The Breitenbush Chronicles – #2
Writing way uphill here, from a low chair up to the table in the dining hall at Breitenbush. We, my wife Susan and I, are the only ones in the hall save for some guy who keeps walking in and out. We sat in a naturally heated hot spring pool first, in the pitch dark, before coming here to make coffee through supplied filters and with non-naturally heated water, and to write, and possibly read – though the silent library is more comfortable and conducive for that.
We were in the hot springs for maybe 15 minutes, my head was covered with sweat almost immediately. We were the only ones there, 5:45am, maybe the first humans of the day. Two other guys showed up as we were getting out, old looking though likely younger than me. The hot springs are the calling card for this spiritual place, and I could talk about the physical sensory experience for me, in the heated water, both a weird sense of buoyancy and a simultaneous feeling of being pressed, pressured — but maybe another time.
People apparently swear by this place –it’s my wife’s favorite on the planet. And I will grant that our first day here yesterday was nothing but pouring down rain, so as to color my initial experience. But for me, fresh off three days at the Pacific Ocean, well, it is a no-brainer. I’ll take one of the rising oceans anytime.
We did have a break in the weather after dinner last night, We walked down to the rushing Breitenbush River and saw humongous fish floating and darting, dark shades amidst the current, as well as a doe deer casually nibbling grass not 20 feet away. And we walked the labyrinthe, Susan letting me know that on the way to the center you decide what you want to let go — give away — and on the way out you consider and decide what it is you want to take back. An exchange toward greater emotional and psychic well-being. I did that, calling on my friend Lord Dedith for assistance. Fear and courage, that was my deal. It was also fun and comfortable laying on the bed next to Susan in the small cabin reading last night until an early lights out bedtime of like 9pm.
Also, I want to say I walked in the heavy rain yesterday late in the afternoon to the building named “The Sanctuary”, a pleasant, calming place where I found myself alone and spent an hour first meditating and then reading a Maya Angelou interview from the Paris Review. With my shoes, of course, off at the entry.
But, see, I have had fun and extended moments of peace and silence, squeezing conscious gratitude in here and there, and now we have some 30 hours in front of us with brightening skies and five provided healthy meals in this dining hall, and scattered benches and seats on which to sit and simply “be” here in what is no doubt the wilderness. Alone. Well, save for 75 or so nudists and hippie-wannabes strolling around in bathrobes and birthday suits and other sheafs of progressive garb. Now, it’s possible, maybe these could in fact be “my people”, possibly, in a lefty-leaning political stance, though I have wondered a time or two since our arrival here if the degree of coolness and for sure obvious entitlement of those strolling the grounds and sprawled out sleeping in the silent library hasn’t been in part — the Country’s heart-land bounce-back from it – responsible for the political swing toward and largely encompassing massive collective stupidity.
Yes, carefree thoughts in the wilderness.
But you can’t beat these trees.