For some reason taking a bath has appeared in my life as an issue. You know how things sometimes just appear, seemingly out of nowhere?
Not sure, really, of the details about how this happened but, at a certain point, it just became a thing.
I could blame it on relishing hundred-year-old stories about the absolute necessity of an English gentleman having a bath before dressing for dinner.
I could talk about seeing a news story about how a nice long soak was as good for your muscles as aerobic exercise.
We could explore why the Asian builders of our railways insisted in the evenings on soaking in a big communal bath heated with bonfires.
Or we could learn from the daughter of a friend of mine, who enjoys her baths with candles, music, sipping whiskey, and sometimes company.
These are all enticing bits and pieces contributing to the emerging understanding that I want a bath!
Thing is though, I have been taking showers exclusively for decades. I can’t remember the last time I sat in a bathtub. Maybe trying out some Umbra bubble bath or something? Not recently though, that’s for sure.
And, not to put too fine a point on it, I have allowed a certain level of strength and flexibility to fade in various aspects of my physical body.
Let’s not forget that I was indoctrinated very early on with the ideas of science and evolution, not to mention psychoanalysis and inevitable pathology.
So, as chastening as it may seem, I was not sure that I could easily get into and out of the tub, and this and other perceived limitations figured in all of these calculations and computations.
The wonderful news to report today is that we have just had the first proper bath in decades. The feeling of the hot water sloshing over my body was as delightful and mesmerizing as I remembered.
And I was able to lie down and submerge my head. Funny to re-experience what happens to our hearing when we do that. We clearly enter another dimension.
Getting in and out was doable, if not elegant, and it felt wonderful to relish all the feelings of having a bath.
Maybe some of the assumptions we have been making about being a certain age are not set in stone. What if strength and vigour, flexibility and vitality could all be experienced far into old age?
Having a nice bath is one thing, but who knows what else I can do?