New Day Dawning
"Time seems to have stood completely still here...the Springs still retain the wildness and the remoteness the Indians once knew and loved." -- Emile Frank
by S. Ward
Former longtime work-trader; volunteer
assistant manager under Mary H., 1999-2002; suspended support December 2017
Parts first posted 2013, revised & updated now and then
With 2020 upon us, many Springs fans patiently await for current owners to either melt hearts or finish running place into ground in untenable diversionary takeover of former quasi bohemian refuge before throwing in towel and new, wiser ownership coming forward to rescue sacred realm -- hopefully with help of current owners once realizing it's in best interests of all concerned.
Barring former miraculously occurring -- and owners not hell-bent trying to outright privatize place, as one of countless rumors goes -- writer's convinced enough fans need only intensely visualize a perfect future ownership and in time it will manifest. Serious visualization, mind you...of enough fans who believe that place becoming a service-loving, non-profit healing refuge has always been its destiny ever since founding nearly a century and half ago.
Imagine universe giving place a giant green light at long last.
Any and all self-interested, contentious, non-public-minded energies gone, poof! Perfect new steward and management, manifested by positive focused visualization of all who treasure realm -- including, again, present ownership, realizing they can redeem selves by finding and transferring to appropriate new keepers, at fair price, thus ultimately having created positive legacy. Combine healing transformative energies with stone-pure intent and in time it's done. Voila! A full-tilt, legally non-profit, people-friendly, community-active healing, learning, and rejuvenating center.
As divine co-creators, enough conscious beings visualizing such a reality indeed have the power to manifest it.
Remember, a Findhorn teaching center was almost begun there in '80s by Peter Caddy. That's how much potential place has to be a global transformative point. (see book excerpts) Stewart's is well located midway -- along with Ashland's Jackson Wellsprings -- between California's sister springs Wilbur, Orr, re-opened Harbin, and Oregon's Breitenbush, for traveling awakening and awake spring aficionados and nature-loving lightworkers seeking safe haven along West Coast circuit. Fifteen minutes off I-5, Stewart Springs makes easy stopover point for shifting sea of growth-minded humanity.
Within restraints of modest welling rate of mineral water spring(s) and limited usable land, realm's potential to become happening healing retreat/workshop/rejuvenation center is staggering.
It always has been. It's a simple matter of current ownership realizing heavy karma of place's violent tragic past absolutely precludes even THINKING about trying to get rich off sacred realm OR repurposing to perpetuate psychoanalysis shtick, both to detriment of affordable access and vital, free-spirited use by general public.
Instead, owner -- current or future -- can only dedicate efforts to re-building powerful medicine wheel, ideally as legally non-profit operation, to best serve planet. Anything else is ultimately destined to fail, having planted seeds of failure since beginning.
One might wonder if such a high-minded non-profit operation could get by financially. Naturally, in due time. Do the right thing, follow the bliss, and the money follows to support it...every time.
Place would undoubtedly become so popular it would have to follow Breitenbush, Wilbur, and Orr Springs in requiring reserving visits ahead rather than allowing drop-ins.With its limited mineral water sources -- far less than any other regional spring resort -- it would almost be a given to have to reserve ahead.
While putting damper on impulsive spur-of-moment visits Springs once thrived on, on the plus side such a contact-ahead setup can keep energies more relaxed and focused. Visitors' time spent there is often more valued for having committed and tuned in to place ahead of time.
Fondest Hopes Dashed
As said elsewhere, writer at first naively hoped there'd be a concerted effort among current absentee owners, management and work traders to open collective hearts and re-vitalize and beautify place, working in upbeat, can-do spirit. Especially after hearing that the founder of Cafe Gratitude became a partner (he later sold interest...one wonders why). Surely we'd hit rock bottom and the only way was up.
Anticipation by many was seeing Springs experience dramatic rebirth as thriving renaissance rural retreat after 34 long years under improbable, unapologetically profit-driven ownership...one that at times seemed to barely tolerate bohemian-leaning, free-thinking patronage that had so long formed much of support base. (Possibly it did so only because it proved great for business, reportedly netting annual quarter-million dollars in last years; possibly in part because owner was, beyond off-putting relentless profit focus, something of free-thinking rebel himself.)
In any event, it seemed a golden opportunity after two generations of old regime to realign healing energies and get place's once-powerful medicine wheel merrily spinning again.
In our dreams.
One looks wistfully on old regime after experiencing current disaster. We've had clothing-optional banned, gazebo altar erased, and sweat lodge banished. Masseuse took slashed and gift shop consignees' cut shrank. Lobby's oracle cards disappeared. Over an acre of stately tall pine and cedar trees were clear-cut, almost certainly needlessly. Workers no longer got free monthly baths; low echelon workers are still working at minimum wage...
Near future prospects couldn't look more dismal, short of closing front gates -- again, one of rumors. Things became so dismal, writer, once full-tilt volunteer, reluctantly unplugged from Springs after 18 years of psyched work-trade (and nine years evolving this site).
Place is obviously at hyper-critical juncture. Assuming worst rumor is no more than cynical imagining the worst and that place does stay open to public on restrained, don't-enjoy-yourself-too-much level, Stewart aficionados can either adapt to heartbreakingly compromised, homogenized scene, kiss place goodbye...or, while shunning it visualize universe manifesting new, service-loving, legally non-profit stewardship.
Fact that current misguided owners' Pneuma website now refers to Stewart Mineral Springs as Pneuma Retreat Center clearly bodes ill for all far-flung fans nurturing hopes of visiting and experiencing even faintest glimmer of former (at it's best) unfettered, grounded, spirit-soaring enjoyment of realm.
Recent improvements on grounds
As breather from depressing current developments, following is recycled-writing on improvements made on place in recent years, plus brainstorms for possible improvement projects. Updated perspective's shoehorned in. It was mostly written years before current crisis, so if one's given up on place, it might negate any interest over what improvements have been made, place almost seeming to have been demonically wrested from those who most deeply treasured it. Anyhow...
Physical upgrades seeking spiritual upgrades to match
Latter-day efforts by last owner John Foggy --who's running of place, again, looks pretty damn good now -- included building zenned privacy wall by cold plunge, new plumbing to all tubs, new drain lines, and new flooring in bathhouse (though, alas, losing venerable intricate mandala floor pattern), plus custom floor tile work. Also: enlarging conference hall deck, new footbridge across creek, zenned landscaping all around bathhouse, plus new grounds steps and stairways, including new landing and stairway and up to dorm rooms #7-10 above bathhouse.
One nice addition was custom hearth work for bathhouse lobby wood stove (seen above), done by local tile artisan work-trader Monica, along with tile work on office and dressing room floors. One of newer works tackled by grounds manager Josh was tiling floor and walls of two tub stalls and installing trey-fancy faucet fixtures...which, predictably, some love, others hate, others indifferent to.
One recent downgrade
In contrast, another project, deeply disturbing, was new owners in 2016 cutting down giant swath of forest above main road, just down from hillside cabins. Reason? To make way for installing new septic leach line for bathhouse's greywater, to be pumped clear across creek (?!). Possibly Health Dept. suggested that, off the cuff, as wild-haired solution to past furtive dumping into creek...which of course eventually got place in trouble as fact came to light. Maybe it was like, "Fine; we'll go with that" response by new owners, rather than taking time to seek a more ecologically sound, innovative solution Dept. might've well granted variance on after ownership did due diligence in seriously researching viable options. As sad result, some 30 mature pines and cedars bit the dust -- many no doubt busy happily growing while pioneer Henry Stewart, founding namesake, was still strolling grounds over a century ago.
Bridge of song?
Perhaps promise for potential of positive changes were best symbolized by rebuilt car bridge spanning Parks Creek and leading to bathhouse.
Car bridge during
construction, fall 2011 by Mendera and Mexican-American crew led by Jesus
Its former wood planks and timbers had rotted and unpainted metal understructure rusted up such a storm, crossing the stream could be something of an adventure. Bridge had been previously damaged by great Parks Creek flood of '90s and repaired.
One could view 2011 bridge rebuilding -- tackled by late Mendera and dedicated Mexican-American crew from previous owner Foggy's specs -- as reflection of spirit orchestrating restoration of place to former glory.
Bridge over troubled waters? Well, barring periodic raging deluges sending boulders size of VW bugs crashing downstream, waters really aren't usually all that troubled; they're often pretty mellow, actually; analogy only goes so far...
During reconstruction, everyone used former sole approach to bathhouse/office -- venerable old covered walking bridge (seen here), once called the Angels Bridge.
On subtle level this possibly re-activated energy patterns of former, more renaissance times when, among other things, bathhouse was protectively distanced from disrupting sounds and fumes of motor vehicles and drivers' wound energies circling it on three sides.
New policy, now over decade old, is for visitors to park below bathhouse and sweat lodge and stroll up short incline, or to park on upper road and cross covered bridge below restaurant. Let visitors walk a bit, lazy gats.
Former quasi drive-in bathhouse was self-defeating. How many spring resorts allow noisy vehicles to park directly by bathhouse, engines running and doors slamming six feet from bathers, trying to relax and meditate in sauna?!
Ours did, blessed wayward springs that it is, ever since leaving Stewart family and later mason's service. Having thus restored that measure of quietude worked wonders to relax heart of place.
One project many years under consideration before getting tabled was to install mini hydro power generator and tap Park Creek's abundant free energy upstream, as Oregon's Britenbush does (in their case supplying all electricity). This would reduce place's dependence on inefficient and environment-degrading grid electricity generation. Still on table is goal to tighten grounds' aged patchwork electrical infrastructure, reducing energy waste and bringing place into closer harmony with nature, strengthening foundation for healing and transformation.
What might further help? Though logistical challenge and requiring serious financial outlay and long-term disruption, it would surely fine-tune energies, creating chill freebody zone, to relocate laundry room and office to new spot, like open lot above bathhouse, and have visitors park along road and walk across bridges. Having chance to feel creek's soothing energy on approach would help spa partakers better unwind into timelessness, being even more insulated from disruptive vehicular energies, mundane street-clothed business transactions, and sometimes hectic operational and maintenance hub-bub.
Virtually every other popular regional rural c/o mineral springs resort has office and laundry located away or well separated from bathing compound.
For good reason: Fully clothed, foot-shod people arriving fresh off highway, money transactions, housekeeping runs, massage meets, churning washing machines and whirring dryers, etc. don't mix with bathers wanting respite from such noisy busyness in order to slip into blissful meditative state and healing mode.
Writer's convinced non-ideal bathhouse setup was, more than anything (beyond new conservative ownership), ultimate cause of recently re-imposed nudity ban. Place, to writer's knowledge, was never clothing-optional -- other than perhaps casual de-facto -- before 2000 beyond 1970s' renaissance era under Goodpastures. Another complication to changing setup: attendants would still be needed to track time, clean tubs, and stoke sauna and lobby wood stoves.
All other popular regional springs are self-serve.
But as last manager pointed out, comparing Stewart to places like Harbin is comparing apples to oranges. Not that bathhouse couldn't become more streamlined and self-serve. But it would go against grain of place's long tradition of "Let me draw your bath, kind lady", tip-working solicitude and infrastructure setup of offering private baths rather than communal pools. (This also worked against ideal clothing-optional environment, visitors feeling put off by constant switching between private and public c/o zones and mandatory wrap-up in between...made to feel like quick-change fashion models.)
Possibly relative scarcity of mineral water precludes ever making place self-serve short of some high-tech rationing system, as precious liquid must be carefully dolloped out. One tech solution: once set limit is reached, taps automatically shut off, until reset by attendant for next soaker, sign lighting up and reading "No more water for you!" But just by moving office, laundry and massage meet, while keeping current attendant system, atmosphere would be fairly transformed.
"I deeply love this place and hold its sacredness in the highest honor. Every decision I make reflects this commitment."
- Rowena Pantaleon, General Manager 2006-2017
(Why did so many come to doubt this? Especially after she brokered deal to new owners, who apparently likewise hold its sacredness so high that they don't want anybody to enjoy it anymore.)
As mentioned elsewhere, place has been trying to shake free of benign neglect for decades, ever since it left Stewart family's super-grounded, dedicated management in 1954. It was outright closed from 1984 to 1988 but for special groups (including Peter Caddy's) -- and forever appears determined to find its way back, even now despite recent depressing turn of events. As former front desk worker Brandy put it, before getting sacked for essentially being too real, "It's a hospital for light workers."
Stewart Springs might be likened to a stray dog belonging to no one and adopted by everyone -- regardless of who "owns" or manages it. Sensing its sweet lost dream, nature-loving visitors of
Former inspired walkway, with heart stone center, above cold plunge (photo and stonework by Kiera, who later removed heart stone on falling out with management)
spiritually receptive bent and free-spirited leaning, with spare time on hands, were often happy to plug in and help place along, sometimes in exchange for baths and saunas.
Or at least take a pronounced proprietary interest over place, as it's lacked a living-on-grounds owner-steward for over 40 years now. Stewart family actually seasonally called place home during operation's first 78 years, as did some later owners. But last known, there isn't even a manager staying on grounds. (Wouldn't be surprised if there isn't even a resident caretaker. First absentee owner, then remote manager; nonexistent guests might seem inevitable result in long run.)
One could feel unaccountably pulled to help place along. Financial reward was seldom primary motive -- or one at all.
Take writer. With time on hands and, as it turned out, part beaver, felt spontaneous pull to build up a rock dam, creating place's first cold plunge in recent times. Built and reinforced over course of several summers, starting in late 1990s and in time gaining mostly-volunteer help from others, it lasted (with breaches needing repair now and then) til late 2012. Raging deluge from double whammy of sudden spring snow melt and heavy rain finally wiped it out and we had to start all over.
Since after Goodpasture days of 1970s, having no pool meant would-be plungers were often forced to wrestle strong currents threatening to carry them downstream and slam them into rocks if they didn't cling for dear life to friendlier rocks while submerging -- sometimes succeeding, but once breaking person's ribs...while doing rebirthing (!). That, or be hard-pressed in low-flow season to find spot deep enough to immerse short of awkwardly laying flat in rocky shallows, rocks sticking into back or belly.
Maybe thinking of management operation, often a bit spartan, sketchy, and indifferent around edges, largely due to starvation budget and absence of any more aware steward, was that a cold plunge wasn't needed -- or, more likely, even thought about. That, or efforts to keep plunge pool were abandoned due to periodic rampaging creek floods soon erasing any effort...along with steps of any stripe leading in. Writer once found a concrete step slab in creek while moving rock for dam. It had apparently been torn loose by creek rampage, reportedly almost right after pouring, project done no doubt with fond hopes of permanence. Nature sometimes has other plans.
In recent times many work traders -- notably Kiera, Aurora, and late Mendera along with Jesus's Mexican-American crew for modest pay -- joined in or took over maintenance and repair of dam and further zenning plunge area...including long-needed stone steps leading into plunge. After writer stepped down due to health concerns, Mario took over, doing great shakes braving icy water in wetsuit, painstakingly moving one-ton rocks about with come-along to rebuild and deepen plunge to best level in years...until yet another deluge brought efforts back to square one. Working with nature's a trip.
Since so many wipe-outs have happened in recent years, one grounds manager was convinced that trying to create any deeper, more ambitious plunge would be futile, despite writer assuring him one dam actually lasted over decade and built up depths to five feet -- once, briefly, to over six feet after backhoe brought in, before silt and gravel build-up soon erased luxuriant depth, ephemerally making plunge a genuine, dive-able swimming hole.
Myriad others made similar strides over time, harnessing often considerable talents and dedication, either for bath-trade, shelter, campsite, or pay so modest it would be out of the question if not smitten by place. One dedicated bath attendant and yoga teacher,
Longtime masseuse Debbie Davis >
Dustin, many years ago on quitting no doubt spoke for many former minimum-wagers-plus-two-bits when lamenting, "I love this place but can't afford to work here anymore."
Another former attendant, Seth, felt inspired to paint bathhouse ceiling in soothing sky and clouds motif that graced bathhouse many years, before unaccountably being painted over --probably deemed too outlandishly California to new owners' conservative taste. And Nathon, who later celebrated wedding to Sarah Sunshine on grounds to staggering overflow of family and friends -- largest gathering in recent times -- did wonders with front gates by water-blasting away gloomy dark surface of long years, revealing cheery light wood tone hiding right beneath. And gardener Russell transformed grounds with greatest abundance of thriving, colorful flowerbeds in decades, to the delight of visitors and staff alike.
Of course, being a for-profit
enterprise can often create off-putting commercial headwinds to get beyond -- for visitors and workers alike -- before being able to tune into place's innately powerful healing properties.
< Once-happening peoples' altar inside spring gazebo, now empty and forlorn. It was briefly replaced by cheery sign warning No This, No That, Violators Prosecuted.
Indeed, some past managers and employees seem to have kept almost solely focused on place as cash cow and job security, dismissing all else as woo-woo ka-choo, new age hogwash...but dutifully paying lip-service to such when necessary, dreaming up catchy p.r. sizzle like "Indulge your Soul" to lure visitors. No better able to tune into place's healing energy or resonating with light-work tradition, they could -- frequently did -- go on stupifyingly outrageous power trips, displaying curt, sometimes blatantly rude, behavior...
...This was of course more than tad non-conducive to any visitor hoping to unwind and heal from slings and arrows of outrageous fortune...not experience yet more at would-be refuge...suffered more keenly for having let guard down in fond hope of finding elusive serenity there.
Dead Man Walking
This was largely product of former ownership attracting management who agreed to focus on maximizing profits, but who at same time seemed to struggle, often futilely, to keep alive some hamstrung vision of place's higher purpose.
Many dismissed such efforts as impossible tightrope act, pointing out that one cannot serve two masters.
Result seemed to be building intent to attract those more refined and -- big coincidence -- more affluent, resulting in pricing out and policy-changing out everyday people of more modest means and simpler, more down-to-earth lifestyles.
Any would-be laudable efforts were in part (as mentioned on home page) aggravated by late co-manager Ted D. fighting Stage 4 liver disease all along ten-year run, 2006-2016. And in part because there was always so much work to be done to keep place together without bigger staff that it was easy to either rev into callous, hell-for-leather overdrive, courting fast burn-out, or unplug and goldbrick, feeling overburdened, unappreciated, and underpaid.
As said, one could feel unmotivated to build any more abiding appreciation of place beyond it providing paycheck...and perhaps a giddy power rush now and then.
All told, it was rough sledding for any more heart-centered workers, hoping to build lasting positive energy flows. Lord knows, writer went through own tiresome big-frog-in-small-pond phase before resetting and happily becoming small fish in big sea. One former employee friend vowed, after abysmal experience with manager and eventual firing, never to set foot on property again until old management was gone. Now it's gone...but, alas, appears still there. For former frequent alternative-culture indifference/hostility and bourgeois mindset now seems only magnified -- to point of widespread shunning of place by countless of place's biggest fans and longtime supporters. (In fairness, add that Pneuma, part of umbrella ownership, is a nonprofit and doubtless does good work. But -- reality check -- it's so egregiously misplaced trying to do its thing at Stewart's on for-profit basis, ownership costs effectively subsidized by public, that it fairly beggars imagination.) see rants
This is not to say overseers and staffs at non-profit, or even what might be called compassionate-capitalistic, spring resorts can't also get caught up in similar power trips and mundane, workin'-to-make-the-rent headspaces. But it seems less common. People often feel more inspired for being part of concerted group effort focused on providing genuine service, rather than narrow preoccupation maxing profit, gaining intangible rewards in spirit and inner fulfillment, as well as (ideally) live-onable paycheck.
In any event, intent and awareness are, of course, always bottom lines regardless of business model.
Innate healing energies of Stewart's in time often won over such disconnected workers. Work efforts became happy tantric fusion of spirit and matter.
Strange but True Dept.: Hollywood's macho action actor Steven Seagal once tried buying place, when tenuously on market in late '90s. Insultingly low counter-offer was promptly refused. No telling what might've happened. Open one day a year to public like Dunsmuir's historic Shasta Springs resort, now super-private St. Germain Foundation retreat? Surely place was protected.
In rich irony, writer had watched Seagal's "Under Siege" movie on NBC Movie of the Week night before, yet didn't even see his tall personage and exotically attired entourage touring grounds, being so immersed in coldplunge work. On my taking break, a local visitor asked, "You ever hear of Steven Seagal?" (He hadn't.) "He was just here." Manager Mary's mother, Pat, then helming office, later told how she glared at him through window as he walked off. "I just knew the first thing he'd do if he bought the place would be fire me."
In fairness, pressure to get jobs done quickly and efficiently and not always able to make due allowance for fragility of human spirit and ideal of some dignified work pace, especially with rigid profit focus by owner, sometimes made keeping mindful headspace challenging to impossible. As work-trader, never needing to earn money at Springs to put food on table, writer was thankfully spared such gnawing pressures. Admittedly such situation is not common. (see Something About Mary) Workers scrambling to keep roof over head can't afford luxury of noble sentiment or quixotic vision if ownership chooses to over-work and under-reward them.
Fine-tuning springs & ourselves
Places like Springs are obviously needed now more than ever. Growing numbers are awakening and dedicating lives to healing and unfolding higher selves. More sojourners seek sanctuary on the road, a port in the storm, safe haven away from fading yet still dominant dark forces gripping our fair planet. An accessible place
One-winged angel cannot fly!
Longtime damaged creek island statue, one wing gone, symbolized all too well mis-management of Stewart Springs in recent decades.
Place wants to soar as thriving public-minded, culturally-diverse healing refuge, but remains earthbound, hostage to inappropriate stewards
amid nature to push re-set button, rejuvenate, re-connect with nature -- sometimes in profoundly life-changing ways. That's why it's tragic how new owners seemed hellbent on destroying people's-culture heritage of place in course of inappropriate repurposing efforts and desire to attract more "refined" traffic.
Hopefully it's only unwitting rather than some intentional effort to want to tick everyone off so people won't care if gates shut to public down the road ...after being suffered and money taken to help fund makeover. If former is case, again, present ownership might be brief, and new one -- match made in heaven via every conscious being loving place envisioning it unfolding in perfect time -- redeeming place, beloved realm at last becoming full-tilt, service-loving healing and rejuvenation refuge.
If latter is the case and it's intentional, it's more problematic but not unsolveable...with enough intensive visualization by all who cherish realm...and spread word about unconscionable scene now unfolding under banner of dubious smiley-faced enlightenment efforts -- among other things, hoping to turn place into academic training center for professional psychologists to gain new therapy tool for clients and new, framed certificate to clutter wall, gathering dust, reassuring clients the fortune they're forking over is well spent.
Writer should've realized current malaise would happen. After all, last, controversial manager was very one who brokered sale. New owners must've resonated with her "refined" vision of place, as they seemed way too content to have her continue managing, running rubber-stamping staff by remote from 150 miles away during her last two years, continuing to flex counterculturally-indifferent, clothing-optional hostile, non-transparent, at times frighteningly authoritarian, ways.
There's a clue, Sherlock.
Changes under future, open-minded stewardship
With advent of more affordable solar electric panels -- some 80% cheaper today than in 2010 -- along with breakthrough of denser, long-lasting storage batteries like Tesla's, Stewart, could borrow page from Wilbur Hot Springs and get a bit of its electricity from sun. (Wilbur, like Breitenbush, is totally off-grid.) One idea kicked around was setting up solar-operated stirrer for mineral water reservoir.
Insulating bathhouse would further reduce electric use and firewood. Its ceiling has long gone uninsulated
< Amazing stone sculpture created by cold plunge, engineer(s) unknown, summer 2012. Overnight earth spirits, perchance, wanting to blow mortals' minds?
because ancient wiring sheathing in attic crawl space is so brittle it can't be safely buried under batting.
Installing solar water heaters on bathhouse roof or nearby, though possibly marring rustic charm a tad, would reduce propane use when sun can assist heating process for free with zero pollution.
Electric service carts for housekeeping in warm season could go long ways to keep grounds energy settled, as anyone who ever witnessed their whisper action at Harbin (or any golf course) would testify.
Building faux-natural hot fresh-water pool -- even simpler ambient temperature one (mineral water's too limited to allow communal mineral pool) -- somewhere within earshot and sight of creek would greatly boost communal energy and enable old and handicapped far easier access to creek water, further aiding and abetting people's enjoyment of place.
Adding a steam sauna, as former Harbin, and Jackson Wellsprings did in recent years and Orr has long had, would mark quantum leap in bathhouse amenities. Breathing in mineral-water steam is third part of traditional water therapy, along with soaking and drinking. Writer wasn't fan of steam baths...until experiencing Jackson's in Oregon. Generating steam from mineral water with special equipment made all the difference: one senses beneficial minerals being absorbed by breathing, same as during soaking. Dry saunas are great, but so are steam and wet saunas. Stewart visitors were often frustrated over how couldn't throw water on glass-windowed wood stove heater, even though enchanted by fire view.
If not earmarking area up from bathhouse for new welcome center/front office, instead could possibly build gazebo and plant grass where visitors could congregate and maybe have acoustic music concerts and such now and then in nice weather. It wouldn't take much expense with volunteer local supporters gladly pitching in on work-trade basis given cool, non-profit stewardship.
Tile work by Monica; centerpiece > reportedly found on grounds
Pipe dreams? Not really.
Potential is there for even more dramatic transformation...again, if enough people holding vision see current ownership mis-match in stark perspective: barring miraculous heart melting, they might pose as no more than mere regressive blip in longterm evolution before place again amps up pioneer founder Henry Stewart's lifelong belief, echoing that of Native American rescuers, that land should be forever honored as sacred, an affordable place dedicated to purifying, healing and rejuvenation of ALL in loving arms of nature, regardless of life station or lifestyle.
New ownership failed
longtime spring devotees
Once more we're experiencing new, once-again absentee Stewart Springs owners . Again, they're the first new owners in 34 years, despite ridiculous epidemic of rumors over decades...every time new manager, bristling with proprietary airs, like they owned the place, appeared in front office. ("Act as if you own the place," last owner Foggy told managers to encourage making wisest decisions amid his 99% absence.)
Who knows where
the greywater goes?
New ownership, reportedly told by outgoing manager, was committed to plowing back into place every cent of profit generated its first two years. If true, much of it seemed to be poured into developing expensive, outlandish new septic field for bathhouse tub drainage, located down from cabins. As said, it tragically involved clear-cutting a couple acres of mature trees. Though project's enormous drain of funds (early estimate of $130,000.), it's perhaps karma of former sometimes-shady operation for having emptied bathhouse tub graywater into Parks Creek so long and county health department maybe finally checking up on place...or actually being invited by new owners, wanting to be totally compliant with powers that be, possibly on advice of outgoing manager, and of course threatened with operation closure if problem not duly remedied.
Roguish charm of Foggy reign was that he was rebel enough to try staying under radar of sometimes cumbersome, nit-picky county health and building regulations, keeping operational costs down -- but in this case at unfortunate expense of polluting creek with bathers' diluted toxins. But, again, surely there was some more ecological water-treatment solution out to problem out there if parties were willing to research viable creative option and then gain county code variance.
Another change with owner turnover -- for what it's worth now -- is staff reportedly no longer working for 25 cents over minimum wage (though heard report to contrary recently that wages, at least for non-management employees, were still rock bottom). This would improve worker morale and dedication to operation if workers felt new land stewards weren't seemingly intent on stealing place away from everyday people, or offering tightly controlled, bland substitute for former wild, free, open-minded spirit, now locked up in dank dark dungeon under bathhouse.
Many bailed. One new worker quit second day after seeing writing on wall, knowing conscience wouldn't allow working there, aiding and abetting betrayal of place's cherished traditions and dedicated welfare for others.
Sky's the limit
If place eventually returns to original pure-love-of-service mode under new stewardship, as currently distinguish sister springs like Oregon's resident owned-and-operated Breitenbush, there's a world of room for further zenning grounds and amenities and majorly mellowing operations. What's needed now, more than anything, in light of current disaster, is
every friend of Stewart Springs envisioning current owners' hearts melting... or, if too skeptical to entertain such an improbable miracle, going for the gusto and envisioning them giving up, spirits contrite, seeking out new future enlightened ownership into setting place up as legal non-profit healing, retreat, and learning center, and thus nobly redeem their place in Springs legacy.
When current mismatch is through trying to repurpose realm and and sees using place for private Pneuma world headquarters too problematic with budding awareness they've created insurmountable mountain of bad karma for selves that they throw in towel...countless fans' focused vision will have cleared way for manifesting perfect new stewardship.
One dedicated to working hand in hand with community to help create a rustic Mt. Shasta paradise.
It behooves everyone who's ever loved place to spread the word. Again, assuming intent isn't to close place to public, it's simple matter of enough conscious beings boycotting place while insisting higher destiny of realm unfold with new, appropriate ownership.
Bend time and visualize it as already here, hovering over grounds, gaining strength and clarity with each passing day, ready to descend and manifest in perfect time, at long last restoring sacred healing realm to affordable, free-spirited use of all.
Damn-age is done
Future owner(s) will naturally lift current oppressive clothing-optional ban, forging viable new policy with mindful intent in its stead, creating respectable c/o climate, crucial to furthering place's powerful transformation potential, now so pitifully arrested.
Karuk-led sweat lodge would be re-instated, with grand ceremony and celebration -- if even interested after having gotten latest bum's rush from ancestral land and group hasn't found new permanent ceremonial spot to group's liking by then.
With future ownership is open to idea, fans could form think-tank of ridiculously-loose-knit Friends of Stewart Springs and on wing brainstorm doable projects, strong on work-trades and donated materials. Let place become all-inclusive. Employ far-flung talents of those living in region or visiting awhile and create thriving rural community healing center. It would become one of growing pockets of transformed gathering spaces, interconnecting planet's like-minded enlightened operational models.
Imagining best possible place, perhaps see angel investor, progressive-minded wealthy person(s) or group wanting organization's riches to best help humanity, being alerted to current plight, and then universe connecting them to 'buy' place.
Over time, loose-knit Friends could possibly organize and buy ownership shares, ultimately collectively owning and operating as legal non-profit healing and cultural center similar to Breitenbush. Just a thought among many possibilities. The actual set-up doesn't matter so much as place becoming a legal non-profit operation, guaranteeing place to forever be people-friendly and service-oriented.
However universe manifests a rescue of place, after collective prayers and envisionings, those who honor Springs's heritage of being rare, down-to-earth, nonprofit-in-spirit operation most would naturally want to help make it the best possible.
Talk about empowering... Imagine maybe something akin to Harbin's Church of Heart Consciousness, but on much smaller scale.
One way or another, enough focused people can manifest new, appropriate owner, rescuing it from current owners' misguided efforts once they realize their private-minded vision of place cannot possibly work in real world.
By all rights, one might argue that new steward should get place at lower price (or at least at cost), by way of paying off grievous karmic debt for having oppressed wellbeing and crimped heartsongs of thousands of place's once-dedicated devotees so long.
As place's intangible yet invaluable business asset, good will, was destroyed wholesale, a dollop of good will on their part would smooth things out and redeem now-tattered honor for having aided ultimate transformation of place to its highest, flying-with-the-eagles destiny to serve the public.
Despite current nightmare that place has become to any who knew it in kinder times, this too shall pass... eventually.
It's exciting to
anticipate Springs' possible future role as world transformation brings humanity back into balance with nature.
Of course, some note how much easier it is to heal and rejuvenate in pristine hot spring one has to hike to reach. Such places, like Stewarts was originally, being 'civilization', are uncomplicated by commercial or even noncommercial man-made overlays, blissfully free of mountain of karma created by man's unenlightened behavior. Indeed, some will only
visit undeveloped springs. They feel near-zero pull to any developed ones with their clutter of man-made structures, off-putting clock-watching and ouchy fees. ("Dead frog skins" is what some tribes called green paper currency.)
Maybe with likely dramatic earth changes to come, new mineral springs will surface, beckoning mankind as in days of old deep into arms of pristine nature, for timeless primordial womb-like immersive healings.
Meanwhile, as we witness Mother Nature on the run in the twenty-first century, we work
with what we've got. And we've got Stewart Springs...the way all who have loved place and realize its infinite potential can visualize it BECOMING, focusing positive imagery, each adding input and momentum to ultimate manifestation.
We're blessed to have it. Even if now it feels kidnapped and held for ransom. Remember that contained in Chinese character for crisis is character for opportunity. It's worth watching over now more than ever, holding vision for future transformation under new enlightened stewardship.
We're of course talking serious money here -- land traded hands for $2.6 million in early 2016. But it's a drop in bucket in larger scheme of things...perhaps a good-karma bauble for some wealthy enlightened being looking to invest bit of embarrassment of riches into worthy cause.
Thousands around the world would dearly love to see place evolve into positive nonprofit thriving rural retreat center dedicated to free-spirited purification, healing, and rejuvenation...one eager to at long last join Orr, Wilbur, re-opened Harbin, Sierra, Oregon's Breitenbush and Jackson Wellsprings as West Coast nature-healing havens, having once and for all banished its checkered, often tragic history, misguided intents, and wonky mismanagement, by sheer will of devotees around the world.
Writer heard Jackson Wellsprings reportedly guaranteed preserving its service integrity over time because original owner had forethought to set up binding legal charter for grounds to forever remain non-profit healing place for public, even through owner changes; future Stewart steward might do well to emulate as much as own state law allows. (Calling legal wiz...)
As emerging divine creators, together over time, with enough pure energized intent and focus, we can liberate Springs once and for all.
The universe is on our side. Collective vision of place becoming light-hearted universal healing, teaching, and rejuvenation center will prevail...if enough people who truly cherish Springs insist on it.