When I was quite young, my favorite place in the world was in Grandma Barton's bath tub. The soft colors and carpet were soothing and quiet. In the corner of the tub was a plastic turtle soap dish, and I loved to put the turtle in the water and make it swim, much like a rubber ducky. Except the turtle could dive, unlike those fat yellow ducks.
In that turtle soap dish was a bar of Safeguard. And in that bathtub I felt safer than anywhere else in the world.
When we are young, our worlds are no larger than the dappled sunlight on the sidewalk, the crickets in our backyards, the little red berries on the bushes around the house (don't eat them or you'll die!). We did not know of rape and murder, suicide and war, brutality and abuse. At least most of us didn't. Our eyes were wide open with wonder at all the magic of this big new world we had burst into.
In Grandma's tub, I was at peace. I was covered in suds and splashing and laughing and slippery as heck. I didn't know it at the time, but in every second of my bliss the scent of Safeguard was entering my little nose, imprinting on my brain.
As the years traveled by, sometimes Irish Spring took the place of Safeguard in Grandma's soap dish. It didn't have the same affect on me. All I could hear in my head was that darn commercial, "Irish Spring...manly yes, but I like it too!".
Luckily, Safeguard outlasted Irish Spring and right up until Grandma's last days on Earth, her bathroom was filled with that wonderful calming scent.
Some days life is hard. Real hard. I long for those simpler times, when all I cared about were frogs and dappled sunlight and fireflies. I don't want to know the things I know, or see the things I see, or hear the things I hear. I don't want to feel pain in my heart over things I can't control.
But Grandma gave me the cure. In my soap dish is a big fat bar of Safeguard. I peel off my clothes and hop into the shower. I lather up, close my eyes, and breathe deeply. I think about that little plastic turtle soap dish. And within seconds I am back in Grandma's tub, safe and sound. And I know everything is gonna be all right.