I recently took a long road trip with a friend. We covered 1,000 miles in 3 days. Each night, as we settled into our accommodations, my friend would say she was going to take a shower to “wash the day off.” This was something she expressed daily and it made me chuckle and wonder what that meant. I never asked her but presume the idea behind the phrase was she had a hard day and planned not only to get her body clean but also to try to forget about her stress. It was her way to relax.
I have never used that phrase but am curious what stories come alive when one finds themselves desiring the cleansing off from a particular day.
The story that comes to mind for me is how much I loved playing in the mud when I was a little girl. It didn’t matter what I was wearing, and I had to be barefoot so that I could feel the cold wet earth squish through my toes. I would sit down in the mud and cover every inch of my body with this gift from the earth. Even my hair was dripping in its 'yumminess'. This was my moment of complete bliss. I even feel the sensation in my body as I write this. I would always make a mud pie that I presented to my mom (I used her kitchen utensils to ‘bake’ them). She would thank me for the present, put it aside and proceed to rinse me off with the hose. A warm bath always followed my adventure.
Did my mom ‘wash the day off’ of me? I say no. She simply washed the mud off. I never felt succumbed by the happenings of a particular day. I never felt the need to cleanse for the sake of forgetting about my stress. I was in the moment and devoured the experience of being a little girl playing in the mud.
What are your thoughts around washing the day off? Is that something you do? Does it have a special meaning for you? I am curious.
Last week my sister and I ventured to Los Angeles, the city we grew up in. The purpose of our visit was to see our aunt who we have not seen in over 20 years, to spend time with my sister's childhood friend and to see our cousins. The visits were all so rich. We left with our hearts (and bellies) full.
And there was another side to our visit. We both left LA a long time ago and rarely go back. We found our visit to be overwhelming and had difficulty being there. The mere size of LA, the traffic, the noise, the air, the concrete tugged at our souls and we felt drained and exhausted and dazed. It was good to go home.
I find it interesting how different both aspects of our visit were. The contrast of personal deep connection with people, and the separation and despair of the physicality of the environment. This was not the same city we grew up in, but, the relationships are those we grew up with.
I feel blessed to have experienced both!
I am a steward of creative inquiry. I am most alive when enraptured by the organic flow and freedom I experience when immersed in my creative expression, which I write about here in this blog.