Light

The home of my current host is a converted barn. When she started out, there was dirt floor and no shower; she only built a place to sleep and cook, otherwise establishing a garden so similar to native vegetation that crops fertilise and multiply themselves. Some five years later, there is nothing to be missed. Water is limited, but so are our lives. Internet connectivity is limited as in much of New Zealand, but so are our days. The garden gives the vegetables we eat, and a lid on the house floor reveals earth-cooled relishes, jams, and fermented food. Everything is beautifully framed in wood; rope and pulley constructions remind me of a ship's interior. As she explains to me, this goes back to her living in a van, where she needed to fix everything in place. When everything in your home has its place, it creates such a mental ease that saying no to additional items is easy. She has the most comfortable house I have ever been in, and it probably cost less to build than any of my other friends' homes.

Leo Babauta in Ultralight:

When you live lightly, you create space for living, without all the clutter. You free your mind from having to worry about all the stuff in your life. Your life isn't so full of stuff that you have to tread carefully between piles of clutter. You don't have to push stuff aside so that you can get things done. Nor rummage through stuff to find something. These are small things, but they add up through the course of a day, the course of a lifetime.

Here, you don't even need to calculate long-term benefits; the calmness emanating from this space is immediate.