This morning I caught myself engaging in a little ‘mental moaning’. I was in the shower but not my warm, welcoming womb-like cubicle where I seem to do my best thinking but rather the over-the-bath version with plastic shower curtain. Why? The cubicle’s sprung a leak – again – and there’s a notice in there saying ‘under repair’. Husband in ‘inaction’ and I realise this could be a protracted affair. It was last time.
Under the best that the water pressure could deliver, I felt resentful. Shame on me. Clean drinking water for all is my ‘big thing’ and here I was moaning about a warm, if somewhat less vigorous, delivery of clean flowing water. Did my life depend on this – no. Was I going to fill the kettle and make a lovely hot cup of tea soon – yes. What was my problem then? I realised I didn’t have one and was in fact very blessed.
This opened the flood gates to memories of water stories and there’s three I’d like to share with you. Firstly, I’m grateful to be alive. Our plumber, Nick, suddenly dropped dead earlier this year having recently been married and only in his early thirties. We were all in shock because he was such a go-getter, having built a thriving business and settled with the love of his life.
The second thing which really impacted upon me concerns Daughter’s trip to Uganda a few years ago. She and three friends were on a challenge walking 100 miles in 10 days carrying all they needed with them. Each night, having sought permission from the Elders of the village, they pitched their tent. They were surprised and delighted one morning to find that some young children had walked to their nearest well, filled buckets with the precious liquid and brought water for them so it was there and ready when they awoke. A gesture of kindness and generosity given without a thought for themselves and delivered with beaming smiles.
Lastly, during the UK floods of 2007, Gloucester was without a water supply for two weeks and drinking water for three. “Water water everywhere and not a drop to drink” exactly reflected our situation. Husband was working in London, Daughter away and Son shipped out to relatives so it was just me and the animals left water-less. Bowsers were set up in the streets and we queued to fill containers when the water tanker arrived. Once we followed the tanker to a bowser in the village because they were filled in rotation. Imagine our dismay when the driver said two bowsers were out-of-order, one because local youths had kicked the taps off it and the second because of health issues, said youths having been urinating in it. That defied belief. The driver said they were having to fight mindless stupidity as well as Nature. After two weeks water was restored to our homes but was not drinkable for a further week. Never have I been so appreciative of clean drinking water. Can you believe the Army had to be brought in at the local Tesco to oversee the issuing of bottled water? Why? Because the ‘me, me, me and I’ mentality meant people were fighting over the bottled water, many trying to take more than their daily allowance. I remember wondering what those who shared and cared for each other during the War would have made of it.
And yet this morning I was disgruntled because the warm clean flow was reduced and I was mildly inconvenienced. I truly am grateful for all that I have, all that I am and all that is. Gratitude turns what we have into enough.
I’d like to leave you with a question: What if you’d woken up today with only the things you were grateful for yesterday? It’s certainly a question worth asking ourselves, don’t you think? I invite you to be mindful of your blessings and to leave a comment saying what you feel most grateful for.
I’m off to make a cup of tea with that most precious gift, water.