For five years now, I’ve lived without running water. It’s an interesting existence and not uncommon in Fairbanks, Alaska.
I haul water home in 5-gallon jugs. I collect rain water for my garden in the summer.
I heat water on my electric stove to wash my face or clean dishes.
I usually shower at the gym or the university or the laundromat or at a friend’s house, whichever seems more convenient.
It’s not necessarily an easy way to live, but there’s a simplicity in this kind of lifestyle.
And along the way, I’ve learned a few lessons:
I appreciate more what I have than what I don’t have.
I’m less concerned about my looks.
I know how to conserve. I live it every day.
I understand that some things, like washing dishes, just take time. I am patient.
Sometimes it’s okay to use paper plates and paper coffee filters.
Houses don’t need to be perfect to feel like home.
But sometimes a good cleaning makes everything seem brighter.
Don’t neglect the small tasks in life, because they can catch up to you.
Always remember to check to see if the slop bucket needs to be emptied.
But if you forget, that’s okay. Messes can be cleaned up.
Good friends don’t mind if I get naked at their homes. They understand.
Really good friends always have clean towels.
And body scrub.
It’s okay to neglect yourself, but not others.
It’s time to go for a water run when the dog’s water dish is nearly empty.
Warm water is cathartic and rejuvenating.
Fancy things are really just fancy things.
You can’t put a price tag on the things that really matter.
Septic systems are expensive.
Naked men make every experience better.
Naked women too.
“People say that what we’re all seeking is a meaning for life. I don’t think that’s what we’re really seeking. I think that what we’re seeking is an experience of being alive, so that our life experiences on the purely physical plane will have resonances within our own innermost being and reality, so that we actually feel the rapture of being alive. That’s what it’s all finally about, and that’s what these clues help us to find within ourselves.”
- Joseph Campbell and the Power of Myth (with Bill Moyers)