I’ve always been a seeker of peace; it took me awhile to admit this was part of me.
It started in 8th grade: due to split shifts because of overcrowding in our district, I didn’t start school until 1045am. That meant at 6am, my parents and sister were gone. I had the place to myself. As a loner and one who lived in a very high strung and loud household, I began to understand my need for peace. I found it and ran with it.
Every Friday during this period, I would do what I would call a Spa Day: I woke up at 7am and went for a run. Then, I would come home and draw myself a bath: complete with bubbles, a candle burning, and a the most chill CD I could find. I’d play music and soak – it was heaven. Then I’d do a deep conditioning hair treatment and put on a mud mask on my face – a capstone to my peaceful morning.
And then, I’d head to the bus stop.
After my bout with COVID, I decided to repeat the experience.
On my last day of quarantine, after my husband left for work, I went for a run. The dreary days of winter were here, but it didn’t stop me. I went much further than I usually would, to test my lungs and stamina – sitting on a couch for ten days was not good for one’s fitness. I felt fine. I returned and drew a hot bath into the master bedroom’s soaker tub. I dumped a bunch of epsom salts in it and lit an unscented candle in a visually pleasing holder. I also put in a bath bomb – the label said it was lemon scented – but I only noticed it turned the water a relaxing shade of yellow-green. With my bluetooth speaker, I played a YouTube binaural beats track to further relax my soul. Even thought it was 9am, I poured myself an airplane bottle of Crown Royal. I don’t keep alcohol in the house, and why I had two airplane bottles of Crown – I don’t even like Canadian whiskey – was a mystery to me. I sipped it neat as if it were a vintage cognac. I couldn’t taste it, but I could feel its warmth in my mouth.
I sat in the tub for awhile, until the hot water turned cold. I had every intention to read my latest novel, taking place outside of Ypres in 1914, but I never picked it up. I simply sat and enjoyed the three senses I had left: hearing, sight, and touch. Tears fell from my eye and I let myself feel every inch of the sadness that was permeating through me. Sadness of losing the last ten days to sickness. Sadness of not knowing what would happen with my job. Sadness at my loss of taste/smell. Sadness for being at a loss of control. For someone who was accustomed to calling the shots, this was a lot to take in. The candle and water color appealed to my sense of sight; the 100mL of Crown and the warm water, my sense of touch. The binaural beat of the relaxing tones, my sense of hearing.
This is my new reality.
And I’ve decided I need to do this once a week – sans alcohol – I’m really quite serious about not keeping it in the house.
I must say after the epsom salt soak, I feel renewed.
Onward and upward, my friends.