The Water Bill
The middle of the month is when I pay my bills. Only one monthly bill remains where I am required to write a check… the water bill. It still surprises me that a necessary and powerful organization like a water district does not have online payment services. It is literally the only check I write each month. I wonder why they are so late to adopt online payment processes. “Water” is not just an old-fashioned product, in particular – our water district intricately measures output and conservation. My water district was even awarded “Most Water Wise City” for the 2nd year in a row. Clearly conservation and preservation are important to our community. And yet, each month, 20,000 paper bills are sent out and 20,000 paper checks are sent back utilizing letter postage twice in the process. Maybe I am not old-fashioned enough. Maybe I am too forward thinking, but then again, maybe I am selfish and just want to streamline my bill paying process.
I guess in the whole grand configuration of things, it doesn’t really matter – does it? I recently wrote of how I had died in an ER 25 years ago. I had been dead for several minutes before being revived. Today as I wrote my one and only check to Laguna Beach County Water District and stuffed it in an envelope, I grumbled a bit until I remembered that it doesn’t really matter. I shouldn’t really complain about writing a check when I have the money to back up that check and I live in a house with running water and heat. Nor should I complain because I can still see well enough to write that check, I do need to have my glasses on – but I can still see. And I can still walk on my own into my local post office and buy a book of stamps. And I can pour myself a glass of water whenever I want. I am alive. I am here to watch my kids grow up and 25 years ago – I almost wasn’t.
It is good to gain and regain perspective over and over again. It is good to be reminded during this time of year of all that we have to be thankful for, that there are those who are less fortunate and there are those whose lives you bless, even if with just a smile or handshake. It is so easy to get caught up in the lights, the carols, the sales, the colors, the profound noises of Christmas. But on that day, when wrapping paper is thrown away or decorations are packed up for another year, what matters is the love you shared and the breath you released. You are alive – you have lessons left to learn and they are all around you. As intricate and varied as individual snowflakes, your life lesson is just for you and mine is just for me. We each choose what we see and what we retain – what our lesson will be.
A Few More Lessons
I think I still have a few more to learn and interestingly enough, I am eager for the lesson(s). I still draw from my death, eager to embrace the changes I have yet to make. But reminders are good. So, this year, the lights will remind me to be bright. The music will remind me to be happy. The traffic and frustrations will remind me to be careful. And the water bill will remind to be thankful for all that I have and for all that I can share. It isn’t the end of the world to have to write out a check. I have a hand that can hold a pen.
Be surprised that you have eyes that can open. Look at the sky – note how different it is from moment to moment. This day is unique… Like the life-giving water, if only you will drink.
Simple gratitude – take ten and find your gratitude. Then, it will really be a good day.
“Gratitude is an art of painting an adversity into a lovely picture.” – Kak Sri
by Rayanne Thorn