Splish splash, I was taking a bath ‘long about a Saturday night…
Years ago when my Mother was a child, growing up in rural Texas, in a large family of 10 children it required them to bathe in a large tub. They would have to heat the water on the stove, and not really sure, but possibly even sharing bath water. The Saturday Night ritual of bathing was a part of an era of being resourceful, making the best of what you have. Also, making sure you were nice and clean for Sunday Church.
Bath rituals throughout history have been across the spectrum, to being considered a requirement for health and political stature and the erection of communal bath houses, to being considered an indulgence and frowned upon.
In the late 16th Century it was thought that dirt protected one from germs, so the people of that time would slather on powder, perfume, scented wigs and layers of clothes to cover the stench of body odor.
Fast forward to the 18th Century and the outbreak of the Plague. It was discovered through arduous research that water was part of the cure, not the cause. Bathing was back on again!
Today, the bathing ritual has changed to from galvanized tubs, to spas, hot springs, bathing salons, and lastly showers, to accommodate our fast paced lifestyle. I have met many in their twenties that say have never used a bar of soap. Not that they are unclean by any means. They have grown up using shower gels laden with foaming agents. Needless to say, as a soapmaker, it is a joy to see them discover the luxury of handcrafted soap. The decadent creamy lather…mmm.
Raise your hand for bringing back the Saturday night bathing ritual, not as a solo for the week, but as a night of indulgent soaking in the tub. A chance to relax and rejuvenate our body, mind, and spirit after a long week of caring for others. The benefits of soaking in aromatic salts and bath oils is a beautiful thing. Hmm…maybe my next post will be about salts.
Do you take time to nurture yourself with as nice soak?