Aristotle is credited with postulating that nature abhors a vacuum, the idea that whenever there is an empty space, matter will rush to fill it in. Although he lived in the 4th century BC and since then later philosophers and scientists have debated his idea passionately, the Greek philosopher had a pretty good sense of how humans live their lives and occupy space, especially in the world today. The term Horror vacui can be applied to the way we build our cities, occupy our homes and use our containers.
I’ve been doing this Giveaway for about 120 days now. I’m about a third of the way along now, so I’d expect to be a pro at planning and executing my gifts, but even this far on in the project, I still manage to get to dinner time without having given anything away, and I had no great ideas. I could have given something away at school in the morning when I was there for Theo’s 4th grade performance at assembly, or at yoga class, which I was trying for the first time since I became ill. (I didn’t make it to the end of the class, alas.) I could have given something a couple of good friends who I met during the course of the day, but somehow it didn’t happen. I forgot to focus on giving.
So dinnertime was a mess. I was upset with David and Theo for spending so much time on screens and leaving me to make dinner, and when I told them that, they became upset with me, and after dinner headed straight back to their screens. So I got huffy and decided I needed a time out. I texted my friend, Jane, to see if she was free for a quick chat. She was with her family and some friends having a picnic. She invited me to stop by but said to bring a sweater because it was cold. That was it! I had a couple of sweaters on a pile in the bedroom so I grabbed them and headed out the door, telling Jane I was bringing them along and letting David and Theo know I’d be back soon. When I got to the park where the group was picnicking, I spotted Jane and her husband Max sitting with two friends. Their kids were all running around playing with a friend’s pet rabbits that were hopping around in the clover. I joined them on their blanket and Jane introduced me to Zach and Sara, who I’d seen before but didn’t know. I explained that I was having a bit of a grumpy mum moment and needed a break, and Jane explained my Giveaway project. I brought out my sweaters and Jane, who was getting cold, tried on a brownish one. It fit well and looked nice, so she took that one. I offered Sara, who I’d just met, the green one, and she tried it on. It looked great. “You don’t know how happy I am right now!” she exclaimed, making me even happier. I stayed for a while longer until it was dark and it was time for us all to head home. By the time I got home, all three of us were in a much better mood. The sweaters were my Giveaway and I was glad they found good homes, but sometimes a bit of space can be a valuable gift too, for all concerned.