On Monday nights in my little town there is a beautiful sulfur spring with a big pool and a fabulously large soaking tub filled to its tile edges with hot water and naked women. It is “Ladies Night” or as we say in our house just for fun; “Goddess night”.
We went last night, I still wear a modest swimsuit in slimming black. In fact my whole trio, me, daughter and grand daughter show up in our suits and ponytails ready for a soak. We haven’t found the courage to go all natural as in naked. That’s totally fine. No one cares, not at all.
My grand daughter starts the evening ruffled and adorable in a two piece suit of lime green and yellow. Soon she observes the naked people around her and grins. Within seconds she’s down to the baby pink suit she was born in which is much cuter than anything Target offers. She embraces her skin like most kids. She’s happy to be unfettered.
There are people in various stages of undress and various stages of life and no one seems to care what stage you’re in or how it looks on you. As a woman faced with the photoshopped world of women on the covers of dozens of magazines daily the idea of women in the buff with no enhancements and no concern is incredibly refreshing. There is no status and no need for it. No one can tell if you have a big house, a good job, a hot car or a good relationship when you’re naked.
No one is talking much. Mostly the women just soak and breathe while observing the sky and water. Sometimes a person may tip their chin in greeting or strike up a whispered conversation about food or some healing practice (we are talking about women who soak naked in a tub surrounded by Hindu statues and prayer flags so that comes with it)but mostly no one cares about anything but being relaxed and warm while slipping out of their socially acceptable skin for an hour.
I don’t know who is gay, straight or bi. I don’t know who is religious or politically minded and I have no idea if anyone uses drugs or has a criminal record. I don’t know and I don’t care.
Smiling and breathing next to other people doing the same thing and willing to be as vulnerable as people get I find myself not thinking about anyone or anything except the occasional small thought that everyone seems happy and well. It’s nice. It feels good to suspend judgment joining the rest of the world’s animals alive and happy.
Leaving the pool deck and getting dried and dressed feels like effort as if I’m going back into a cage. I am aware now how confining life with ego and status really is and how much it hurts to judge and be judged. I don’t want to do it yet I do.
I wonder, do you feel like that too?
I wish all of life was like naked swim and I had the courage to strip to the skin and breathe with no other thought than it’s good to be alive. Each time I go to “Ladies Night” I learn a little more about that sensation and come a little closer to carrying it with me more often.
Maybe we should create a giant soaking tub for all of humanity. Maybe then we’d learn what the ladies of “Ladies Night” already know, the only big deal in life is living, just living.