We had some much needed rain over the past several days, and I found myself in a constant state of gratitude as the earth took in the life giving waters. While I ponder the joy of the plant life receiving nature’s life giving elixir, it reminded me of a “simple pleasure” that I sadly took for granted. Right now I am going to assume, not wise, but I am willing to bet most have taken for granted the same daily delight ~ the morning shower.
After my accident I spent my mornings being refreshed by a routine bed bath. I always had the best of care, so I am not implying that I was swiped quickly with a damp cloth, left to air dry and patted on the head. Quit the opposite, I was lovingly scrubbed from head to toe, and all parts pampered and polished like the Royal Jewels. As it did take time, the conversations that took place over my nakedness covered more topics than a United Nations Assembly, and laughter seemed to flow from the room during these blessed exchanges.
After twenty four years of these morning “coffee conferences,” a state organization transformed my bathroom, and a roll-in shower awaited my coach and my “shower virgin body.” As I lay in bed anticipating this baptism of the “indoor waterfall,” I thought about the days I rushed in and out without thinking how fortunate I was at the time. But, I reentered the present, and with great anticipation focused on the glass cubicle that housed a Cleopatra experience for me. The room breathed differently that day, as the staging took place for this momentous occasion ~ my mind raced.
What would it be like?
Would I really enjoy the experience as much as I imagined?
Or, was I going to be disappointed, because parts of my body would not feel the water cascading over them?
I tried not to set myself up for disappointment by getting too excited, but it was hard; I was like a nervous kid!
With a big smile on her face, Bonni wheeled in my new shower chair. As much as I tried to contain myself, those four wheels represented my transportation to paradise, and my eyes spoke of my inner gaiety. To be honest, my indwelling sensation of butterflies almost surmounted those gathered at the time of my first kiss. My chariot would wheel me into a small space, but that space, at this point in time, was going to be my oasis.
I had visions of it being exotic. Yes ~ the ultimate in refreshing adventures awaited me ~ the goddess! This morning ritual would NOT be taken for granted this day. After twenty four years, for me, it was a miracle!
I am not going to kid you. The sight of a naked woman, who enjoys fine food, stuffed in a wheelchair was not pretty ~ yet alone exotic. In fact, as I viewed my bulbous breast relaxing on my paunchy belly, I laughed. I thought I needed to be transported to an Eastern Temple ~ very Buddhaesque. BUT, I had my ticket to paradise, and nothing could steal the rush of elation as I rolled toward the door.
My heart fluttered as I crossed the threshold, and Bonni adjusted the temperature and pressure of the showerhead. I insisted on the highest pressure, thinking I would feel the pulsating waters more. In this case I thought more would be better, and I was ready for the best.
So, without a countdown, Bonni directed the handheld showerhead on my back. With full pressure the water beat upon my skin for the first time in 24 years. I was startled with my body’s reaction; it jumped! It must have been shocked and afraid of the pelting water. Then, all my muscles tightened, and my heart sank. BUT, before I could speak my disappointment, my body began to relax; it slowly recalled the times long ago.
It realized it was not being attacked; it was being cleansed and nurtured by the water. On the areas I could feel, I rejoiced in the aliveness, and every cell danced in celebration. As I watched the water course over the areas I could not feel topically, my mind made the magic happen as it recollected. After those first few moments of fear, I totally embraced the experience with every fiber of my being. I WAS IN THE SHOWER ~ and my wildest dreams never could have taken me to such exuberance.
We lathered my body over and over, and scrubbed with vigor to awaken my skin to the flood of moisture. My head surrendered to the freedom, as the heavy pulsating water tingled my scalp and streamed through my hair. As it flowed onto my face, it felt like waves to me, and I did not want it to stop. Every muscle seemed to succumb and relax, and my mind stayed focused on the joy of the moment. Before long, my skin transformed; the blood rushed to the surface awakened by the excitement, and it turned bright pink ~ pure ecstasy!
As much as I did not want it to end, the time came to roll my invigorated body out of this newly discovered “Eden.” YES, it truly was more than I could have imagined, and the peace I felt when my muscles surrendered stayed with me throughout the day. It made me stop and rethink the things I do take for granted, and put me in a space of gratitude. After having this sacred embrace with the water, I reflected on life’s “simple pleasures.” When we are mindful, the miracles bow before us. Be present ~ be open ~ and encounter the miraculous.