The Sauna

[Auch hier, wie immer, meine Copyrights... entstanden im Englischunterricht, zum Thema "senses". Angelehnt an einen Abend auf unserer Schwedentour 2006 - ich hab es gerade wiedergefunden und dachte mir, ich poste es hier einfach mal...]

The Sauna

The moonlight floated through the tops of the trees, covering everything and everyone with a soft silvery light. Even in this late summer time, the sky would never turn completely black. Just above the dark silhouette of the forest in the distance there always remained one dusky line, shimmering a slight shade of pink or violet.

Inside the small tent me and seven others sat in silence. The only light, which illuminated our darkness, was cast from a heap of glowing stones in the middle of the circle we sat in.
The air was almost tropical, hot and damp from the water we kept on pouring on the stones. Each time someone splashed some liquid, clouds of mist rose, swirled around us and a wave of heat spread throughout the tent. The water gathered under the roof, to drop down on us, like falling rain, always a bit colder, than our skin. The smell of burnt grass was now slowly fading away from when someone had accidentally thrown some on the stones. Now a slight trace of mint and eucalypt hung in the air. Inhaling deep caused to free all air passages and leave a tenuous feeling of cold behind.
We sat close to each other, heated bodies, skin touching, sweat mingling and rolling down our arms and legs, dripping to the ground. Most of us sat with their legs crossed or tucked up some had their eyes closed or looked somewhere in the distance, sitting nearly trance-like, their breath going slow, conscious and silent.
In the darkness around us we could barely figure out our own faces. Everything we saw was the soft reflection of our stones’ dim gleaming light, which came from our bodies, the incarnate skin shining in smooth carmine red.
We all felt clean, not only having washed and sweated away the dirt of a long day’s march, but also in a way of feeling pure. It was like meditation, everybody concentrating on him- or herself, thinking, becoming calm and at ease. The warmth was relaxing for mind and soul, as well as for our tortured muscles. It spread through our bodies, where it heated us from the head down to our very toes. It felt, as if there had been something inside us, which had been turned to ice and was now melting away. A fire had never made us feeling as cosy and literally warm-hearted as did the sauna at this moment.
Then, there was a point, when we decided together, without speaking, that we had sat there long enough. Someone near the entrance opened it, after rummaging a bit, and a chill swept in, making us shiver. Since the stones had gone cold a couple of minutes ago, it was pitch-black inside, but once we had left the tent, the moon enlightened our way down to the lake. The water seemed as if it was melted silver, poured into the landscape.

We half walked, half ran there and once we arrived at the small landing stage, we jumped and dived into the cold water. Whilst submerging under water, we felt the air staying off our lungs for a moment. Breaking through the surface, some of us let out a high-pitched cry, echoing all around us from the trees standing at the edge of the lake. The water, which had been a bit too cold this afternoon, was now pleasant refreshing. We kept on swimming, diving and plashing and enjoyed washing the sweat away, the chilly night and the special light. Very slowly we realized our bodies cooling down again.
By the time we made our way out of the water, the air was filled with our laughter and jokes. Where the cold water had been the counterpart to our sauna, we now had to talk and giggle after the long moments of silence in the tent.
We wrapped ourselves in towels and sat around the bonfire again. Someone rose to put some logs on and we huddled closer together, to keep from freezing. Soon, our chats were accompanied by the jolly crackling of the flames, which had begun to lick the wood with small hungry tongues. Looking around me I saw all the faces, in contrast to our former experience, now shining in a bright orange light. In this warm glint everyone seemed beautiful. Their skin was well coloured and smooth as they watched the stones, which were glowing and gleaming in the midst of the golden embers. Sometimes there was a breeze, which whirled the smoke around us so it got into our eyes and noses, burning and making us cough.
After a long time of sitting and whispering over again, someone rose. Followed by two others they began to scoop the old stones out of the tent and new ones in, and when they yelled, we got up in an instant to have our second sauna for today. We became more and more silent on our way there and soon we huddled together once again.

Cold bodies waited to be heated, when we poured the first splash of water and the red stones…

29.8.07 15:47


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