I twist the knobs for the water to start and adjust to the hottest setting. It surges out like a cascade of emotional release. Cold at first, then slowly beginning to steam. I peel the clothing from my body. Shedding the weight of each item like a piece of heavy armor and grateful for the naked relief. I stick one toe into the stream beyond the glass door, gingerly at first, testing the temperature and my own readiness. The grace of that simple movement is lost as I plunge headfirst under the sting of the spray.
It takes a mere moment for my tender skin to adjust to the shock of the scalding water before every part of me begins to melt into the immediate relaxation that washes over me. All is quiet but for the steady acoustics of this torrential shower and my breathing, both finding cadence with the beating of my heart. I stand, hands limp at my sides, eyes closed. Allowing the tension of the past few days to rinse away from me.
It feels cathartic, this release. I let go of the weight of all things beyond me. No one needs me at this moment: to settle an argument over sharing, to help wipe a bottom or a nose, to remind of household rules about standing on the couch, to answer a question, to comfort a cry, to provide a snack or refill a cup.
The only cup I need to refill right now is my own.
Minutes stretch and lengthen like my tired muscles as the heat seeps under my skin. I inhale the steam, turn my face toward the shower head and let the water smooth over me like a million contained tears all letting free of what’s been holding them back. The water, my nakedness – it exposes all vulnerability.
Suddenly, I feel renewed. No longer weak and broken as I was before I crossed into this humid oasis. I am stronger now. Refreshed. Dirt and sweat and disappointment released to the mercy of the small silver drain at my feet. It swallows up all of my shortcomings in gulps and gasps. My spirit burns brighter. I am cleansed of the days before.
Lingering as long as my conscious allows, I soak up the lasting goodness. The water replenishing my soul and spirit – giving me the strength to push onward.
This excerpt is a free-write from my journal as prompted by my 40-days of writing the every day challenge. There are 40 different words to inspire writing on the everyday moments of life. It just so happened on the day our prompt was WATER – I got to enjoy a long relaxing shower while my husband played with the kids. It had been a long and fairly stressful few days.
One of my favorite things about free-writing is how it often allows me the opportunity to find different perspectives.
This particular excerpt was so helpful in reminding me of how a simple act of self-care can allow such a release of tension for me. To think of turning a routine everyday (well, mostly every day) experience into something that feels more like a ritual is so empowering and renewing!
Here’s to pushing onward!