Marcil: A shower for body and soul
By Bill Marcil Jr.
Growing up in North Dakota, I had a tumultuous relationship with H2O. In spring, I was afraid of water because melting snow would flood our table-flat community. In summer, Northern Plains thunderstorms would scatter us off the lakes to hide from pelting rain and the chance of tornadoes. And, of course, the frozen water of winter had us hunkering down for days, as life-threatening blizzards enveloped us.
After having water negatively affect me for almost 50 years, I learned that I enjoy being in charge of water. I get satisfaction from watering my garden. I am in control. I can turn it off and turn it on whenever I want. Ahhh — the power.
But last month, I discovered something glorious; something that soothed those years of being afraid; something that fulfilled every dry hole in my psyche.
Was it a daily swim? No. Was it water aerobics? No. I discovered the ultimate shower. This was not just any shower. The ULTIMATE! Yes, that is in caps. I am yelling it to you. Can you hear? ULTIMATE!
For three years in a row, my wife and I have attended a conference in New York City with friends. Each year we stayed at a small hotel in midtown. Nothing crazy special about the hotel, but something drew us back each year. This year it hit me. It was not our friends, although they are wonderful. It was not the pastrami sandwich from Carnegie Deli, although it is beyond this world. And, no, not the run in Central Park (can someone tell the New Yorkers: This is not fresh air).
It was the shower. A simple setup. Ceramic tile with a large chrome shower head, some 8 feet up, and a shower head the size of a pizza pan. OK, so all this seems rather simple, but then the water is turned on. The on/off switch is a fancy one; it pre-sets the temp so the water turns on at the exact right temperature. But this is not your ordinary water pressure. It is the ultimate — pressure like you have never felt. Imagine a fire hose. OK, not that much; but imagine if it was pressure from a fire hose that felt glorious. I stood there feeling all that water wash my dirt away.
The first few minutes it was washing away the dirt on my skin, but after that was done I didn’t want to leave. I stood there. My mind wandered. I thought of how water truly can cleanse us.
As people in a modern society, we rush too much. How many baths do we take to relax? How many showers can we really enjoy? I am like most people. A shower in the morning is a necessity. I don’t particularly enjoy it; in fact enjoyment never really enters my mind. I can get in and out in three minutes.
As I stood in the ultimate shower I realized how a simple thing like a shower can be enjoyed. How I don’t take the time to wash away so much in life. Now I understand where the phrase … “it came to me in the shower” started: In the shower.
Let’s make a pact. Next time you’re in your shower, sure, clean your body. But stay a little longer and see if the water can cleanse your soul.
Marcil is publisher of The Forum.