Last summer I was boarding a plane from Paris back to the States after spending the summer working in a refugee camp in northern France. With 15 minutes 'til boarding closed, I realized I'd left my water bottle at security. I explained to the attendants that I had to go back for something very important, so they allowed me to leave the line but stressed that I risked missing my flight. So I ran, out of the terminal, through all the shops, down two flights of stairs, back to security. Thankfully I found it and made it back in time to board. When the attendants I had spoken with saw what I had had to retrieve, what I'd risked missing the flight over, they were visibly puzzled. I couldn't explain myself, partially from being so flustered and out of breath, but I know my love for this beat-up Nalgene shone through a contented smile.
: my water bottle. It's not flashy or something I imagine will last long enough to pass on to my next of kin. It's scratched, the strap's broken off, all the stickers are wearing away. But it's not so much the object itself that I cherish as much as it's the mementos and messages from my life that circle the exterior. I have things I want to say to the world plastered all over it. My water bottle will tell you about who I am, where I've been, and what I stand for just by turning it full circle. It has layer upon layer of images and sayings that have taught me something or reminded me of the truth every time I take a sip. It's been a conversation starter, a teaching tool, and a great travel companion.
At this point in my life, I don't feel very settled. Moving between my hometown, my university, wherever I might some day end up, and all the locations in between, it's hard to feel truly grounded. Even now, I'm far from home with an unfamiliar everything surrounding me. But this water bottle, at all times so precious to me and so common place to everyone else, reminds me of so many things that I love, that motivate me, that challenge me to never stop seeking after justice. Not to mention, it keeps me pretty hydrated #holdontothis