R E F L E C T I O N 

Think Outside the Box

I open this box, 
its mystery 
will be released, 
like a genie 
from his bottle, 
and I 
will be left 
holding reality 
in my hands.

Deep in the rafters of my gutted house, I spied this little box. Climbing through two by fours and dust, I fished it out with my Swiffer, like a child playing the crane game at an arcade. I was determined to retrieve this treasure — a 73-year-old box left behind to be discovered in a new world.

My first instinct was to open it, but the lid was fused to the bottom. The result of an inquisitive shake was silence. I assumed prying off the lid would reveal the dust of a long forgotten soup, consumed by one of the men who built my home in 1941.

If I never open it, I am left thinking outside this box, allowing it to be as limitless as Mary Poppin's handbag. So for now, it sits over my sink. As I wash the dishes, I  
dream that it contains any of the following:
• An ancient prayer, which recited three times, will bring a moment of peace to a weary world.
• The formula for an inexpensive and easily produced medicine that will cure Ebola so that lives will be saved and a child doesn't have to be told she can't hug her mommy for three weeks or more.
• A magical perfume that can be released into the air to stop global warming. It was invented by a boy genius who lived in our house 63 years ago. His time machine whisked him into the future while his parents thought he was tucked into bed. He left this behind, knowing we would need his help.

Okay, maybe it is nothing but a leftover lunch, but until I open the box, it contains my dreams. And that's reality.