Hot Tub in the Rain (plateau of hope)

i still believe in love

Hot Tub in the Rain (plateau of hope)

The weather here has turned cold and wet. Just getting across the soaked yard was both dangerous and frigid. The water when I lifted the cover was smoldering. In.

Heaven. Release. Praise. Hope.

I have navigated my life across three hot tubs.

In my early twenties when my father died of cancer, I was blessed to afford a small condo where I lived for 18 years. I did not ask the HOA if I could fortify the roof deck and drop a hot tub on the top. Several of the directors were furious. I had joined the board about six months earlier. I did not ask for permission or forgiveness. I provided the necessary engineering drawings providing data that the smallish tub would not drop through the roof and kill someone.

I’m only able to say this forty years later, I need to be in water. Hot tubs. Plunge pools. The ice cold Barton Springs of my hometown, Austin. I am better when I have close proximity to water. Until this third hot tub, I wasn’t able to recognize the baptism as essential for my happiness. I am happy. I am “back in hot water” as the hot tub repairman would always say when they arrived to work on my first hot tub.

From the moment last night, soaking in the rain and blissed out at the joy in my life, the grace, the hot water, and the blessings.

Reverie in all forms is a part of my life. I celebrate moments. I string wonderful moments together like the history of a drunken traveling circus. I’m the ringmaster of my own circus now. From the steamy water I can see all the bright futures ahead.

My two children are coming of age, and coming into their own brilliance. I done well.

It’s hot tub number two that has the harder stories. Divorce. Loss. Recovery. And more loss. I’m going to skim over number two. Except to say, I didn’t want the divorce, it was instigated by a woman who was having inner demons of her own, telling her, “You would be so happy if he were not here.” I’m afraid that’s not really how happiness works.

Happiness is more about finding your hot water, and then crafting your life and your plans around more time in hot water. My hot water today is a celebration of a 13-year vision quest, and while I’m not lounging in the hot water with a woman tonight, I do have the woman nearby. She may not be as much of a mermaid, but that’s not important. The part that brings the story full circle is this: I am loved.

That is enough. Add hot water. Add two kids who are thriving. And add a livelihood that continues to get better and better. Happiness is on the inside. Someone else can affect you, but your happiness is not dependent on anyone but you. In my case, a little hot water really helps with my gratitude.

Getting out of a hot tub in the rain is a bit more of a tonic. The acquired heat protects you for about 30 seconds. I made it about halfway across the lake of a yard before the chills hit. But even chills are good, they are a jolt to the system that says, “Wake up. Get going.”

Read more Short-Short Stories from John.

Spread the love