Several hours north of Berkeley, near an obscure highway crossroads, 4 miles up an unmarked gravel road winding through the low-lying Coastal Range, through a gate, across a bridge, another mile on the gravel road… We’re at Wilbur Hot Springs, an 1800 acre nature preserve – “Sanctuary, Stewardship, Spirit.”
Our cabin has a queen bed and en-suite toilet and sink, but no shower. None of the rooms have showers – they’re all at the flumes (hot springs pools).
None of the cabins have locks, except you can latch yourself in at night.
There are no electrical outlets in the cabins except for people with medical devices. No TV, no internet, no cell service.
Everywhere is quiet and some flumes are silent/meditation pools.
A couple was singing a love blessing to one another at breakfast.
The kitchen in the main building is a big, industrial strength hippie-New Age-psychedelic vibe shared prep/cooking area. Lots of good food being made. In the same building is a commons, music area, dining room, veranda, library, and the retreat office. No shoes in this building. About 100 feet away are the hot springs.
Most of the people in and around the hot springs are naked, though not all. The age range is about late 20s to late 70s.
Our cabin looks out on a hillside of grass, pines, Manzanita, other trees with golden sunlight in the morning and evening. Then the stars!
Right now I’m sitting behind the main building and there is a jackrabbit 50-60 feet away… some birds, a squirrel, a woman floating through.
We showered, soaked, showered (I don’t know how many times we repeated this cycle), walked through meadows winding through the hills, fixed our meals, talked together and with others, read, had a massage, watched the day dawn and the evening settle over the hills, sleeping close, waking together, loving, outside of time.
“Once again” you said, “I have everything I need” – in this endless summer, in this life – in this beautiful bestowed life.