In the summer of 2018, my husband and I redid our bathroom.
This was not a frivolous remodel. Before the remodel, the toilet was pink with
a seat that could barely accommodate an adult toosh, there was an empty space
where a washer and dryer had been before, complete with a hole in the wall. There was a
standard tub (the kind where if you fill it up, it just covers your belly
button) and a ‘medicine cabinet’ that was closed by using a pleated shade.
The kitchen had been redone in 2016, right after Rob and I
returned from our honeymoon in Italy (that insane remodel is a post for another
day). My husband and I met and married shortly after he turned 50 and when I
was 57. I had moved into his house and as I told him, if the kitchen and bath
had been remodeled when he lived in that home with another women, we would have had to demolish it or move. The place needed to be ours.
Our new bathroom was a labor of love. We blew the budget on
a tile floor that looks like driftwood, found a granite countertop after months
of searching, and we bought a new soaking tub. We hung a shower curtain that we
had found in Salida and I hung my photography on the walls.
All because I’ve always loved baths.
When I moved into my own townhouse condo in Boulder in 2010, I took countless baths, though my tub was
one step above the home builder’s standard special. I
went through some tough times a year or so after I moved, the death of a close
friend and the loss of a romantic relationship. My anxiety was high, and the
only way I could fall asleep was to soak in the tub right before bed, the candles lit and lights
off with a glass of wine in hand. Sometimes when I was particularly sad, I
would look up towards the shower head and speak to people I had loved who were now
So, this new tub of ours was a big deal. A few friends
couldn’t see the point in a tub and my husband may or may not have agreed with
them, but he did want me to be happy so we picked out a tub that fit in the
existing space, but that could be filled until only my chin was above water.
My body has found its way to the tub just about every day.
Candles or not, nighttime or mid-day, music or only the sound of my legs
shifting in the water. Sometimes I read, sometimes I just think.
Though I’ve always loved baths, I never had the time for
them when my children were young. It wasn’t until they were in high school and
beyond that I felt I could take the time to luxuriate in the water,
with or without bubbles.
I meditate, read, doze, think deep thoughts in the tub, but
most of all, I am still.
Water is magical. The soothing qualities, the moments when
we distance ourselves from life, times when we allow stillness to bring peace to a racing mind.
As a little girl, I spent hours in my grandparents
above-ground pool. I would hose myself off with cold water before jumping in so
that the unheated water of the pool felt warm and then I’d pretend I was a
mermaid. Or a friend and I would play underwater tea party, dipping below with
our eyes open and listening to our disembodied voices. Summers meant eyes
reddened by chlorine, falling asleep with wet hair and the warm, muggy air
lulling us to sleep. To this day my memories are tugged in a positive direction
when I smell chlorine.
I dread the day when I am too old or feeble to safely enter
and exit the tub. Perhaps my daughters will gently guide my aging body into warm
water and not be frightened or disturbed by my wrinkles and sags.
The tub is also a place where I come face to face with my body, in all it’s beauty and imperfections. It is where I find peace in the present. I am ageless and weightless.
Take a bath.