birds in a barrel's mission is to release creative nonfiction into the wild.

40 Days & 40 Writes is its first project.

Coziness and Warmth

I have a friend who is obsessed about getting rid of the “non-essentials” from her life. She is always talking about the fact that she’s either about to or has just downsized her worldly possessions. “I want to simplify. Too much stuff just stresses me out,” she says. And yet she loves kitchen gadgets (churro maker, anyone?), camping gadgets, beautiful everyday things, and Christmas ornaments. She’ll announce that she’s gotten rid of old books and clothes and whatever else, then I’ll hear about a new sitting chair she recently ordered from West Elm.

It’s easy to see this as a lack of discipline or self-awareness but it can also be seen as the fact that what is essential to one person is different from what is essential to another, and also the fact that the thing that is essential to someone isn’t the item itself but what it represents.

A sense of coziness and warmth is what is essential to my friend. This was not always available to her in the past and enjoying a respite in a tranquil nook in her bedroom or making a favorite childhood treat in the kitchen gives her the coziness and warmth now. She doesn’t need books and clothes and whatever else. But she knows what’s essential to her well-being.

A Stranger in the Night