by: Shad Bookout
I was born not long ago in a factory far from here. Bits of those that came before me are embedded within my skin. Bundled together with my brethren, I set out on my first journey into the world. I do not know if my travels will take me around the block or around the world. Like those that came before me, I am destined for a greater purpose. The possibilities for my destiny are endless. Will I be entrusted with great wonders, or simply embedded with mundane accoutrement? Will I go forth with items of exceptional worth or mediocre frivolity? And at the end of my journey what will become of me? Where will I end up? The possibilities for my future are abundant. So as I travel to where my quest shall begin, I hold onto precious optimism that the journey I undertake will be one of significance. And, though what will lay within my heart currently remains a mystery, I am eager to set forth on my campaign. For I am a box. And my journey has just begun.
Days turn into weeks, and weeks turn into months, as I sit waiting — surrounded by those that are just like me. Some are smaller, some are larger, and some are even shaped completely different from myself. We all wait to be chosen for the quest which we are best suited. I watch as countless others leave the darkness and set forth. But eventually, my day arrives. A worker with a blade releases the bindings which have held me adjoined to my kin. With the speed and precision of a samurai warrior, I am released and placed onto a bed of rolling steel. I notice how the cool the metal feels as I glide towards the point from which I will embark.
A new worker approaches and dresses me for my quest. I am formed and masked with an abundance of tape. I am layered with soft padding to help protect that with which I am charged to protect. A simple, white label embellishes my humble exterior. It bears only a name and location to where I must travel. I am given no map or direction on how to reach my destination. But it is foretold that many others will help me along the way, and it is through them that I shall find the path which I seek.
The first is young lady who brings me to my transport and I set out into the world. I notice that many others are beginning their quest on this day too. We ride only in darkness, each with an eagerness to achieve our assigned objective. Soon, light once again shines as we transfer to another transport. This one roars like nothing I could have ever imagined. The noise is deafening as I join the others inside the beast. And ,as darkness once again envelopes me, I can discern the momentous forces outside. Surely I am being protected from a mighty wind and rushed in the direction that is intended. I trust those assigned to shelter me will succeed in their duties.
After a journey that seems like hours, I am brought out into a strange new world. I do not recognize my surroundings and this must truly be a marvelous place. I reach a new gathering area where each of us head out in different directions and continue toward our goals. I join a new batch of travelers. This time we are entrusted to a pair of gentlemen who seem as though they have made this journey many times before. All of us feel reassured that, under their guidance, we will soon reach their destinations. Through a thoughtfully-placed window, we bask in daylight and able to observe this final phase of our travels. Often, we stop and part of our company disembarks. As light begins to leave the sky, I am finally retrieved, along with seven others. One of the brave gentlemen in brown uniform bring us into a friendly-looking building.
This is it. My journey is nearly complete. I am carefully placed in a holding area and then moved to something called a locker. There, I must wait to be retrieved. As I glimpse at the one who brought me here, I think to myself that even Don Quixote himself could not have asked for more from his faithful companion, Sancho Panza. I sit and wait to be summoned.
Soon, I am retrieved and brought to quest’s end. My tape is separated and I can hear the joy in the voices of the people who surround me. As I delight in the satisfaction of having achieved that upon which I was intended, I am sent on one final journey to meet my maker. My final wish is that I too will become a part of those that will follow me so that a piece of me can journey on again. For I was more than just a mere box. I was a package. And my journey brought happiness to those than summoned me from the darkness.