#1 NYT bestselling author Linda Lael Miller


Packing to Move

You know, it seems that everything is a metaphor these days.

As I’ve mentioned, I’m moving back to my homeground of Spokane, Washington, and things are moving fast. It’s a whirlwind around here, getting ready to go, and I’m asking myself, “What do I want to take along, and what will I leave behind?” It’s a given that the horses, dogs, cats and people will go, but what about all the stuff? In the wake of a disaster like Hurricane Katrina, one really gets perspective. There is so little we really need, isn’t there? Food, shelter, warmth, those are the material things. The important things, though, are the intangibles: love, compassion, family, friends, freedom and hope.

I have collected so much “stuff”, over the years, traveling all over the world as I did. And then there were all those trips to Walmart. Like many writers, I’m a confirmed pack rat. But now I’m yearning to live a simpler life–not a smaller one, mind you, just a less cluttered one–and I’m thinking about the things I want to leave behind, on both the physical and spiritual/emotional levels.

I want to leave behind my old ideas of what is possible and impossible. I want to leave behind that rusty stack of disappointments, resentments, and regrets. I want to leave the worry behind, too. (Like Mark Twain, I’ve worried about a lot of things in my life, most of which never happened.) I want to leave behind worn out opinions and paradigms that just don’t work anymore.

I want to start fresh. I want to enlarge the perimeters of what I believe is possible for me, as a person and as a writer.

Now, you don’t have to move house to do that.

But it helps.

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From the end of the Civil War until 1890, some 10 million head of cattle were driven from Texas to Kansas.

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