|Our "Tiny House" in Leakey, Texas|
Recently, a friend brought little, itty-bitty houses to my attention through various postings on Facebook. These tiny houses, and their inhabitants, fascinate me. The first video I watched chronicled a family of three who downsized into hundreds of square feet. Since then, I’ve viewed several other videos on individuals and families making the decision to “Simplify, simplify.” I envy these people who’ve somehow pulled away from their attachments to belongings. I don’t hoard, but I do have collections. Every item carries a specific memory, and although logic tells me that the memory won’t fade if I donate the item, my heart feels otherwise. So when I see others scale down their possessions to simple necessities, I feel awe. I don’t like to think that I define myself by what I own, but I can’t imagine not having my books, teapots, or Christmas ornaments.
Some people would find these little houses confining, but I understand the womblike comfort of a small space. My enchantment with little rooms goes back to my childhood. No matter where we lived, I always selected the smallest room as my own. I’d pack it with a twin bed, bookcases and desk. I’d put shelves on the walls to take advantage of the vertical areas many people overlook. By candlelight, these rooms felt cozy and calming.
Every time we go to our cabin in Leakey, I light candles and draw the shades to make the one room cabin welcoming and warm. I daydream about living up there permanently. The one room contains every necessity—kitchen, dining, living, sleeping areas. What else, really, do we need? And if I want space, all I have to do is step outside.
Logic kicks in eventually, and I realize I’m not ready to walk away from everything forever. Living sparsely for a cluster of days at a time tempts me. I’m charmed by the plainness of our days when I know I can return home. Could I make the change to the degree of these other people? Could I live a home that’s several hundred square feet forever? Is a tiny house in our future?
Copyright 2011 Elizabeth Abrams Chapman