Don’t take shit for granted, that’s what I’m hearing right now. Literally as well as figuratively. Like, if we are able to walk ourselves to the bathroom, and “perform” with relative normalcy, that’s a gawdamned gift.
During this recent winter blast (while we were unable to go anywhere due to beautiful but deadly snow), the washing machine in the house where our daughter lives, and the one where we now live (by the Dumpster alley) stopped working. Mine, in mid-cycle. It just is no longer draining. I’m left with an entire load of wet clothes in a bin of soapy water.
Here’s the thing about me and laundry. I love it. Truly, honestly, I enjoy every aspect of the process. Wanna know one reason why?
Because I’m not down at the fucking river beating my fucking linens and garments on a fucking rock! I am one generation away from that exact scenario.
At a point in time, on a warm afternoon, my grandmother stood sweaty over a manual wringer, being grateful for this latest (fancy!) invention, which allowed her to do the wash IN HER HOUSE, and told the little girl who later grew up and became my mom, “just think, Diane. Someday your children will have a magic box where they simply toss the clothes in and it gets everything clean, then they’ll press buttons on another magic box and it all gets dry!”
Was she precognitive? You bet your ass she was. Did she live long enough to see these magic boxes? Oh hell, yeah, she did.
And she never, not one single day, took for granted how lucky we all are to be living in a “modern” age.
I thought of this story, visions bright upon my brain of a woman I knew and loved working so extremely hard, as I knelt painfully over our bathtub, rinsing rinsing rinsing socks, dresses, shirts, jeans, skirts, sweats, underwear (after having to fish each piece out, dripping wet and heavy) under a faucet. No, I wasn’t at the river, like my grandmother had done. My magic box was just broken. It can be repaired or replaced. This was temporary.
And hey, if I need to turn around, and have a seat there in that special room to conduct some personal business, I can do so. I am not pulling on boots in 21 degree weather and stumping out into the cold dark night. (To be fair, I love a cold dark night, but only for meditation and soaking in the moonshine.)
So many of our inconveniences are not life-threatening, nor are they life-long. They pass, they change, they manifest into other situations. Often times, a better option than the one we were so stressed about originally.
Our only task here is to learn. If we observe our journey as a path of education, not one of burdens, the weight of the lessons we carry doesn’t seem as heavy as it maybe did when we first started out.
I leave you now with this view of a fountain in downtown Eugene. And the reminder that, we are fortunate. In honour of those who have gone before us, let’s practice our gratitude, daily.