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................


Anonymous said...

I lived out of a backpack for
two years and - yes - it was
liberating having so little but
on the other hand, I appreciate
my nice house and my possessions
now - possibly more than I would
have otherwise. There must be a
happy medium - being happy with whatyou have but not craving
things you don't really need.

Kez said...

How very true! We toured the replica a couple of years ago and loved it too.

Ladybird World Mother said...

Photos! And those tiny 'things' your children make and give with such expectation of gratitude...
oh, and Books. The best ones. And my wedding invitation. And the tiniest little baby gros that my children wore when tiny. Is there any more room??? Little stones picked up from beaches. Children's work from school. Funny and sweet cards from friends.
Noticeably missing from this list are expensive stuff. So agree, what a light load without all of that!

jimmycrackedcorn said...

I can imagine the simple life. It seems like it would be so liberating. But then I look just a few feet away from me and I think to myself. No, I'll need that stuff someday. Might as well keep it. Ugh.

Paola said...

My husband is an ex-Navy navigator and Captain Cook is his hero. We've been on the replica a couple of times now and it never fails to amaze me how so many men, 94 in all,lived together in such close proximity for 3 years. Remember also that the ship was self-sufficent, and there was livestock on the ship, as well as Sir Joseph Banks' dogs!
As I get older, I crave less and less. I'm always giving stuff away much to the chagrin of Action Man who is a hoarder - you never know when you'll need something. Me, I'm happy to live with less and less. If something isn't used, it's out the door...

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