I recently got out of dodge for a bit and headed to the oh-so-lovely Breitenbush Hot Springs for the weekened with Mama Bear. I had booked a weekend for us as part of her Christmas gift this year and we were both so excited about it.
Breitenbush is one of those magical places that feels completely removed from the rest of the world. It is owned by the employees and is an intentional community on a wildlife reserve. Intentional is an accurate word in more ways than one. Everything feels like it was done with thought and purpose, and there are so many small details that create beauty; handcarved wooden doors, sloped Japanese style roofs, a small ceramic sink and water fountain along the path through the woods. There is also an amazing feeling of community, a quick familiarity and ease formed with strangers as you eat at the same table (amazing vegetarian food!) and soak in the hot springs and saunas together.
We spent our few days there walking the trails in the snow, reading on the couches in the lodge, yoga-ing, soaking until we felt like melted prunes, and generally talking and laughing endlessly.
Here are a few thoughts from my journal:
In the sauna last night at dusk we peaked out the round window to see three deer grazing in the damp grass, soft and brown and so very close to us. Today the sun came out and the moisture in the sauna was caught in shafts of light, twinkling motes that swirled and danced as we waved our hands through the air. Small rainbows formed at the corners of my vision and I felt so alive I wanted to laugh aloud after immersing myself in the white claw foot tub outside, full of ice cold water. This morning it had snowed and we walked down by the river, the sun emerging from behind the clouds, all the branches dripping with shimmering drops of melting snow. Widening circles formed in the creek, plop, PLOP, plop, as fat drops fell from the branches. Everywhere I looked was something beautiful; a snow covered teepee, lime green lichen on the leaf-strewn ground, a pile of brightly colored fishing poles stacked on someones deck, a blue bathtub in the snow.