February 03, 2007

Hot water and sunshine

Shower curtain photo

Throughout the month of February, my feet are cold. Not just my feet, but my neck, my hands, and my forehead. Cold seeps from the icicles that hang from roofs, from the snow drifted against fences and bushes, from the salty slush that splatters along the roadways; winter chill creeps into my bones. Usually, I combat this chill with aerobic exercise. Snowshoeing or cross-country skiing can force blood to pump warmth all the way to my toes. But today, with a knee injury keeping me still, I decided to try the one remedy that doesn't involve legwork: a hot bath.

On a Saturday morning, with the teenagers asleep and my husband off at an annual meeting, I had the sunny bathroom all to myself. Just locking the door gave me that feeling of peace: I was alone. Steam rose from the water as the tub filled, water as hot as I could get.

How luxurious to soak in hot water, the sun catching the shower curtain that I'd pushed to the side, sun brushing my arms with warmth when I reached over the side of the tub to pick up my book. When the water cooled just a little, I turned on the faucet to add more hot water, the heat splashing onto my feet until my toes turned red. Even when I was a little kid, I always loved a hot bath, loved to run my soapy hands along my slippery skin, admire my legs as I twisted and turned them in the clear water. I don't use bubble bath because I am allergic to it, so the water stays as clear as rain gathered in the smooth indentation of island rock.

The scent of lavender filled the room as I sudsed my hair, piling foamy wet strands on top of my head. I've got lots of hair, long and thick and wavy, so it feels different to have it all mashed together. The sun from the window touched the back of my neck, sending warm tingles down my spine. I played with my soapy hair, pulling it into all kinds of silly sculptured hairstyles: hair filled with shampoo is more fun than modeling clay. Wet tendrils dropped to tickle my throat.

The house was quiet. No sound came from behind the white painted door, no noise from the blue and white world outside the window. In the steamy heat, I could close my eyes against the flood of sun and imagine that I was lying on the grey rock of a river island, basking in the heat of summer.

19 comments:

Life&Times said...

How wonderful it must be to have a sunny bathroom. Most of my baths take place at night, but there's something really wonderful about bathing in the sunshine (some day I want an outdoor shower in my backyard!).

jo(e) said...

life×: Yes, sunshine makes everything better. When we built our house, that was my main concern: putting windows in places to take advantage of the natural light.

Anonymous said...

Is this another self-portait?

SR

jo(e) said...

SR: Yes. It's sort of funny to see the back of my shoulders -- since I don't get to see them in real life. I didn't know I had freckles. The front of me is not freckled at all.

I always wondered who Shaggy Hair got his freckles from.

Monae said...

Hello...I had to come and leave you a comment in your blog. I have been reading it for quite a while. You might say that I have been lurking around and today I had to come and tell you that I enjoy reading your entries. Your blog is like reading one of my favorite books on my bookshelf that I want to read again and again and again no matter how many times I've read it. I love coming and seeing what else you will share with those of us who visit you. I hope you have a very wonderful Sunday. Until then...take care.

liz said...

I love this picture.

jo(e) said...

Thanks, Monae. It's always nice to hear from a lurker.

kate5kiwis said...

i've only recently rediscovered the joy of candlelit baths. i have had about twenty bath-free years, and now my sanity has returned. there's a fab shop in The Big Smoke that has LUSH bath bombs and they smell d-i-v-i-n-e. but the locked door is a must, i agree, nothing like the patter of tiny feet to disturb one's ambience. reminds me of mrs large in one of my fave books.

kate5kiwis said...

oh, me again.
i have to say that i pictured you with *short* hair lol.
but long and wavy is definitely the hip momma imnsho

Billie said...

Very nice pic! I love the sunniness of your bathroom (as others noted). Nice composition, too. (Oh, and now I have to go take a pic of a shower curtain.) ;-)

jo(e) said...

kate5kiwis: That's funny that you pictured me with short hair -- I haven't had short hair since kindergarten.

Billie: Thanks. Yes, I think the shower curtain photo is a meme now.

Unfortunately, I only have a point and shoot camera so I couldn't capture the sunlight the way I would have liked ....

zelda1 said...

I love hot baths and sit there until the water cools, and then add more hot water. I do the same thing in the summer but with cold water.

ppb said...

allergic to bubble bath? that's a sin.h

Yankee, Transferred said...

How is it possible that you produce this quality of writing every.single.day?

I am so envious.

Great photo, great post, terrific blog.

jodie said...

Jo(e),

You only have a "point and shoot" camera?!

Is your word processor a point and shoot processor too?

I love your compositions. Your writing paints delicious pictures, and your photos tell such warm stories... Funny how you do that, tease the warmth out from a scene of snow and ice.

Jodie

ccw said...

I am warmed just reading about your bath. Sounds like a little slice of heaven.

Mary Stebbins Taitt said...

Ah, how relaxing and sweet. It's been years since I've had a hot bath--sounds wonderful. But not today--we're having a windchill day and a bunch of seventh-grade boys are running rampant through the house.

Silver Creek Mom said...

awww my favorite place to be alone and to read. I block out the whole world while I'm in there. And let myself devel deep into my books.

Sanity in a crazy world.

timna said...

I'm painting the kitchen yellow these days. It feels like adding sunshine.

Great picture, jo(e)!