On Monday I was down in Sydney again and had the opportunity to visit the Maritime Museum. We were lucky enough to be able to board a replica of The Endeavour, the ship of Captain James Cook who is credited with mapping much of the southern hemisphere around the 1770s.
As children in Australia we were taught for many years that Captain Cook "discovered" Australia in January of 1770. Our history books completely missed the fact that the land was already inhabited by people who had lived here for thousands of years and has seen many explorers, be they Dutch or Portuguese, traveling in the area. I was interested to read in Cook's journal that he regarded the native people as living a better way of life in the natural surroundings than the Europeans of the time. Unfortunately his respectful view was not to be followed as history progressed.
Even though the ship was a replica, it was a totally moving experience. The cabins of Cook and Joseph Banks ( a botanist travelling with him) were so small yet they had all of life's necessaries. A bed, a small writing desk, a shelf, hooks for clothing, and a chest into which all their belongings fit.
The feeling I had when I was on the ship reminded me of the sense of simple satisfaction that I often get when visiting historic houses and museums. They had so little, yet they had everything that was needed for life. One plate, one bowl, one pair of boots. To read more about it you can visit here and look at the self guided tour.
Then, of course, my mind starts racing..... what if everything that I personally owned was to fit into a beautiful sea chest ? How would it change what I brought into my life ? I would only be able to keep things that were sturdy, long lasting or extremely precious! How many 'things' have I brought into my life and house which do not fit into these categories?
There is such a sense of peace inside me when I think of having less.....maybe John Lennon was right......Imagine no possessions................