The first sensation is heat.  As I step in, my feet and ankles warn me of it.  I lower my body and inhale sharply as the rest of my skin reacts to the temperature.  In mere moments the sensation fades.  The water cradles my body, warming my muscles and coaxing the tension to disperse.  I take a breath slowly, reveling in the purple perfume of steam laced with lavender and lilac.  Sliding deeper, the water coming up to my chin, I lean my head back and close my eyes.  The quiet harmony of strings carries my thoughts away, and the final knots of stress release.

After a restful interlude, my mind drifts back to the earth, mundane thoughts of work and life intruding on my moment.  I sit up and refresh myself with a drink of cool water.  Careful to dry my hands, I reach for a well-worn paperback.   I let the familiar tale banish my everyday, absorbing my mind in the world and lives of the characters I love.

When the water turns tepid and my toes are raisins, I finally set the book aside.  I rise from the bath relaxed and renewed, and wrap myself in an oversized towel.  I snuggle into it, taking a final moment to enjoy luxury before I return to my routines.


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