Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Raindrops Keep Falling (Please?)

I've always been a bath kind of gal.

I can think of different reasons why this could be so. Perhaps I'm too lazy to stand and bathe. Maybe I crave the feel of the womb. I don't know. But for years upon years upon pruny-fingered years, I've been partial to sitting in a lovely large tub full of hot water.

And then, as life is known to do, it suddenly changed.

I look at my bathtub now, and think about hopping in with a mound of bath salts and other sweet treats. But more often than not, I pass it by. What was once my haven of solitude and luxury is now just a large chasm in the bathroom that I must clean. I don't mean to be unkind to sweet Bathtub. It has given so much, and asked only that I fill it with high quality soaps and bubbles and appreciate its open arms. But right now, it just isn't delivering the high-powered punch into stress that it used to.

Now, I look to the shower. (Que sweet music from on high)

I've been wondering what in the name of all of Sephora's bath aisle would cause me to swiftly and wholeheartedly switch a long-held allegiance to Bathtub.

I was thinking about this a few days ago when I stepped eagerly into the shower. I am not a morning person. I don't want you to talk to me in the morning, and I will immediately hate you and all your descendants if you sing before 10 A.M. I know this about myself, and I also know that in order to get Austin to work at the wretched hour of the morning he demands, I have to bite the early morning bullet. So I try to make things as easy as possible. I put outfits out for the kids and myself, I write a list of what last minute items need to go in Moira's lunchbox, and I have developed a killer early morning glare. Another contributing factor to my ability to function at Unholy O'clock is lighting. I can't have direct sunlight, and would really love to have my closet on a dimmer switch. I have lovely white Christmas lights all around my bathroom that give a soft glow in the early morning. They are welcoming, never harsh, and altogether delightful each and every time I plug them in. So, I let the twinkly lights work their magic while I disrobed and waited for the water to reach optimum temperature.
And then...I stood under the soothing deluge of water that was a little too hot for comfort. I leaned my weary head against the tile, and was thankful for the quiet. It was soft, it was soothing, it didn't ask me to do anything but be grateful. I turned to let the clear drops trickle down my neck and loosen my tired shoulders. From this view, I saw the beads hit the window and run in tiny rivulets to meet, eventually, and pool at my feet.

And then, like a flash of lightning, I understood.

I like showers, love showers, talk to Shower because it is rain. At the touch of a button, at the twist of a dial, I have at my beck and call an element of nature that I find peaceful and good.

I've long joked that I suffer from anti Seasonal Affective Disorder. Most people get sad when they haven't seen the sun in weeks. I get sad when I haven't seen the rain. My 'sunny' days are grey and misty and cloudy, and on those days my spirits soar and feel, simply, happy. My sister says that I'm pessimistic and negative and might be a vampire. Be that as it may, I feel most at ease when the sky looks a little bit sad.
We are all born with certain likes and dislikes, and I'm going to guess that I was born a rainophile. I certainly don't remember being handed a thousand dollars during a rainstorm or learning that the cure for cancer was on its way while being drenched in a heavenly downpour. I don't have any specific associations of rapture and rain other than rain makes me rapturous.

I named my daughter Sabra Rain, if that shows you how much I'm not kidding. For some reason I wanted her name to be peaceful, and I looked up the word 'peace' in every language except Sanskrit. None of these options seemed to fit, though. The word peace itself doesn't actually make me feel peaceful. So I started to think about what made me feel at ease with the world, and just plain quiet and calm within the maze of my being. There's tea...trip to London...good wine...and rain. As names go, I didn't think Tea Good Wine Cagle was going to be a good choice for my daughter.

Well, you now know that I'm somewhat of a rain worshipper, and might be inclined to do a rain dance when the notion hits. You might deduce that a largely pregnant woman with two asthmatic kids and a very sensible spouse might not engage in raindancing as often as she would like. For now, the days of taking a jog while the fully evolved emo part of my soul bathed its wings in diamond dew are on the backburner. Likewise, the days of dancing in the rain are in the backseat with my kids, dirty coffee mugs, uniform socks, stuffed animals with coffee stains, crumpled art papers, and unidentifiable car debris. I fully intend on taking those cups inside to the sink, those animals to the washing machine (trash can). But...there just isn't time or energy to do it all every day.
So in lieu of my deep-seated need to commune with nature in her most daring and creative of elements, I am obsessed with my friend Shower. So far, I'm not in over my head in an OCD manner that leaves my hands chapped and my hair constantly dripping. I don't tell friends that I can't come over because I have a date with Shower.
All the same, it is the main contributing factor as to why I can get out of bed in the morning. I'm too tired at quarter til Too Early AM to think about what I'm going to make for breakfast (nothing, always nothing) or what exciting phone calls I'll get to patch through by the day's end. Instead I'm just thinking that if I can stumble to the black and white tiled room that in my mind has a lovely chandelier, all will be at peace. If I can just plug the lights in, they will slowly wink at me and let me ease slowly into a day that may or may not be easy. If I can turn the faucet's direction to Scorching Hot and manage to not trip again on the shower curtain, I can surely make it.
And I stand there, and I stare at the soft little rivers of water bubbling down the sides of the shower tile. The steam rises, my shoulders remember that one time at the spa, and in my mind I'm somewhat at peace.
It isn't much, folks. It is certainly a far cry from letting your guard down while jogging into the spray of a summer rain, and running faster and faster until the stress melts in a puddle that you leave far behind. But until I'm able to get those coffee cups indoors, I'm going to have to take what I can get.


Lori Buck said...

I've had a love affair with the shower since I was about 12. I am a 20 minute minimum, scalding hot water kind of girl. I am wholly incapable of waking without said Shower. I consider it my "Spa" time and the only time in the day that I actually get a few moments to myself. Ah, glorious shower, I could speak of you forever...

On a sad note, with three kids there are days that I don't get to take one. I forsake my lover, Shower, for my other lover, Sleep. It is a sad, sad day when I can't have them both. (Okay, that sounded way dirtier than I meant it, but I am going to leave it, b/c it will probably make you laugh. And I'm pretty sure you could use a good chuckle.)

Katie said...

My sunny days are overcast too...lovely, light-jacket days - crisp and cool with the hope of soft drizzle... **sigh**