Hot Bath

Holidaying in Cumbria, back in the autumn, I did something I haven’t done for fifteen years: I had a hot bath. In my frugal domestic world, I have less-than-hot showers of brief duration. The idea of filling a bathtub with expensive, heated water causes coronary palpitations. I would be imagining the water meter and gas meter dials in competition, racing around so quickly that smoke might be seen coming from their respective boxes. In a hotel, it’s a different matter. The room is paid for whether one runs a bath or not. So I ran one.

It seemed to take ages to fill. Correctly gauging the temperature was a lost art, and I did not quickly re-learn. I didn’t want it tepid, neither did I wish to be parboiled. I added so much bubble bath, the water could not be seen. At first it seemed too hot; I slowly adjusted and found the experience wonderfully invigorating. And also relaxing. Can one be simulatenously invigorated and relaxed? Well I was. Showers are efficient and useful, but baths are a luxurious aid to mental health, evaporating cares and stresses. Little wonder pharaoh's daughter was happily minded to adopt the little Moses bobbing among the reeds. Her bath was in cool water, a welcome antidote to the Egyptian heat. Mine was a hot bath, a welcome cure for the British cold. 

In Leviticus 15, bathing is the prescribed remedy for coming into contact with uncleaness. Such ritual washing is now unnecessary for those cleansed by Christ's blood:

There is a fountain
Filled with blood
Drawn from Emmanuel's veins,
And sinners plunged beneath that flood
Lose all their guilty stains.

William Cowper 

Yet I wonder if bathing in hot water is still a suitable antidote for the contamination of hassles, pressures and strains.

Top image by DarthZuzanka from Pixabay 

Lower image by Ylanite Koppens from Pixabay