24 April 2020 by Lucy Cogley
A certain outcome from the COVID-19 lockdown is that we have all been forced to STOP. To slow down, stay at home and to simplify our lifestyles.
In the last few years since having children I have forcibly had to slow down. Sometimes, with little capacity to do more than simply keep my babies alive, I feel like I have already been in this isolation bubble for some time.
In the midst of lockdown in the UK, we have found ourselves living on site where my husband works. Surrounded by acres of beautiful landscape, including a lake you can swim in, some would say we are very blessed! But like most great blessings they come with a cost and for us that has meant our family of 4 paring down into a one-bed flat. The thought of doing this would have felt daunting a month ago, in reality it has felt truly liberating. Whilst running around packing up items from our home, for a speedy transition, my meditation was a quote from the infamous craft movement pioneer, William Morris:
“Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful”
This is a great line to live by all the time, (especially whilst being tempted into an unnecessary but a seductive purchase). After having moved around a lot in the past decade, it is one I cling to. I find myself drawn to empty spaces, free of clutter. I, along with many I’m sure, feel my mental state is kept more calm if my surroundings are airy and light. I also find a sense of freedom knowing the household goods I do have, tend to be naturally sourced, chemical free and where possible, made by hand.
So in my packing list of essential wares, keeping in mind items that would turn our small one-bed flat into a comfortable home, I came to the conclusion that the following were just a few must-have luxuries to keep us positive and peaceful;
- A beautiful good quality scented candle that not only smells fantastic but creates a sense of peace and tranquility (mine was a present from a dear friend called “neroli” by Vetivert&Co)
- A natural rug, to create some neutral calm and make the space feel softer and familiar for all of us (especially my toddler)
- My Arc Lore Samimi bath towel. Having little space, I need towels that will dry quickly whilst still being absorbent & soft (especially for the little ones). Plus the bright pops of colour in our tiny white bathroom have given me joy and great aesthetic satisfaction
- And of course some green! Some household plants to bring life (and oxygen) to our home
We don’t need to be in a state of just survival in this season, we have been truly blessed to have a few pieces that make our hearts happy in this time, it’s good to know and consider what yours are.
The burden of having much “stuff” can at times overwhelm and steal away peace. We don’t want to be uncomfortable and yet ironically, we make ourselves uncomfortable trying to possess all the things we might need in case we are uncomfortable!
So my hope for those of you reading this is that, in this time of social distancing and isolation you would look to your immediate surroundings: to simple pleasures like the sky, a tree or even a great book and come to that deep sense of knowing that you are enough and no more belongings will make you feel more like you are complete. It is an insatiable desire that will never be satisfied. It is a journey and a battle when one is wired to beautiful things, but I encourage you to try and grow in your strength to stay simple, it will give you more life, truly ♥️