Old Green Left-Over Container
I have no idea when I bought it. Years ago - maybe decades.
But it's always been the best-sized left-over container ever for making egg, tuna
and salmon salad. No many how many other containers I've replaced over the years,
that one has absolutely refused to leave.
But now it has become more than an ordinary good-sized leftover container. It's
history. With every egg I chop in there, with every little spoonful of low-fat
mayonnaise I add to the tuna fish or salmon, I know that I'm one step closer to
never using it in this house again. Or maybe - anywhere.
Oh, the memories. When my kids were young, they learned how to make their own
sandwich fillings in that green plastic cylinder with the screw-on white top.
It was just wide enough; just deep enough to chop those egg whites perfectly,
you know? I honestly didn't realize that I could get so attached to a utilitarian
object. I pull it out now and in my mind's eye I still see the kitchen counter
filled with stacks of lunch bags and boxes from years gone by.
And what's funny, is that as I replaced all the other containers over the years
with better-made, longer-lasting, environmentally safer products, this was the
only old one that remained. But I tell you, it has never cracked, or become discolored.
It never bent out of shape. And as I swirl a fork around its insides, it feels,
well, just exquisite.
Normally I wouldn't be obsessing about old green plastic. But our move from this
house is representative of several major shifts happening at once, and they all
seem to have emotionally coalesced into this one solitary object. Sure, there
are other things that are hard to part with, too, but they seem to know that they've
come to the end of their life-expectancy. They're moving on or out with grace
Not so the little green container. (I feel like I should give it a name.)
It does qualify as something I use and value. But it's not something I need. *Sigh*
It's just a "thing" with many years of good memories attached. And when
you're moving to a place that's short on storage, you have to make some hard decisions.
There are containers that rank higher on the "serve-more-functions and take
up less space" scale, and are therefore more deserving of the available cabinet
I haven't made a decision about this yet. And that's because I know that it's
not really just about the usefulness of the little old green leftover container.
Rather, it's a reminder of life gone past that I'm having a little trouble letting
But as Sogyal Rinpoche pointed out, "Learning to live is learning to let
go," and I do believe that. I'm happy to be moving forward, and I definitely
want to live in the present moment.
But I still want my little old green left-over container.