Daily Connector | A Box of stuff | Tim McCarthy

It is just a box full of stuff, right?  Maybe, maybe not.

I often worry that I am missing something. Not that I have misplaced something, but that I am not seeing or understanding something important. As a young adult I worried about the biblical references of following false prophets. How do you know who is ok? I worried about being caught up as a follower of someone I shouldn’t follow. Over the years, the parables about vines, trees and fruits began to make sense. It takes years to see if fruit trees or vines produce “good” fruit. It takes time.

Back to the box. A weekend in October Chris ventured into the garage alcove next to the alley to reclaim the area from the runaway Luffa and Bottle gourd vines. The vines were growing 3’ a day and we had just let them go since June. After clearing most of it away Chris found a cardboard box tucked into the corner of the fence. The box might have been there for a while except for the heavy rain we had a week ago or so. In the box are assorted old science books, an apple slicer, a roll of green ribbon and random other things. It wasn’t a discarded stolen Amazon box or a burglary box that couldn’t be carried. It had items someone had taken time to carefully hide and cover as best they could with a few bread wrappers for protection. 

Who? Why? When? Did I miss someone in the neighborhood who was driven out by increasing rents? I look around the area at the duplexes being rehabbed. Was it one of those families?  Who had to leave precious items, hoping to come back? Chris carefully tucked a plastic bag over the box to protect the contents. It has been a dry year; the box is protected from rain by the leeward side of the fence. It could have been there since July.  

What am I missing? Covid has directly affected only a few friends of mine. Coworkers have lost parents, helpless to even attend the funerals, as travel isn’t possible back to their home countries. I have a steady job where hygiene protocols keep me fairly safe. I still go to the grocery store to buy food every few weeks. I haven’t suffered with the pandemic, lost a job, gone hungry, or been in fear of losing my home.

What should I learn or understand from this box? It has been a couple of weeks and no one has touched the box. Chances are I will never know if someone takes the box when I am not around. Maybe what I was supposed to learn is that other people are experiencing a life very different than mine. Maybe there is something I can do to help.

It could be just a box full of stuff though.