Yesterday I discovered the joy to be found in keeping a little mystery in life.
I was working yet another shift taking care of VVF patients. For a change, I had enough spare moments to unpack and put away our fresh supplies. I was holding a large cardboard box when I noticed Eugenie taking in my every move.
Eugenie watched, completely enthralled, as I took the tape off the box seams, opened the flaps, and began to flatten the box so I could throw it away. As the box collapsed completely, she gasped and her eyes widened in shock. What magic made this large object change shape and almost disappear?
I reopened the box, forming it once again into a rectangle. I showed Eugenie the reassembled box, intending to help her realize that the box simply folded in on itself, no magic required. I slowly opened the flaps again to collapse the box, and Eugenie shook her head in wonder, mouth agape. Louisa, the patient in the bed next to Eugenie, was by this time laughing with us, fully a part of our fun. Apparently this cardboard box phenomenon was nothing new for Louisa!
I shaped the carboard once more into a box and called the other nurses over to share in the moment. I then offered the box to Eugenie so that she too could learn the "mysteries" of flattening boxes. But Eugenie couldn't take the wonder any more and disappeared underneath her covers: this was all just too much.
As we all shared in the joy of the moment, I realized that this is yet another reason why I love working here: I learn to see things from a different perspective. Simple things that I take for granted, like breaking down a box, can be a source of wonder and amazement to someone who has never seen such a thing.
I would never have guessed it, but that simple cardboard box provided the best tears-in-your-eyes, genuine, rollicking bellylaughter I've had in a long time.
Eugenie continues to decline to participate in the wonders of box-flattening. Since no one really speaks her language (there are 52 tribal languages in Benin), I am not sure what she thinks about the whole experience.
But I think that sometimes in life we need to preserve the little mysteries, not rush to explain them, lest we lose our sense of wonder.
Shared as a part of Tuesdays Unwrapped at Chatting at the Sky.