Friday, May 16, 2008

Philosophies of life as learned from soap bubbles...

I took a bubble bath the other night. It was the first time I've been able to get a tub bath in over a year. So much more relaxing than daily showers, but so much more trouble, so therefore largely ignored by overworked and under nourished moms who need sleep more than the scent of bubble bath hanging about them, no matter how pleasant that might be. But this time- Aha! Time smiled upon me and said, "ok, Jenny. You've been so sleep deprived and such a good mommy these past few months that you can have 30 whole minutes ALL TO YOUR SELF!" Emily had just taken a bottle. The other 3 kids were all asleep. From 11:25p.m.- 12:03a.m. I soaked in warm, liquid happiness, with blueberry scented bubbles up to my chin. When I had to sneeze twice, some of the suds broke away from the mountain like peaks they had formed and flew into the air, only to settle back onto another mountain top. I tried to clear my mind and just enjoy the hot water as it eased away the aches and pains from toting the baby carrier from car to store during errands and back again, and also the aches that came from my new Jazzercize classes. My muscle groups were hollering at me loud and clear that they had gotten complacent and comfortable and did not appreciate me pounding them into shape with crunches, leg lifts, hand weight reps and lunges. With the insane amount of stuff that I have to make sure gets done in a day, it was a real challenge to think of nothing that I should be doing instead of enjoying a well deserved soak in the tub. I began to concentrate on the piles of bubbles. I noticed that they made a little crackling sound as some of them started popping. Then I pondered whether anything special should happen when each of them lived out its round, irridescent, bubbly existance and burst into nothingness. Like, how about in "It's A Wonderful Life" where every time a bell rings an angel gets its wings? If pealing bells have a special purpose for being, why not a soap bubble in a bubble bath? So I leaned back and watched them. Hundreds and thousands and millions of teeny tiny foamy bubbles making a faint crackle sound. Then I decided. Even if it meant nothing to anyone else but me, I was going to hold on to that serene moment in the midst of the happy chaos that is my daily life and I was going to assign something wonderful to each popping bubble. Each bubble is a wish. Maybe not even a wish in the traditional sense. Maybe more like a thought proccess. Like "When the children are all a little older, I'm looking forward to finally getting my degree." *POP* wish granted, courtesy of a pearly, irridescent sphere dissipating into an inperceptable shower of water droplets as it bursts. "I really want to spend more time in prayer for the friends who have asked me to pray for them." *POP* says the little bubble, and in that *POP* I hear "remember that the next time you see soap bubbles and follow through on it!"

It may be silly, and you might even be thinking, as you read this, if maybe there wasn't something added to the blueberry bubble bath that I was breathing deeply of to make me just a little loopy. But silly as it seems, I think it's a very encouraging thought that something as fragile and fleeting as a soap bubble can be the center of our focus long enough to just be still and let the earth stop spinning so fast around us with our minute to minute, stressed out, overpacked schedules and simply be. To gaze into the irridescent spheres of delicate beauty and think and relax and recharge our mental and physical batteries. God was onto something when he invented bubbles. I think we would all do well to fit in a bubble bath every now and then. To slow down, to relax and unwind. That bath was one of the best moments of peace I have had in 5 years. The baby will sleep through the night soon and it might just become a more frequent occassion to give Emily her bottle, put her to bed, and once I'm sure she'll stay asleep for 30 minutes, grab my overized bath towel, cozy pjs, terrycloth robe, set the baby monitor on the counter and head to the tub for some more recharging and renewing of spirit with each *POP* of a scented bubble. I have some tangerine scented bubble bath that I haven't tried yet.....

1 comment:

  1. People rarely think of a soap bubble as beautiful, but you are right that its iridescence makes it surprisingly beautiful. I will never look at a soap bubble the same way again. You have real talent, Jenny. I think the mark of a true writer or artist is her ability to defamiliarize people with the ordinary. In other words, writers/artists portray their subject in a new light that makes people stop and look and think. I need to use our wonderful garden tub. I have not used it at all and we moved in last September. You and I are kindred spirits. I can wax eloquent and philosophical over spoons, just as you do over bubbles.