The Heart of Boxing

Title: A Meditation on Boxes. Image Man pulls down the sliding door of a storage unit full of boxes.Boxes. All kinds of boxes. No matter what else we may have going on, they seem to always serve an important function in our lives, or we’re always looking for a place to stash them away. Some people have even lived in boxes, while a great many of us end up buried in them. And who hasn’t used boxes to move? Whether we love them or hate them, we can’t deny that no matter where we are, we encounter boxes.

As a kid, I absolutely loved them, and some decades later I still do. Why, I wonder? Could it be that I was in an incubator the first three months of my life, which became a source of unconscious comfort? I’ll never know for sure, but one of my favorite things to do as a kid, was to find boxes behind stores, load them in my wagon, and cart them home. Cardboard houses and forts were a staple of play. I also loved to save grocery boxes for a game of “store” in the yard. Shoeboxes were perfect to put away marbles, seashells or trading cards. For me, boxes kept things in order (yes, I am a Virgo), and I still have boxes in every room of my home, including the bathroom!

I don’t consider myself a hoarder, but I do have a storage unit filled with boxes and boxes of VHS tapes that are waiting to be transferred to DVD—or whatever technology comes next. All the tax stuff that we have to hang onto for at least 7 years is in there, along with other boxes filled with who knows what? “FRAGILE, REALLY F**KING FRAGILE!” is written on one of those boxes. Could I even guess what’s in it? No, but I know not to drop it!

So, why did I choose to write a whole column on this subject? Because boxes are ubiquitous and, at the same time, overlooked. From jewelry boxes to lunch boxes and gift boxes, and from cereal boxes, to ring boxes and shoeboxes

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 (not to mention the boxset of the complete series of The Facts of Life). As humans, we are box dependent and boxed in to the idea that we cannot survive without these big—and small—squares, which hold the contents of our lives. And what about all the trees that are felled to manufacture them? Well, at least we have recycled boxes too.

But have you ever entertained the idea of waking up one morning, and finding that all the boxes had disappeared into thin air? I cannot even wrap my brain around the concept of a box-less world!
Even as we challenge ourselves to think outside the box by entertaining new ideas that expand our growth as human beings, I think we’ll always cherish our relationship with boxes, the safe places that we keep the things that we believe we cannot part with. In fact, parting with anything that we hold dear is difficult for all of us – the important things is to know intuitively that our hearts can serve as the most precious box of all. What we put inside our hearts will always be with us no matter what.

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by Geri Jewell

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