Sunday, September 12, 2010


I have a small confession to make.

Over the last few days I have taken to indulging in long showers. Not very long showers, just longer than the regulation four minutes. I stand there with hands on the taps, the water so soothing and hot and delicious, chasing dirt, sadness and pain away as it pelts gently against my weary self. I just. can't. turn the taps off.

Of course I do eventually. One can't stay in the shower forever... but those stolen moments are like a watery sanctuary, a sweet slice of heaven in my day.

I confess this because, by force of habit, I feel a little guilty about long showers. Australia has just been through a long drought. Where I live the water supply was healthy and we did not experience any water restrictions. For others, a shower of any length became a distant dream as their water tanks and resevoirs ran dry. I took short showers in a show of solidarity - a sort of 'all for one and one for all' sympathy dip.

So now half of Australia is flooding, the dams are full, the giant Murray River flows once more and we can all have showers for as long as we like. Well, for now anyway.

But what about other parts of the world? Many people don't even have water. If they do, they don't have clean water. They certainly don't have a tap piping it into their homes and channeling it down over their golden heads. Quite possibly they are too busy eaking out an existence to have ever thought of standing under running water for the joy of it - a quick splash and they are off to earn their next few cents.

Suddenly my shower, the one I take as a given (even when I duck in and out of the water), seems rather luxurious.

I'm not going to stop showering because other people can't - this is my reality. However I can take steps to ensure other people have access to clean water and don't live in abject poverty. And when I do indulge myself, I now breathe a prayer of thankfulness. For water, infrastructure that brings it to me, a safe house and the luxury of time to stop and enjoy.

Thank you

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