Lightly Child, Lightly

Every now and then, when my dad was working away, my grandfather came over from Ireland to stay with us. He brought a black holdall containing his only suit, a clean shirt, some vests and underpants and a bottle of home-brewed poitín. My mother slept with me in my single bed, so my granddad could have her room. ‘I envy him, a bit, you know,’ she said to me, squashed against my army of teddy bears. ‘He moves through his life so lightly. Just packs a bag and goes, without thinking twice.’

~ Jessica Andrews, Saltwater: A Novel (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, January 14, 2020)


  • Prior blog post and Reviews of Saltwater: A Novel
  • Grandfather probably wasn’t carrying this black leather holdall from Lotuff
  • Post Title & Inspiration: Aldous Huxley: “It’s dark because you are trying too hard. Lightly child, lightly. Learn to do everything lightly. Yes, feel lightly even though you’re feeling deeply. Just lightly let things happen and lightly cope with them.”


  1. Perfect…

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I second Mimi – it’s the essence and it’s perfect.

    (Maybe HH is a relative of her granddad – while I take everything apart from the shower on my trips – he goes with a mini suitcase and doesn’t worry about missing underpants or socks!)

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Distilled perfectly

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Have always admired those who can travel lightly. It’s a skill I am still working to perfect (though it sounds like I am further along on my journey than Kiki 😂). And that holdall? To die for….

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Touching little Story. Funny, for as many years as i’ve been following this Blog, Quite a few; i’d been seeing ‘Lightly Child Lightly’ lately without recalling where the source of the Quote was, and just this morning, i read far enough to see the source of the Quote, and the context.
    Got it !

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Travelling light is a skill that I’ve been working on. One suitcase for three weeks in Tuscany, plus a backpack and my camera bag – not bad…

    Liked by 2 people

  7. freddiegeorgia says:

    I have envied my dogs for that same reason. They leave the house with nothing additional save for maybe a bone or toy in their mouths.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Would that we could live like that.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. We arrive without; we leave without; and in between we carry too much!! Beautiful reminder DK 🥰

    Liked by 2 people

  10. It is easier for men, physically to travel lighter…women have some needs men will never have… Such a beautiful, holdall…/// on the rare occasion I get out of the house, I put a zip case in my jeans pocket,it is maybe 3″ by 5″ it holds money (sometimes), cards in a Ziploc portion pak, receipts,emergency meds, tweezers, my tiny cell phone, sometimes a spare key, sometimes a tiny vial of perfume, used to carry a tiny but mighty cross – charm size , must have misplaced that when I changed to a different zip case…usually keys rest in my other pocket, along with a pocket camera, dh wears cargp pants -sometimes he keeps track of the camera…overnight ugh…a cpap machine w/its bag, a bag with personal care & meds…and then one for shoes, including shower thongs, one for clothes…must always be prepared…

    Liked by 1 person

  11. we moved to Singapore for two and a half months, and I packed everything I needed in just one backpack. (a $49 Target backpack at that…) 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  12. DK I thought you’d be amazed at my little wallet case! Today, first time out of the house in a week he drove me to the store and before we left I said do I even need my wallet case? Na, left it at home…he had the keys and his wallet…and his old school flip cell phone…

    Liked by 1 person

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