Stream Bath Experience. MS/2019/10

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I recall my stream bath experience as one of the memorable events of my childhood. I remember how I chattered excitedly with other children as we leisurely walked down the village stream. The road was narrow , bushy and bumpy, yet we were happy trekking to the stream. We actually enjoyed the long trek because of the opportunity it afforded us to visit many fruit trees along the way.

We thrilled ourselves with many stream games. The “leaves searching” game was usually played while going to the stream. In this game, a leader is chosen who would announce the leaf of a particular shrub of his or her choice. All the participants, while running towards the stream, searched for the leaf. The leader punished those who failed to get the leaf immediately with a gentle flog. The consciousness that roles would be changed in the game as many times as possible made leaders to give only mild and playful punishment.

As we enjoyed ourselves in the stream environment,our parents waited at home for water which they needed for the regular house chores. we, as children, looked up to our happy moments in the stream especially the stream bath. Do you have an idea of what children call stream bath? Let me just remind you.

Stream bath does not mean focussed and conscious body washing with soap and sponge in a stream. Rather, it is simply being in the stream, relishing its natural coolness and environment. It is children’s play in the water ranging from water splashing, race and acrobatics, etc.

I remember now that I was never allowed to take the common bathing items to the stream. The simple reason is that my parents had no confidence in me. They believed that if I were to go to the stream with the family soap, sponge, etc, I would lose them. At most, I was just allowed to draw few lines on my head with the bathing soap. And now I must admit that for those times I was in the stream with other children for bath, it was water games and not body wash that held my attention. In fact I can still recall those occasions when I came back from my stream bath experience with faint lines of bathing soap still on my head.

One of the things that made our stream bath experience unique is the freedom we relished then with childlike innocence. The latency of our sexual emotions and the simplicity of our perspective provided us with a special platform. We just enjoyed our childhood and nature as designed by God.

Now as an adult, stream bath experience is never the same. The joy is highly limited, and the adult participants are so time conscious and crooked in thinking. Sometimes adults create fake stream without the green leaves of water plants and the friendly fingerlings. These fake streams often lack continuous water supply and natural water flow and so are deficient in refreshment capacity. Unlike the natural gurgling stream, they make no water sound by themselves. Then, to cover their limitations, they are given a cosmetic name, “swimming pool”. So taking a refreshing bath in a swimming pool cannot adequately stand as a stream bath experience.

I think it is time to accept that the stream bath of those years of childhood era has gone. The real stream that is available for today’s children cannot serve my need for stream bath as an adult. My companions may not be available for the water games. Even when I am chanced to find one or two adults to play with, their money and emotional consciousness usually impair their freedom in the play. They are covertly bordered by many things, the people in the surrounding, their dressing and intentions,etc. Their childlike innocence has given way for adult anxiety. Gaining that valuable innocence back remains the challenge of every adult

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