Before I went to Cuba last year I kept on having an image. I saw myself in the forest, nighttime, stars filled the sky. A claw foot tub outside. Me in it. Water hot. Two viejitas with long salt and pepper hair cleansing my body with plants. Their hands pulling my hair back, easing my muscles with their touch. I wondered if there was a place like that. People like these women. Moments where it is I who gets taken care of.
When I went to Cuba I did some spiritual work. At my Padrino’s house there was a woman that gave me a bath with plants but it wasn’t how I imagined it. We were in the small shower stall. The water cold. She talked about her grandson having a crush on me. I somehow felt cleansed but it wasn’t exactly what I wanted.
Every so often when my body has been overworked, after comforting other people I imagine myself in that forest being cleansed.
Researching for grants seems daunting. Applying for fiscal sponsorship is boring. Learning Arabic brings up all these types of insecurities. It is Tuesday and I have three children to take care of and I would rather just do yoga.
The sun was hiding this morning. I cranked up the heat and we stayed indoors. What activity can we do to keep them entertained for some time?
A bath, in the fancy upstairs tub.
The girls, Hope, almost 3, Ruby, 2.5, can spend hours in the bath and it’s big enough for them to almost swim. Zeke, 22 months, is scared of water. I stayed outside the tub with Zeke until he realized he might have more fun if he got in. He stood up the whole time but we’re taking baby steps, right? Hope and Ruby asked if I would get in and I felt crappy so, I didn’t want to. But why not? Once I got in Ruby asked if she could wash my hair. They poured cups and cups of water. Sometimes cold, mostly hot. With each cup I felt it all washing off from me. They soaped up my back and washed it with a cloth. Ruby was gentle making sure nothing got into my eyes and I almost wanted to cry. They were being so nice to me. This was the closest thing to the viejitas giving me a bath in the middle of the forest under the stars. The viejitas were just a little bit younger.
Sometimes things aren’t exactly how you expect them. Love shows up in various ways.