26 October 2008

Gratitude for everyday things

A few days ago I forgot to take my wallet to work with me. I didn't realise that I didn't have it with me until I left work at lunch time (it was my half day). It was a hot day and so I decided to catch the bus home. When I looked in my bag for my wallet containing my smart-rider card, it wasn't there. For a few seconds I wondered if it had been stolen, but then thinking back, I realised that I hadn't put the wallet in my bag that morning as I usually do.
Since I didn't have either my smart-rider or any change (I keep my change in my wallet), I couldn't catch the bus. That wasn't a huge problem. I quite often walk home. But then as I was walking home I realised that I didn't have my door keys either. They're attached to my wallet. So I wouldn't be able to get into the house. And I didn't have any money to buy lunch. My credit cards are also in my wallet.
I thought about calling my husband or one of my daughters. But my mobile phone was also in my wallet, and I didn't have any change to use a pay-phone. Suddenly all the things I'd been planning for that afternoon were no longer possible. I wouldn't be able to get into the house until my daughter came home at four o'clock. My neighbours weren't home. I was hungry, but I had no way of buying food. I could call on a friend, but I'd have to walk to their place, with no guarantee that they'd be around since I couldn't phone them first, and I was already tired from the walk home.
For a few short hours, I had a minor experience of what it must feel like to be destitute. I had none of the things that usually make my life easy - money, credit cards, mobile phone, a home, food. My situation wasn't desperate. I had access to the garden, including water and a chair to sit on. But I was hot, tired, and hungry and I was without resources to do anything about it. I found myself thinking almost desperately about where I could find something to eat, even though I sometimes skip lunch.
After drinking water from the tap and sitting in the garden for a while, I felt refreshed enough to walk to the friend's house, and was thankful to find them home. But I was even more thankful for the things I usually take for granted.

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