When I think of washing, cleansing, restoring, etc. I see two kinds of people – the night bathers and the morning bathers.
Some folks like to bath at night before they get in bed. They wash away the remains of the day so their clean fresh self hits the sheets and has nothing left but good dreams to carry them through until morning. During a long hot bath they slowly let go of all of the day’s tension and sludge while the hot water fills them from the bottom of their toes to the tops of their shoulders. The tub has been filled with some wonderful scented soap or powder. Some of my friends light candles and play soul soothing music while they soak.
Sylvia Plath said, “ There must be quite a few things that a hot bath won’t cure, but I don’t know many of them”.
Then I know other people who wake up and hit the showers to start the day refreshed and energized. As the water pelts them awake they prepare for the day. The shower not only wakes them up but removes the drudges of night dreams and gets the heart pumping and the body moving. They use citrus cleansers and mint creams to open the pores and cleanse everything so they can face the day fresh and ready. Some people sing in the shower. It seems to be a place of empowerment where fresh ideas come and intuitions rule.
Nolan Bushnell said, “Every one who has taken a shower has had an idea. It’s the person who gets out of the shower, dries off and does something about it that makes a difference.”
It seems to me that both are good. There is no rule that says we can’t do both.
There is one reason one should’nt do both, water conservation. I do like the spiritual connections you draw about morning and nighttime bathers. I am a morning girl. Must be energized for my day. If I go through a day without my shower in the morning by the end of the second day I feel icky all the way through. From my skin to my soul. I have tried the night time bath ritual…just have no patience for it.
There is something to be said about the benefits of an afternoon shower. I occasionally take one, especially on those hot, sticky days like we’re having now. This can be when I am actually outside that time of day (rarely!) or when I did not have a chance to take one in the morning. Taking a shower in the afternoon feels different, even more refreshing than in the morning. I can take the sweat off and use deep breathing to cool myself down. Sometimes I change my shower routine just to shake things up. It just feels good!