At a Japanese style spa. My sister and I. Steaming water, pine-trees and a lovely room. Fruit and green tea at the lounge. Dinner enjoyed slowly. Early morning sauna yoga, breakfast, meditation and another session of bathing.
As I was washing myself on the little stool before entering the hot tub I remembered the times I had done the same in Japan. Mind and body surrendering to the bucketfuls of water.
And then, on the train back to civilisation I was met with a reality check. Bombings in my old hometown. The city where I have become friends with some of the best people I know. I cannot count the times I have flown in and out of the Brussels national airport. Not to mention the Maalbeek station just around the corner from my old office.
Fortunately my friends are alright. My former colleagues too.
Awful things are happening in the world as I write, and still, the world so often leaves me in awe. If nature and civilisation have created something as perfect as the onsen and the Japanese bath ritual, maybe there is still hope.