Lavender Lemongrass is my favorite soap. The combination came from my first spa experience when someone gave me the gift of a day at Elizabeth Arden. This is what it smelled like to me, and I wanted to recreate it. Lemongrass has a fresh, lemony scent, with an astringent quality, and some cultures use it to reduce body odor. I find lemongrass to be energizing. Combined with the lavender, which has a relaxing quality, it smells fresh and earthy, and it just brings me back to that day of being pampered. Made on Long Island with organic olive, coconut, and palm oils and organic shea butter.
As she emerges from her room, the word “peace” spelled out in Tibetan symbols on her back peeks above Zowie’s yoga pants. She downs a wheat grass shot until the electric kettle signals that the water is hot and ready to pour. Steeping a pot of lemons, ginger and turmeric, she adds some of the hot water to a small pot of quinoa and cooks it a bit on the stove.
A text buzzes her iPhone as she’s stirring honey into her tea and she reaches her bronzed, toned arm across the counter to see what it’s about. High tide is at 11:00 a.m., and the surf is clean and consistent, her friend Shae messaged. Zowie swiftly changes into her swimsuit covered by cut-off jeans and a gauzy tunic top and sets out to pack up her new Fiat Beach Cruiser, loading her board on the rooftop slats. Before getting into the car she leans down to pick some fresh lavender from the garden—because she loves the soothing scent–and sets off to meet Shae on the way to Huntington Beach for a day of riding the waves.
Her playlist is retro surf sounds—The Beach Boys, The Clash, The Ramones, The Ventures, Weezer. It gets her psyched for a day of sun, sand, and surf. She knows her skin will be coated in salt, with windblown, salt-water-soaked hair, and the sun will beat down on her shoulders, legs and face. But it’s all worth it for the freedom and the power she feels as she paddles her way out to the perfect spot, hoists herself up onto the deck, and finds herself gliding smoothly along the crest, climbing and dropping and cutting back through the curls of the wave before it begins to break. Over and over, Zowie and Shae, and their usual friends and fans go back in for more as they refine and perfect their style.
By the time they are ready to pack it in, the beach begins to empty except for families and couples who come out to walk along the shoreline while the sun sets. The surfer girls mount their boards on top of the Fiat and zoom off along the shore suddenly famished, and tired, but invigorated at the same time. Not ready to call it a day, they head back to Zowie’s to clean up before joining more friends at a well-known Thai restaurant in the hills.
The warm shower soothes Zowie’s parched skin as she lathers up to wash away the ocean residue, and she breathes deeply to again enjoy the scent of Lavender and Lemongrass filling the bathroom. What a great day it’s been, she thinks. How awesome it feels to be out in the surf and sun, and to enjoy the pleasure of scents and soap bubbles, emerging clean and refreshed, ready for an evening with friends.
Slipping into her blousy color-splashed jumpsuit and favorite cork and leather sandals, a reminder of her trip to the Amalfi Coast, she grabs her bag and hops in the car with Shae. Shifting quickly through the gears, Zowie steers the car expertly along the winding roads and heads back down the coast. It’s days like this that make her feel alive, Zowie realizes. And she sends up her thoughts of gratitude to the powers that be.