In The Daily Drool on February 15, 2010 at 1:38 pm

Leafy eartheness danced across my nose, bouncing among the echoes of the stone-rimmed-bowl, followed by a hint of seaweed – that afternoon’s soup -seeping from my skin, looking to escape the boiling vat of tea I had stepped into as though there were anywhere else to be but pulsing through my skin, my cells… I took another deep breathe, feeling the beads on my forehead forming where before there had been none.

I’d oft wondered what it would feel like to climb into my tea-cup.

Turns out, it’s hot and delicious.

Such was the magic of yesterday’s impromptu Valentine’s day.  My dear, generous, friend Mary Jo whisked me away to the Olympic Day Spa where, for $15 (!) you too can while away the hours amidst jacuzzi tubs filled with mugwort tea, oxygen rooms so warm you can literally feel the toxins squirming as they evaporate from your skin, and a warm jade floor to snuggle against when, at the thought of another dip, steam, or rub, you decide instead that you need to take a nap.

Of course, they have all sorts of bonus treatments that you can treat yourself to -massages, body scrubs, some where they do both and then wash your hair! – and they’re not that expensive really, in the world of spa treatments.

But lets step away from the goodies for a second and talk about the loveliness of a room full of bodies, each one different in all the ways they can be – young, old, big, small, tattooed, pierced – each one of these women shedding the worry of walking around sans clothes for the sake of enjoying the Korean baths.

There is something ancient and clear about this, this communal undress- a sort of safe-haven for the women.  There we were, sitting around a pool scrubbing away at our tired skin, scrubbing one another’s backs, far away from the troubles only a few feet of concrete and glass away.  And the beauty of not worrying about anything as silly as dress or hair care… removed from the decorations that keep us “protected” and formal… was astounding!  We were all just a bunch of women who needed a little escape.

I found the experience incredibly refreshing and connecting – like I had discovered a tiny, revolving, community within the oft impersonal LA sprawl.  And I smiled, in the Mugwort tub – a large jacuzzi filled with herbs and such that help detoxify the body and relax the spirit – I smiled at this little mysterious land of peace and quiet and water.

I think this was my best Valentine’s day ever.


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