Yikes, it’s been so long since I’ve written regularly! I’m a busy bee. I’m taking a writing class for the next couple of weeks about structuring the personal narrative, and our first assignment was to write an ode to an object. So, naturally, I wrote to bubble baths! Here it is 🙂
Bubble baths, especially lavender ones, are a salve for the tired and weary body and soul. The are particularly meaningful and comforting to me because of the circumstances under which I discovered them, but more on that later.
The moment I turn the dials and hear water start to course through pipes, anticipation sets in. The scent of lavender explodes into the bathroom as the purple-tinted liquid bubbles are poured through the cascading water, from the spigot into the rapidly filling tub below. Bubbles appear then, as if summoned by magic (but really, it’s science).
As the tub fills, I strike a cheap match and use its sulfurous flame to light the charred wick of the candle I keep in the bathroom for the purpose of romanticizing my bath time. It sputters to life and I blow out the match with one quick, flame-retardant puff of air.
The tub is now full, and oh, the anticipation! My bubbles await me. I dunk a couple toes in first to ensure I won’t be scalded by hot water or surprised with cold. My Goldilocks toes determine that the water is juuust right. It happens quickly after that – feet and ankles submerge, followed by backside as I lower myself gingerly into the fragrant, pillow-topped water.
Suddenly, tiny bumps besiege every conceivable inch of my flesh as the hot water hits and reacts with every tiny nerve I have. The water displaces and makes room for me to burrow into its belly, swallowing me up whole. The bumps of initial contact sink back from whence they came, and an “ahhhh” sound escapes from my dewy lips, almost without my permission.
The bubbles move around on the water’s surface to accommodate the parts of me that don’t fit beneath the water in my tiny, 1960s-sized bathtub. I watch as these bubble islands connect and disconnect in ever-shifting patterns. Isn’t science beautiful?
I relax into my bath pillow and allow the scent of lilacs and the sensation of hot water on skin to take me away for a couple moments, eyes closed. Then, slowly, I stretch and awaken, ready for whatever activity I’ve planned for bath time today. Most often, there’s a book next to the tub, ready to be held carefully above the water as its pages carry me away to another world.
As I read, I slowly move a leg, foot, or set of toes to observe the tiny maelstroms of water form and move away from the offending body part. The sound of tiny waves calms me, and the spongy sound of colliding bubbles plays lightly with my eardrums.
Bubble baths are safe places. Alone in the bathroom, adrift in lavender bubbles, the mind can easily wander wherever it likes. That, in tandem with the calming sensations and scents, allows thoughts and feelings to flow without risk of being seen and heard. Yes, I’ve done some of my very best thinking and feeling in the bubble bath.
Another thing I’m very good at doing in the bubble bath is grieving. Grief prefers such quiet, safe moments to come out, you see. It’s always there, nestled somewhere within, waiting for the right moment to be felt. To you, maybe this sounds like a reason to dislike bubble baths. I mean, grief is not an easy feeling. Its many layers of love and sadness and hope and pain jumble together in a deeply complicated emotion. Grievers, though, need to feel and process that jumble of feelings to heal. So, if grief wants to come to me during my baths, I welcome it with an open heart and calmed mind.
The hot water of bubble baths is also an incredible healer of sore and broken human bodies. I let it relax and soothe sore joints and any other physical ailments I may feel that day.
Oh, how I love bubble baths! I discovered their powers in a time of immense physical and emotional pain and grief, and I will never forget how my body healed and my spirit began its long journey of discovery and rejuvenation, one lavender bubble bath at a time.