During my second pregnancy, I developed strange cravings for scents. And to my surprise, the scent that I could not get enough of, was lavender. Nothing had prepared me for this new venture into the world of scents and it was something that was quite present with all the pregnancies: eucalyptus for the third, and the inability to smell peppermint for the first.
Lavender candles, soaps, buds, oils, incense, whatever I could get my hands on that was mildly purple, I would inhale deeply and escape for the few seconds that my olfactory glands were stimulated. And stimulated they were, because as the pregnancy progressed, my cravings intensified until the channels opened and the birth started. In the birthing room, I had brought my lavender essentials (candle for ambiance, oil for deep sniffing and bubble bath for the bath I imagined that I would love, which turns out, I hated and needed a crane to be lifted out of). As the midwife went to light the candle, I roared around and demanded that all things lavender be removed, immediately for fear of odor induced projectile vomiting.
You would assume that I have never been able to smell lavender since, but you would be wrong.
I grew my first lavender plants this summer and I was kind of disappointed that my garden didn’t immediately turn into Bleu Lavande, Canada’s largest lavender field. After the season was over, I imagined every single walkway and passage on Garbarino Acres lined with lavender. A little slice of heaven in the midst of chaos, who doesn’t want that?
Anyways, as you can imagine, I planted no new lavender, but I have large plans for the spring that include a pergola, a new bathroom, expanded gardens and a new front porch. Every single thing needs at least 80 lavender plants as accents. We’ll see how far we get… since the kitchen is still ceiling-less, I’ve grown to understand that a DIY timeline is far from a hired contractor’s timeline. But that’s for a totally different post.
We had a leak in the bathroom a few weeks ago, and my happy place (despite the blue wallflower and disgusting grout) was no longer happy.
And if you know me at all, most of you do, you know that my escape from the world is the bath tub. I have soaked bruises in tubs, I’ve smoked in tubs, I’ve drank in tubs, I’ve read and dropped other people’s books in tubs. I’ve passed out drunk in tubs, I’ve cried in tubs but mostly, I’ve licked my wounds in tubs. And who knows, I might even be writing this from the tub.
Bref, if things aren’t particularly rosie, TO THE TUB is my immediate motto.
But with a leak and cracked tiles, the tub felt like the Trainspotting toilet and so was no longer my ideal escape vessel. My brilliant and practical husband glued plexiglass to the perimeter tiles and VOILA, I have a terribly unsightly but functional bath that does not drip water onto my new, unhooked-up kitchen hood.
What’s there to do in a tub?
Well, you can read, you can put a face mask on, or you can very simply, sprinkle a few drops of lavender essential oil onto a steaming hot facecloth, throw that over your whole face and essentially zone out for 15 minutes.
If that’s not the ultimate in self-care, I don’t know what is.
So don’t be afraid to stop and smell the roses, or the eucalyptus or the verbena oils in your health food store and maybe make an inhabitual purchase that you can stash away for you spa break, maybe even get a special facecloth to further ritualize the whole thing! You should do a little reading about the benefits and potential counter-activations of lavender, they seem to be contraindicated with certain meds, so be careful when you’re taking care!