Most men have a love-hate relationship with shaving. Depending on the morning, I can be on either side of that discussion. Either way, almost every morning, part of my daily ritual is to pour a coffee cup of hot water and shave in the bathroom sink before getting ready and attacking the day. I haven’t always used a coffee cup to shave, it only started two years ago. In the spring of 2018, my wife and I took a much needed weeklong vacation to the southwest. Over the course of a week in May, we hiked in Death Valley, the Mojave Desert, and into the Grand Canyon. We logged almost fifty trail miles in four different states. During the trip, I was struck with how much I took water for granted. Hiking in the water-rich mountains of Western North Carolina is fundamentally different from hiking in the southwest. Each hike we planned had to be thought through. Your life depended on knowing where essential water points were located. At one of those water points in the Grand Canyon, a small cliff chipmunk waited at the faucet for a passing hiker to leave the water running for an extra second. As the faucet dripped, he carefully caught each and every drop that he could. Water was scarce, and that scarcity magnified our appreciation of every ounce we poured in our bottles. So, shaving from my coffee cup reminds me not to forget that this water is a blessing.
Scarcity is an interesting concept. Scarcity can be seen in a visit to a grocery store just before a snowstorm, trying to find bread or milk. You can catch a glimpse after a gulf hurricane when fuel pipelines in the south get disrupted, and everyone heads to the pump for fuel at the same time. We have all witnessed it in the last few months looking for toilet paper, paper towels, or hand sanitizer. Many times, moments of crisis make us appreciate the things we have taken for granted.
In the last few months, I have found myself far more thankful for things I have taken for granted than possibly at any time in my life. From the roll of Quilted Northern in the bathroom to our take-out latte from Orchard Coffee, I am more cognizant of those blessings. For the last two years, I have referred to these moments of appreciation as coffee cup moments. When we returned from our southwest vacation, I promptly found an appropriate sized coffee cup and placed it next to my bathroom sink. I have been using it to conserve water when I shave every morning since our return. Every morning, the coffee cup reminds me that I have been blessed, but with that blessing comes an obligation to conserve those valuable resources and only use what I need. Wastefulness comes when we are blinded by our abundance. As life begins to return to normal, I challenge you to find your own coffee cup moments and recognize the blessings that might have been missed.
Working Title- Scarcity: Ponderings from a Cup of Chin Stubble… Angela Dove helps edit these with me and she told me that I could not, under any circumstances, use that title! She usually gives me great advice so I am going to trust her.