So there I was with my mother the other day at The Naked Spa, really called The Olympus, standing there, well you can imagine, naked. Well, not completely. I did have a pink and white striped cloth shower cap on my head. As we all did. The other strangers in the room were naked too, just wearing shower caps as we minded our own business going from one Jacuzzi to another trying out different saunas, sampling different heat, hoping for renewal. In the soaking room there are four different tubs with varying temperatures, 60, 90, 97 and 104 degrees. You pick the temperature right for you and relax in the healing waters.
Dropping off kids at school that morning I shared with a couple of moms where I was off to next. The reactions were varied as the four different temperatures of water in the soaking room.
You are crazy. I wouldn’t go there in a million years.
Really, naked? With your mom?
Oh, I’ve been there. I love that place.
I’m jealous – enjoy.
So yes, it is a little strange on one level – but totally normal on another.
It’s just bodies. We all have them. But it is fascinating to me the comfort level differences. In general the American culture just doesn’t do a lot of public nakedness without discomfort.
At the spa no one really cares about seeing me naked, they’re there to relax, to rejuvenate, to focus on themselves.
And for me I’m focused mostly on myself. The only other naked body I pay any attention to is my mom’s. This woman who is nearing her 80’s, who just lost her husband, stands a bit timid but beautiful. I briefly catch a glimpse of her belly as she turns to her side walking away from me. This belly I once lived in, carried four children into this world, appears soft and pale, vulnerable but strong. This is probably the place she now carries her worries, her fears.
On many levels it’s just a naked body, like mine and the others walking around. But without her body, I wouldn’t be here. So for a brief moment, naked on a Tuesday, I am grateful for this body that carried me into this crazy, mixed up, precious, and oh so beautiful world, just as I am grateful for mine that carried my two children into this world. And I have one brief thought…If I live to be 80, I hope to have her same belly, soft and pale, vulnerable but strong.
by J.G. McGlothern