It was a dark and stormy night…
The above phrase is often associated with bad writing but of course, dear reader, you know I am guilty of no such thing.
Now that I have your attention, it was a dark and stormy night when I set out to visit my daughter in Downtown Vancouver. The rain was pelting down, the streets were glistening and I could hardly see the road ahead of me.
Undaunted, I set out on this inhospitable November evening determined not to let a little inclement weather dampen (pun intended) my resolve.
Having reached my destination unscathed, I set out to look for a parking spot while at the same time avoiding the jaywalkers dressed in black, cyclists, texters and the one-way streets. I finally found a spot and breathed a heavy sigh of relief.
As I approached the pay-parking machine, I reached into my purse for my Visa card to feed the hungry beast.
Did I mention the rain was still pouring down? By now I was drenched as I lacked the manual dexterity to hold an umbrella and perform a purse search simultaneously.
I realized my Visa card wasn’t in my wallet, as I had taken it out earlier in the day and put it in my raincoat pocket. As I wasn’t wearing my raincoat (why would one wear a raincoat when it is raining!), I had no Visa and no means of paying for my parking.
I could feel my stress level increase.
Thinking on my soggy feet (no rain boots either), I espied a young man in an adjacent white car and approached him with a desperate look on my face.
As he rolled down his window, I explained quickly that I wasn’t a madwoman or a stalker and told him my story.
He insisted on paying for my parking and would not take any cash from me. His last words were, “Have a nice visit with your daughter.”
Upon thanking him profusely, I promised him I would ‘pay it forward.’ I didn’t have the nerve to tell him what I was planning to do with my daughter that evening.
I was going for a one-hour float at a Vancouver float spa, which is an “urban sanctuary offering premium flotation therapy.”
I was so stressed and soggy upon arrival at said sanctuary that I needed a stiff drink, not an oversized bathtub!
Nevertheless, I decided to expose myself (yup, stark naked) to this salty bed of water full of epsom salts so concentrated that I was guaranteed to float effortlessly and feel my stress fade away.
Welcome to the latest fad of floating, which promises the deepest form of relaxation as well as a time to “improve, dream, heal and grow.”
Instead of total sensory deprivation, I opted for soft new-age music and a starlit ceiling.
Buoyed by this sensation of weightlessness, I felt like Chris Hadfield floating in space.
I felt like a spaced-out Ziggy Stardust.
I pushed myself gently from wall to wall and revelled in the feeling of floating easily. I started to giggle. I felt like a happy, beached whale. A happy, naked, beached whale.
Would I recommend it?
In the post-traumatic aftermath of the U.S. election, stress levels are higher than ever. According to the Daily Telegraph, “many (people) were reportedly seeking therapy for high levels of stress brought on by the election.”
Drown your sorrows, perhaps at one of the Semiahmoo Peninsula’s float spas even closer to home!
Then afterwards, please join CARP for a free Christmas party on Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2-4 p.m., at the nearby White Rock Community Centre. RSVP to Denice 604-538-5778.
April Lewis is the local communications director for CARP, a national group committed to a ‘New Vision of Aging for Canada.’ She writes monthly.