a new home
where your hand-painted pink flowers
might brighten someone’s windowsill.

I wish to be lighter now,
to enjoy the pink and white flowers
in the garden of my heart
where my grandmother
flits in and out of sight
like a butterfly
always a delightful and reassuring presence.

Our Lady of Lourdes at St John Lambertville NJ

6 thoughts on “Monday Morning Mary: Blessing for a Discard

  1. Cheryl, what a lovely idea to thank treasured items for their service as we give them away to someone new. I walked around our previous home and said goodbye to the rooms and gardens. It helped with closer on a home I’d loved dearly.
    Blessings ~ Wendy

  2. I like the thought of saying goodbye to “things”. I presently live in a 16×80 mobile home on 1/4 acre. I have Fibro and it has been hard to keep it on my own. I have now sold the home and going down to a tiny home of 475 sq. feet space. I have had the last 3 weeks of letting go of all but the necessities and things that I just love. I am 63 years old with children grown and spouse deceased so I have accumulated a lot of “stuff”. It has been a very interesting process of what to let go of. And of thinking on some items, “why did I hang on to this” item. Even the shoe process- I hadn’t realized I had 23 pairs. Why would one person have that many?? I have scaled down to 10 now, which is still to many.

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