Amazing what you relish – even respect – when it's removed or non-functioning. Often it's the simplest things taken for granted. A hot shower, for example.
I let mine today – the first in almost a week – wash away the anxiety of all those days. Enjoying the penetrating warmth as it swirled over my body, rejuvenating and reinvigorating ... as if a new or first experience. The living water. The unheated pool shower served its purpose, but nothing more. No nurturing or lingering. Quick in, quick out, quick clean and very cold.
We became adept at using the facilities wherever we happened to be.
When the first plumber arrived in a flurry of panic Sunday, the anxiousness began in earnest, mounting when he advised we dig and replace with all new pipes to the tune of mega bucks. Shocking, to say the least. So we waited ... without laundry, dishwasher and only minimal toilet or shower ... for other opinions that trickled in.
The solution was much simpler and way less expensive than first proposed. And now we're getting back to life as normal. But there was something about that break, about being more intentional with hygiene and not taking it for granted that added some depth, even spirituality, to the experience. Possibly it's my altered perspective and more-acute awareness that has made a difference. I am living with more ease, flowing more through life and not getting hung up on issues or events that crop up. Trying not to fight myself so. I can only control my reaction and whatever it is that happens will occur anyway. So why not embrace change? It's a lesson I have been struggling to master for years and, likely, always will.
I just read a jarring idea about being a pilgrim rather than a tourist in this life, this journey. I know that it speaks to something about this recent no-water experience. That we can unthinkingly flit from incident to incident in life, sometimes mindlessly taking in the negative, stockpiling just to show off our accumulated stash or we can choose to look deeper into each for the lesson. I suppose, however, you have to own some awareness each time and I believe grace plays a role.
"Tourists leave their footprints as monuments," Quaker Brent Bill writes in Sacred Compass, "while a pilgrim's footprints are a marker ... Seeing ourselves as pilgrims and our lives as a pilgrimage changes us. To be pilgrims means that we are people who spend our lives going somewhere – in our case, going to God."
Learning to live without was a stripping away that, ironically, added more purposefulness and mindfulness, bringing me closer to my beloved.
• Has an experience made me I more mindful by living without?
• If so, what was the lesson?
• How has that changed me? How I react?
• Can I recall a time when something so seemingly unconnected to the Divine brought me closer?
• How/why is that?
become a gift,