Essay: Gift Box

Jan 23, 2020


When a box arrives on the front porch, my cat is as excited as I am.  But while I’m interested in the contents, Rosie just wants the box.

So she waits patiently while I unwrap whatever it is I ordered.  This time it’s a new sweater from L.L. Bean and I hope the “Classic Ragg Wool Cardigan” is as handsome as the catalog picture.  I lift it out of the wrapping and hold it up for view, but Rosie doesn’t need a sweater.

She needs an empty box which doesn’t seem empty to her but full of possibilities.  She leaps in, leaps out, curls up, tips it over, chews on the flaps—and starts again.  What a gift, a box!  

And I set the sweater aside while I watch my cat.  For her, it’s time to play; for me, it’s time to reflect on how much I don’t need.  Don’t need another sweater, no matter how handsome. Don’t need half the sweaters I already have.

What I do need is the capacity to appreciate emptiness.  To learn that I don’t need to fill every hour, fill every closet—but instead, be able to leap into this present moment, curl up, tip it over.  

This spacious present moment which is all there is and more than enough.