essay handmade illumination life simplicity

Gratitude for Simple Things

Today . . . a Handmade Delivery Bag

Handmade carry bag made from newspaper and twine
Handmade newspaper and twine carry bag, photo by Bridget Cougar

Since I’m the only guest at the coliving hostel where I’m staying, walking out to buy lunch or supper has been my habit every day during social distancing, both to get a little extra exercise and also to see a few faces and see what’s new in the neighborhood, but today I just didn’t feel like it. Plus, I was really jonesin’ for a good salad. So I downloaded the local motorcycle delivery app, GoJek, chose a good-looking kale, broccoli and avocado salad from Bali Buda, and 15 minutes later, there’s the motorcycle driver with my salad. Yay!

For the first few minutes, I wasn’t noticing anything except my taste buds (and it was a GOOD salad), but after my initial hunger was sated, I started noticing and appreciating the box and the bag the salad had arrived in. The box was a regular cardboard box, but the bottom was lined with a banana leaf cut to size instead of a plastic liner.

The bag, shown above, was obviously homemade, using two pages of the local newspaper, cut to size and glued at the bottom and the top, with a bit of cardboard inside the bottom for firmness and a couple of pieces of twine knotted for handles. Such elegant simplicity!

I’m so grateful to receive something that doesn’t have a shred of plastic in it. And the bag has so much character. It’s so obvious that a real person handmade this pleasing and useful bag. I feel like I was honored not only by being give delicious food but I feel like I received a hand-made gift, as well.

Even though I’m isolated and haven’t gotten to talk to my neighbors, I feel cared for, I feel connection, and I don’t feel alone.

four people with their arms over each other’s shoulders, backlit by the sunset
Photo by Helena Lopes on Unsplash

Gratitude for Simple Things was originally published in ILLUMINATION on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

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