Last week, I took a couple days off mid-week and traveled up to a hot springs retreat. The last time I was there was 2019 and I went with Mario. We wanted to go again early 2020, but then the pandemic hit. They managed to weather that storm and re-opened in late summer. We booked a stay, but mother nature had other plans.
Literally the same week as our reservation, a wildfire came through and burned every one of their guest cabins down along with several other structures on the property.
It took them awhile, but the fire didn’t take out important infrastructure and they improvised getting some new accommodations put together, but by then Mario’s health was really going down the tubes.
I finally decided it was time to revisit this magical place of thermal springs, no wi-fi and a peculiar effect where time seems to move slower. So I made the 3.5 hour drive alone, all the while missing my co-pilot and remembering the last time we were there.
That time, mother nature was showing off her kind side. We were treated to rain showers as we sat in the natural hot springs and looked out over a misty meadow and a hill beyond that’s covered in pines. Moonlight illuminated wisps of steam rising from the water as well as the fog descending down from the hills. The night wrapped around the area like a warm blanket. The only sounds were the trickle of water over rocks and raindrops. I wanted to savor that moment–drink it in like all the liquid around me. For a short time, time had no meaning at all.
Coincidentally enough, on my latest trip the weather transpired to produce almost an exact replica of that last time. After dinner and nightfall, I walked up the path to that same natural pool we both sat in four years ago. I lucked out in that no one else was there. Could be that the rain and the night were keeping other guests in the pools closer to the lodge, either way, I was happy I was alone with only my thoughts. As I eased my body into the hot spring water, a sad calm came over me. The elements cast their magic spell and time was suspended while I sat and processed everything that had transpired since the last time I sat in that pool. The rain came, the steam rose, the moonlight shone, just like before, but this was a different place in time.