Life in the Box: A Bucket of Buckeyes

There were dozens of buckeyes on the sidewalk, so I picked up a bucketful and brought them home. I love their smooth curved mahogany shapes.

What will I do with them? I don’t know, but an art project of some kind will grow from them: I might glue them to a frame for a tree photo, make photos of them with a simple background and creative lighting, or use them as mulch outside and let the squirrels and nature decay them. I don’t know, but I wanted to gather a beautiful moment of fall and save it up for winter. 

It’s hard for me to honor the peaceful, bountiful times I’m in. In my neighborhood, we’re all doing pretty darn well. No hurricanes, no gas lines, no tornado-strewn power poles. The bigots are quiet and not parading or burning crosses. The liberals are gardening and baking cookies for the homeless.

Okay, the liberals are out on the Capitol steps every so often, but they carry signs and wear pink, so nobody really gets hurt. And the bigots go downtown and carry signs and act mean sometimes, but when they come home to my neighborhood, they are polite.

So there’s a great disconnect between what’s going on in my neighborhood and what’s going on in government: here in Iowa, and over there in Washington D.C. And the effects of bad government decisions playing out in Puerto Rico and elsewhere. 

What can I do with my emotions after a few hours of news that just explodes with greed and lies and makes me feel hopeless and disgusted and helpless? There’s so little I can do to make the federal government more responsive and less hypocritical. Even in my own state, the government is eroding all the protections for workers and individuals and wasting our budget on big business tax cuts. I voted, I lost.

So, these days, I pay tithes to “do gooders” and know it’s just a drop of cash when they need an ocean. I say prayers and envision the change that’s needed in the world. I write letters. I make phone calls. I march every so often. I attempt to be “the change I’d like to see happen in the world,” and to not be dragged down. But that leaves about 23 more hours of each day for “something else.”

So I look at myself and say, what’s mine to do?

I take a walk. I pick up buckeyes. I experience all the abundance and good and peace and changes in my own neighborhood. And I’ll walk again tomorrow.

Nancy Heather Brown is a retired, Emmy Award-winning television producer whose career has included interviewing, writing, narrating and editing for a span of four decades. Today, she enjoys learning new things and reflecting upon the creative process and life issues, both inside and outside the box. Her opinions are her own, and are not necessarily those of this web site. 


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