Years ago, I experienced my first sauna. Since then, there is a comforting predictability that comes from knowing the impact heat, quietness, and often silence will leave on body and soul. Even in the Emirati intense summers, I enjoy the practise of a sauna’s hot and cold along with the intensity and quietness only found in a sauna.
It is easy to forget what is going to happen once one enters. I know the words, but it is the experience that hits me every time. The controls outside are the recurring reminder of the outcome which will follow. It is never a matter of if, it is only a question of when.
Last night was an example of the awareness hitting me at the last minute. With thirty minutes of swimming behind me, I was looking forward to my sauna time. A quick glance at the controls triggered every part of my being. I knew what was coming, but it still caught me by surprise. As I consider what unfolded, I can hear Life’s whispers as lesson reminders.
Actions are linked to outcomes. When “you go against the grain, you get splinters, regardless of which neighborhood you’re from, what your parents taught you, what schools you attended.” (Romans 2.9). When it is 99 degrees Celsius (210 Fahrenheit), one needs to take care not to burn whatever part of one’s body that is touching the wood. One also needs to remember that sweat will follow, in quantities one did not imagine.
Intensity is not always negative. I have a natural bias towards the easy path. Choosing to let oneself go into the intensity of a good sauna is a great reminder of positive outcomes which are created through intense heat.
The first wave to hit is never the last. More will come. In the case of the sauna, it is the cold which follows. Both take one to extremes. It is a combination that makes the outcome holistic and complete.
Today will be cooler than the sauna. Yet, it will be intense. I contribute to what follows.