Monday, 23 June 2008
My plan to make a shower in my courtyard is just about to come to fruition.
The inspiring and infinitely resourceful website of Margaret Rainboweb is how I got my introduction to this lady who bathes outside, Kathy Heinzen . I wrote to Kathy to hear more about her special bath:
Here is Kathy's response:
I love filling the tub to the brim, sometimes adding bubbles or scented salts or lavender buds and rose petals that grow in the garden. I rest my head on the bath pillow, sip a glass of homemade mead or elderberry wine and toast the full moon when she appears above the lake and mountains in the distance. In summer, the cricket chorale is perfect accompaniment. Any night, owls may be heard or on rare occasion, the coyotes high-pitched yips as they converse with each other. Other times, I hear dry twigs snap when deer walk their trail on the other side of the garden in the trees. At least, I hope it's deer.
My husband and I live on an acre of land in a woodsy neighborhood at the end of a county road bordering national forest. It's peaceful. The night sky is black too, perfect for musing upon favorite constellations. I imagine Delphinus, the little dolphin, splashing in the Milky Way or the graceful swan, Cygnus, in flight. Other times, I close my eyes and drift silently among stars, galaxies, black holes, nebulae... Excuse my meanderings. Just thinking about it takes me there.
The attached image of my bath is an old one. Last year we built a sturdier arbor, but as you can see it's not green yet here in northern Idaho, USA, so I have no photos of it when the grape vines are leafed out. We're experiencing an unusually long winter despite Spring's official arrival nearly two months ago. I've read we have La Nina to blame. The meteorologists say she's moving frigid Siberian air via the jet stream to Alaska and funneling it to the northwestern states. All should return to normal sometime in June, though.
Good luck and much enjoyment with your article, Cecilia. If these photos or words are of any use to you, feel free to do with them as you wish. I'd like to know when your article is published. I'd enjoy reading about others' thoughts and rituals and seeing their bath retreats.
Thank-you Kathy, I especially love the idea of baths in the modesty of night darkness. I just realized, darkness has a use after all.
I'd love to get more stories and images of outdoor baths, or advice on the tricky bits of making it all happen.