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Thursday, December 14, 2006

Fighting the Fade

As time goes by, some things fade away. Some things seem to lose their significance simply because they happen so often. Other things, of a more uncommon nature, are drowned out by the cascade of minutes that make up each day.

An example of the first: it occurred to me three days ago that I am no longer amazed by hot water showers. Every day I wake up and step into a never-ending waterfall of clean, hot water. I can stay in twenty minutes, and it doesn't even cool off. And I no longer marvel at this.

Just six months ago, if I wanted a shower, it was cold. If I wanted hot water, I heated it first, and poured it over myself one cupful at a time. The only time warm water came out of my shower was during the middle of a sweltering day, when I wanted the water to be cold. And you know what? I was thankful for that warm water, even when I didn't want it. I just enjoyed the fact that it was coming out warm, even though it didn't cool me off. And when I took those "showers" out of a bucket of hot water, I was incredibly thankful for the way it warmed me up. And when I took freezing cold showers on cold mornings because I didn't have time to heat a bucket, I truly appreciated the fact I had a shower at all. All the people I met in the slums bathed in public, covered in a wrap of sorts, by the community well. I had a shower.

When I came home, I was almost overwhelmed with joy every time I stepped in the shower. I laughed at how easy it was - just turn it on and get in. I loved it. And now... I'm back to my old self, I guess. I don't even think about what a privileged life I lead.

What brought on this sudden musing? This quote, taken from an ad in the most recent Reader's Digest:

"We believe that everyone has the right to a hot bath."


No! Hot showers are not a basic right; they are a blessing. I should marvel. I should be thankful. I should remember my friends who live such different lives, far away in a place where hot showers are for the elite. I wish there were a way to keep these things from fading away into distant memories. I can feel the fade beginning, and I resent it. I want to fight against it. But how?


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