There has been a lot of activity at my house recently regarding clearing of closets, bagging old clothes for donations to needy agencies, rearranging shoes and other items. The process of eliminating clutter in the house was necessary, but it is still unsettling. I find myself looking again and again for a pair of pants that I want to wear, only to acknowledge that the garment’s utility is now over.

The New Year has been framed as a time for reflection, consideration. What do I want to achieve? What things or habits would I like to discard? Like looking out at a silent snow-covered landscape and pondering its beauty. It’s appropriate for people to pause and consider what do we need right now and what we can forego.

According to a recent article;

The world’s largest collection of ocean garbage is growing.

The Great Pacific Garbage Patch, a collection of plastic, floating trash halfway between Hawaii and California, has grown to more than 600,000 square miles, a study found. That’s twice the size of Texas.

Winds and converging ocean currents funnel the garbage into a central location, said study lead author Laurent Lebreton of the Ocean Cleanup Foundation, a non-profit organization that spearheaded the research.

First discovered in the early 1990s, the trash in the patch comes from around the Pacific Rim, including nations in Asia and North and South America, Lebreton said.

The patch is not a solid mass of plastic. It includes about 1.8 trillion pieces and weighs 88,000 tonsthe equivalent of 500 jumbo jets. The new figures are as much as 16 times higher than previous estimates. Pacific garbage patch, largest collection of ocean trash, grows…pacific-garbage-patch…/446405002

Humans are very good at collecting things whether it be clothes, cars, electronics, books, etc. The problem, however, is how do you manage all of this stuff? Also, when there is too much stuff, where can you go to dispose of it in a safe and earth-friendly fashion?

There is the struggle always regarding attachment. I keep a book or a memento or a playbill because it carries significance; it means something to me. Inherently, what can also happen is that our identity gets tied up with the objects in question.

Clearing the physical spaces in our homes of clutter is a good place to start regarding evaluating what other spaces we need to clear in our lives.

Maybe, the new year can give us an opportunity to focus less on attachment to things, but more on other people, our family, our friends and in our faith in the divine, in God, however known.

Less can be more. Emptiness can highlight what is really important in life and can provide space for greater fulfillment, for greater love and greater peace for all of us.

May it be so.