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Hot Springs

THE WATERFALL              




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My Mind Floated on a Peaceful Tide
A Hot Springs Getaway

We took a very short getaway.  Oh I mean to say, we went on a friendsofwater.com research outing.   We live near the fabulous Columbia Gorge, where the Columbia River separates Oregon from Washington State.   It's an amazing area and we do take advantage of our location to drive out the Gorge fairly frequently.

This time we took an overnight trip to a hot springs resort spa on the Gorge.  The hotel is on the Washington side, which is where we live, so we had a great drive out along the river.  Sometimes the roadway pulls away from the river itself, but more of the time it travels just above the river, with a bit of land between. 

Each time we drive out our first stop is at a Nature Preserve.  It's a wetlands spot where we get out of the car, breath the air, and look at the expanse of wilderness across the wetlands.  It is where we start to drop the day-to-day.  This time, just as we were arriving, we saw a bald eagle in a tree on the other side of the road.  What an amazing creature.  There is something very special about seeing one, especially up close.

As we stepped out of the car we saw and heard several hundred Canadian Geese flying in from the west along the lowlands.  It seemed that all of them were talking.  As we watched, they flew to the body of water down the slope from where we were standing.  Some of them landed on the water, while others kept flying and turned away.  As we watched, those still in the air all made another circle and some more of 
them landed.  And again until they were all on the water.  I've always loved Canadian Geese and really appreciate seeing the large numbers of them that fly in this area.

We drove along to the spa, enjoying the views and occasionally getting out for a view up the river, or across it to Oregon. 

I had a hot springs soak and wrap booked for that afternoon.  Corinne's was the next morning.  The soak is in a big claw-type bathtub.  Each room has three tubs, with cloth screens on wrought iron frames for solitude.  But I've never seen anyone else in the same room as me except when a friend came out with me.  The walls are tiled with clean, bright, emerald colored tiles to a height of about 5 feet.  The tiles are trimmed with dark-stained wood.  Above that, all the way up to the ceiling at probably 14 feet, is painted white.  There is one window, high on the wall, showing the top parts of the Doulas Firs outside.  At your tub there is a hook for your robe and a small table with a pitcher of water and a glass.  And there is plenty of clean, clear hot spring water, smelling just slightly of sulphur.

And so I soaked.  I have a rule for myself that I don't think of work while I'm soaking.  But I decided to allow myself to think about friendsofwater.com.  It seemed so right, so I thought about writing this story.  There was quiet instrumental music coming from another room.  And my mind floated gently on a peaceful tide.  After a time, the attendant quietly called in to see if I had enough.  My answer was no; so I soaked some more.

When I got out, I went to the other larger room for my wrap.  The room is all in white and is lined on two sides with massage tables.  Picture this:  first the massage table, with the head tilted up a little, and a pillow behind your head.  A towel very hot from
the spring water laid on the table, then a soft cotton sheet - then you.  Then another soft cotton sheet, a blanket and another blanket doubled over on top of you, and tucked in all around to hold in the heat.  A towel goes on your head like a hood.

The attendant heard me cough and asked if I would like a towel with eucalyptus on my face.  Oh yeah.  In leaving he told me he liked to give people a good 20 minute sweat, but that if I wanted to stay longer that was fine.  I did.

The instrumental music was a little louder here.  The first music I heard was from a flute floating above a drum - perhaps a tabla.  I 'saw' it as a bird slowly flying up the Gorge above the Columbia.  Once in a while it would flap its wings lazily.  Occasionally it would work just enough to catch the next wind current.  The next song was only an electric piano.  I saw the music as waves hitting the shore, rolling, tumbling and smoothly flowing back again into the sea.   The third song was a Native American flute.  I pictured the man playing it sitting beside a lake, sending his song into the woods on the hills around him.

My attention moved more inside me.  I realized my breath has slowed greatly.  I focused on my breath coming in and going to my heart.  I held it a while, then let it go.  I brought in my breath and energy once again, and pulled it deeper into me - then let it go.  I breathed once more, brought my energy to the base of my spine, and held it
there.  As I exhaled I pictured it flowing up my backbone and out the top of my head.  Once more I brought in my breath and took it to my heart and held it there.  I thought of you, our readers.  And sent my wishes for blessings in your life.

Slowly slowly I returned.  I was alone in the room.  Even the attendant had gone.  I walked across the room and saw a clock.  It said 3:10.  I was shocked.  Then I realized it wasn't what time it was that shocked me, it was that there was such a thing as time.  That made me laugh, and feel grateful that I had broken its binds for a time.

There were a few slices of orange for me, and a bunch of grapes.  Heavenly.  And a bottle of water.  The label read:  "chemical & chlorine-free, carbon filtered-ultraviolet sterilization, submicron post-filtration FDA approved reverse osmosis, ozone protected" water - whew.

I went outside and joined Corinne at the pool - and soaked more in the outdoors hot tub.

The next day we headed back.  At the start of our trip we saw another bald eagle.  A very big one, and very close.

Thanks for reading.  Remember to breath.

Timothy

  

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