This weekend my mother-in-law took me to my favorite place – the hot spa! My Sweet’s hometown is not very exciting, but it is known for two things: a festival I will talk about later, and being next to one of Japan’s best mineral hot spas. The water comes pure from the towering Iwaki Mountain. Here are a few things that stand out for me here:
* There is nothing like being naked with your mother-in-law to banish any inhibitions you may have. When you tenderly wash each other’s back to help you feel like the language barrier may prevent acceptance.
* It was great to be in a place where women were letting it all hang out with imperfections, even on the idealized models.
* Many women, including yours truly, have unnatural creases at their waste. What does that say about fashion and fascism?
* Going around the resort in a yukata (more than a bathrobe and less than a kimono) is fabulous. Very free. I can understand why Hugh does it – Heffner that is, not Jackman. But it is not clothing for taking great strides in. Instead I learned to do a kind of shuffle where you don’t separate your knees very much.
* Being au natural out in nature is for many reasons a very spiritual. You have fewer defenses to hide behind. And not being able to speak gives me more time to focus on our Creator.
* Besides the relaxation that comes from soaking in a hot mineral bath, there is a peace here and I think it comes from the search for spiritual truth. People can take a hike starting from the temple behind the resort and climb Iwaki. During this walk they get in touch with nature and the supernatural. Not as in spooky things jumping out of the underbrush, but that which is beyond the nature we can see.
Mother Theresa was once asked why she allowed Buddhists and other non-Christians to work for her organization. She said that she encourages Buddhists to be the best Buddhists, Muslims to be the best Muslims, and so on. By seeking the truth and fully looking into what they believe, people have to come to see the truth about God. I am glad God is in this place.