Running water. Somebody designed a way to allow it to flow from a water way directly into our houses. And not just to one spot in my Conshohocken, PA, home, but at least four: the kitchen, two bathrooms and a spigot for hosing plants outdoors.
What a senior senator from Rome would have given to bathe like me. His weight in gold, perhaps.
And, what if he learned that pipes, metal (or plastic) tubes, not only serve in bringing water into the first floor, but also the second floor of my house? That engineers and architects have designed ways to provide water to the highest floor man has been able to build into “sky scrapers” these days.
I thought of this while showering today. Hot water. I commanded hot water into coming out a spigot and onto my body. Only the rich and famous could afford such a luxury 2,000 years ago. They used slaves to carry and pour bucket after bucket of water onto them. Water warmed in cooking rooms. We living in the 21st Century can only imagine what it would have cost in labor and man-hours to provide royalty and the “upper” classes such treatment.
I now have it at my fingertips. I push a lever to switch water from coming out at the bottom of a tub and make it gush from the wall above my head in a “shower” of cascading hot liquid. I visualize Nicholas Cage in a movie he starred as an angel who gave up his Celestial wings to become human for the love of a mortal woman, and was physically beaten by thugs here on earth. Should have gotten an Academy Award for the next scene he played while taking a shower for the first time in his human life. Oh, the pleasure, the comfort, the “easing” of suffering a hot shower provided him!
He showed that an everyday shower could offer the calmness, the peace, the gentleness that only a God full of Love would have thought to reserve for his Beloved Creatures.
Do we derive such pleasure in a shower because our backs are sensitive? That our arms and hands can not reach our back to soothe it? That only a shower is able to nurture an area that carries so many cares, worries, daily burdens? Is the shower a way by which the Almighty washes away all concerns, anxieties, and past transgressions as simply as that?
All you need do is submit. Surrender. Let Go. Like attending a Mass in a war zone of Vietnam and a priest grants you blanket absolution for all sins committed up until then — without a full-blown confession. You’re clean again. Pure. Whole.
Caress soap, what beautiful smell to mix with water, and Head and Shoulders shampoo and conditioner. It’s invigorating on my skin. And now the soft, fluffy cotton of a towel. Julius Caesar could never know how good I have it.
What a soft, cushioning rug to step on. And light above to allow me to see this “bath” room. A mirror. When did someone first create one? Deodorant? Relatively new, perhaps created in just the past 100 years or so.
Ah, now for the facial hair. Mascara. Yeah, I use it to darken my goatee. My father used a pencil to darken his white moustache. Like to say I do it more for a protective measure than as a part of vanity. Can’t let any young bucks think this old body is slowing down. OK. I admit. It does make me look and feel younger, more in touch with my emotional age rather than my biological one.
The closer I can get to that child-like innocence, the better I’ll be in appreciating such small miracles like a shower.