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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 SMS work-trader, volunteer

assistant manager under Mary H., 1999-2002.

First posted 2013, revised periodically 

Now sailing through 2024. Humanity is in the throes of global transformation, fitfully reaching an epochal tipping point in mass consciousness (or, at least one would hope, despite increasingly polarized and violent times)...

 

...but, alas, is now doing so without the age-old benefit of a visit to Stewart Springs.

 

First the new 'owners' decided to permanently close the bathhouse and cease spa and massage service. Then they converted the building into extra retreat and class space, tearing out the vintage tubs (and dubbed it...Shambala House...)

The depth of their misguided actions defy comprehension. 

Could such a plan, one so disregarding the enduring and profound healing tradition of a realm once assumed inviolable actually succeed? Are there really enough 'bourgeois-spiritual' people out there unable to connect the dots and willing to embrace a scene built on the grave of an extraordinary, would-be love-of-service spa retreat so long venerated?

Or, if not, are Pneuma's pockets deep enough to keep shoveling money down a bottomless pit, regardless -- $77./day in county property taxes alone -- without losing heart? The longstanding cash flow of the place dried up so fast they began offering lodge bookings at 40% off in May 2020, right after giving the bathhouse operation the ax.

One hopes not. Longtime fans of the Spring patiently wait for the current 'owners' who effectively stole the place from the public to burn out on their wonky fantasies of the diversionary takeover -- called by some no less than a crime against humanity -- realizing its inherent spiritual healing nature doesn't allow private-minded detours from a realm that over most of its 145 year operation has served as a healing sanctuary for ALL people --  a de facto non-profit charitable institution dedicated to the greater good.

 

That, or, remaining unrepentant (or possibly even unaware of)  their egregious miscalculation, discover that the land doesn't want them there somehow and they decide to divest of the boondoggle, seeking another headquarters location for unrelated reasons.

 

In time they'll hopefully realize the upper-chakkra zapping power of Mt. Shasta had likely short-circuited their reasoning power and higher awareness to have pursued such a public-be-damned, exclusive-minded fantasyland in the first place.

 

In the meantime, with the bathhouse repurposed, the place last known has been reduced to basic lodging for groups-only doing events, retreats and workshops (and they seem mighty picky about who they'll even accept at that).

 

Without the bathhouse spa -- former central draw for most, some deeming it the heart and soul of the place -- it seems unlikely a viable operation can EVER gain traction. The notion of the bathhouse crazily morphing into yet more lodging area for some anticipated hordes of affluent, awareness-challenged, or shrink-profession preoccupied visitors, blissfully unmindful or ignorant of the continuing travesty, is too beyond the pale for many Springs fans to imagine having a ghost of a chance of succeeding.

 

Such mindless action shocked silly the legion of former spring enthusiasts and
SMS devotees -- day trippers, overnighters, regional and international travelers alike -- long accustomed to enjoying its therapeutic soaks, saunas, plunges, massages and blissful sunbaths while relaxing in secluded nature, some enough to want to overnight.

 

Where could this drove of newbies, all hunky-dory with the current situation, dully unaware of the staggering bad karma the current absentee stewards created, come from?

 

So the questions are: (1) can the 'ownership's' outfits actually either have enough following and connections to build up and sustain the place as a bourgeois-friendly, quasi new-age teaching/retreat and bureaucratic Pneuma world headquarters, snagging a  few undiscriminating groups to lease the grounds and lodgings to defray the steep operating and 'ownership' costs more than a token amount? (2), if not, do they have pockets deep enough that it doesn't matter? And (3), Do they possibly view the place primarily as a long-term realty investment they play with awhile before cashing in on sometime down the road to the highest bidder, regardless of their intentions for the realm?

 

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Chance to redeem the Springs legacy

One would hope that -- barring having unlimited resources -- it's only a matter of time before the present 'ownership' wakes up from their crazy diversionary fantasy and takes a steep reality check and relents...that, in due course, they either realize the folly of their ways for having disregarded the cherished sentiment of thousands of global Stewart Springs fans...or, if not, for some other reason 're-sell' it --  to appropriate, public-minded stewards as fans visualize the universe manifesting a party ready to step up and resurrect operations on a new dedicated level.  A party that fans everywhere, now holding its extraordinary energies in their hearts, see becoming interested in setting things right -- maybe even establishing a dedicated 501(c)(3) nonprofit -- and so restore it to its former low-key glory as an affordable, public-minded purification, healing and rejuvenation refuge, dedicated to serving the greater good.

 

A place that, no longer tainted by commercialism or private-minded fantasies,is  turned over to benefactors who are willing to work hand-in-hand with its once loyal visitor support base. Who are maybe willing to sustain its operation on a largely volunteer, work/trade basis, along with the few reasonably paid positions needed for handling everyday operations like bookkeeping, legal, management, maintenance, and construction/renovation projects. 

 

Such egalitarian stewards would redeem the realm...with the help of the current absentee ones, IF they realize it's in their own best interests to do so (here assuming they're mindful of the law of karma and and realize they've (perhaps unwittingly) dug themselves into one big pit). In so doing, they'd redeem their now threadbare integrity and professional credibility at a place they seem to love too, in their own way, albeit in a tad less altruistic manner.

 

They appear to have never attuned to the establishment's extraordinary public-minded love-of-healing-service tradition, its rare public-service DNA having faded since the 1950s when the place left the Stewart family's 78 years of public-friendly dedication...and then fitfully went through a succession of often dumbfoundingly inappropriate 'ownerships' -- mingled with a few that grokked the healing powers of the place and the former dedication of its first stewards...and, crucially, the reverent peaceful use of the land before 'civilization' ever came along...a place where aficionados turned others onto the place to also enjoy its blessings. 

see history

Envision the current holders finding -- with the help of connection-rich fans with possible leads -- a new, appropriate  'buyer'. One(s) with an embarrassment of riches looking for a good-karma cause to invest it into, a can-do spirit and progressive mindset. Again, ideally one interested in establishing a legal nonprofit status to protect it from ever getting waylaid again...

 

...thus assuring it will again flourish for good as a modest, thriving, affordable spa and all-inclusive healing center for nature-loving, growth-minded people everywhere.

Barring an amazing change of heart -- or, again, deep pockets determined and able to tide the place over with the incredibly misguided  notion to morph the place into some half-baked, upscale, quasi new age teaching and lodging retreat for people with more dollars than sense, or simply toy with privately it themselves a while before making a mint flipping it -- many are convinced that enough spring devotees need only keep holding the former Stewart Springs energy and visualizie a perfect future stewardship in order to manifest it in due season.
 

"Enough' is the key word. Serious intentional laser-sharp visualization...no mere idle wishful thinking.
 

Focused, positive visualizing by every Springs fan, sensing how the place is raring to resurrect as the open-circuit, community-rich healing retreat  it's in its better nature to be.

 

One that further builds on the solid foundation that the Stewart family lovingly built up, enduring through two world wars and the Great Depression.

 

Being a public-spirited healing refuge has always been its destiny ever since its founding nearly a century and half ago. The DNA is still there, fully intact, hiding just below the surface, just waiting to be reactivated by the right compassionate stewards with the financial means. Then the world might once again experience the land's vortex-amplifying energies and purifying mineral waters, precious gifts from Mother Earth to her children.               

  see history

Imagine a loving universe at long last giving the place a GIANT green light.
 

All self-interested, defensive posturing, private-peace pursuits and non-public-minded preoccupations and diversions, gone ...POOF!

 

New, grounded stewardship and management,  possibly working with present 'ownership' if they realize they can acquit themselves by helping find appropriate new keepers to sell the place to at a fair price --  thus creating an ultimate positive legacy of sorts and, redeemed, once again be able to enjoy the place along with everyone else in the sharing spirit the place often inspires.

 

They perhaps will by then have gotten over the misbegotten scheme of trying to either detour its age-old traditions just to suit their own specialized interests  and/or hold on to the place a while before making a killing on the open market...and actually do their part to help re-activate the  giant medicine wheel of the realm to once again turn.

 

Or not. If their hearts won't open, then the best we can hope for is their deciding to divest for totally unrelated reasons and have worked to find an angel benefactor chomping at the bit, ready to pounce once they decide  to sell, hopefully at a fair price.

In any event, combine healing transformative energies with stone-pure intent and voila! In time, enough fans visualizing together might generate a full-tilt, people-friendly, affordable, community-active healing center. One open to all, helping the planet along through its current trials and tribulations. Visitors able to once again purify and cultivate their greater self (one of more positive outcomes of the Covid crisis: learning to shelter in place without going nuts by going deep within and getting in closer touch with the higher powers).

 

As divine co-creators, ENOUGH conscious beings, together visualizing such a reality, can shift the energy, creating enough laser-focused power to actually manifest it. Conscious humanity working in unison is that powerful.

The alternative is unthinkable

If we don't achieve a critical mass of group visualization and the 'owners', if not having deep pockets enough, continue erasing the place thousands have known and loved over the ages before finally giving up due to lack of patronage, or simply decide to cash in, and there's no liberal-minded, benevolent party ready with a reasonable offer, THEN the entire grounds could fully shutter...the front gates swinging shut and padlocked, as they did last in the 1980s, sad testimony of tragic times and the inability or unwillingness to find the right parties to rescue the place (one with, admittedly, a mongrel pedigree karmically) to once again help along the planet's well-being.
 

As recounted elsewhere, it was rescued before by a local-management extended family, starting in the early 1980s and on through 2004, with an unassuming low-key, folksy healing service that was serendipidously more or less in tune with the spirit of the founders, including the willingness to work for peanuts (which became both its initial catalyst for re-opening after being closed for years in the '80s and its ultimate handicap as taken-for-granted workers eventually got illegally exploited).   see second posting in Something About Mary
 

If the operation folds its tent after tiring of shoveling money into the bottomless pit and not getting enough private use and enjoyment to justify keeping it, and absentee stewards aren't moved to find suitable new legal caretakers but instead try to unload it to the first person with ready cash, THEN a forlorn For Sale sign could get slapped on the front gates and the place in time get snapped up by some investment concern with even MORE outlandishly inappropriate intentions for the now beleaguered domain...

 

...or, similarly, if primarily having primarily bought the place as a realty investment, intending to just play at using it a while before selling to the highest bidder and make a mint and no would-be rescuer is ready to pounce and have a reasonable offer accepted, then the sometimes tragic, now-interrupted healing power of the Stewart Springs realm might forever be lost to the public.

 

Wanted: one openhearted investor angel(s)

to rescue extraordinary realm

The place so deserves a resurrection. How many know that a Findhorn teaching center was almost begun there by Peter Caddy, of Findhorn, Scotland fame, in the early '80s? That's how rich the potential is for it to become a global transformative healing point. (see book excerpts)

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Visualize a positive future for the place with the person(s) coming forward looking to plow some of their embarrassment of riches into such an eminently worthy cause.
 

Again, enough mindful visualization by enough conscious fans pulling together, CAN manifest this. Fans who refuse to see the sorrowful actions now afoot in the beleaguered realm as anything but temporary. Fans who have always sensed its vulnerable, neglected state and so, in their hearts, each in effect having become a steward, holding the energy and wanting to protect and preserve it.

 

That abiding widespread, protective love for the place can be channeled to save it once and for all.

Perfect Location

Stewart's is well located midway -- along with Ashland's Jackson Wellsprings -- between California's sister spring Wilbur, Orr, Harbin and Oregon's Breitenbush, for traveling spring aficionados and nature-loving lightworkers everywhere seeking safe haven while tooling the west coast, wanting/needing places to chill and push the re-set button as the planet experiences increasingly intense labor pains before at last transforming into what it was intended to become from the beginning.

Fifteen minutes off I-5, Stewart Springs is an incredibly easy stopover point for the shifting sea of humanity. Those seeking respite from the challenging transitional times and wanting to recharge on new, higher levels without having to buy into a locked, limited operational model and deal with a place's overseers more concerned with gaining power, control and wealth than pursuing the joy of service in providing affordable purification, healing and rejuvenation amid the blessings of nature.

 

Within the restraints of the modest welling rate of the mineral water spring(s) and limited usable land, Stewart Springs' potential to become a vital, low-key happening healing retreat/workshop/rejuvenation center is staggering. A world traveler to mineral spring resorts, Tim Wu, has called Stewart Springs waters "industrial strength", the strongest he'd ever experienced anywhere. Combined with the vortex energy of the realm, the place has an extraordinary potential to aid in the transformation of the planet.

That potential has always been there, just waiting to be tapped. It's perhaps as simple a matter as the present 'ownership' realizing (given they're able to) that the rare medicine of the land, combined with the heavy karma of the place's tragic past, preclude even THINKING about trying to make a buck or exploit the realm and re-purpose it to pursue some private shtick, to the detriment of the public...appreciating there's a vital need for humanity, hungry for natural healing and receiving the glad tidings of nature, to have such sanctuaries. The current claims of the outfit of wanting to help raise vibration of the planet, disregarding in the process having destroyed the place as  countless came to know and love, can be reassessed and the grievous misstep corrected.
 

Stewards -- current and future -- can only (and will naturally want to) dedicate efforts to re-building and expanding the realm's medicine wheel as a dedicated healing retreat. One open to all, especially growth-minded, nature-loving beings -- those who realize we are each stewards of the planet. Those who seek the natural purification, healing and rejuvenation in the secluded setting the Springs provides.
 

Many believe that anything else is destined to fail, having the seeds of its own failure built in. One investing heavily in the realm with material returns in mind, even with some ostensible laudable goals attached, inevitably becomes preoccupied trying to recoup vested funds and get ahead of the game. Or at least try to get their money's worth. In the process, watering down the potential healing power of place and limiting how many can benefit from its powerful medicine just so a few can privately enjoy their holding.

 

The same with umbrella Pneuma's case, its intent, again, appearing instead to privately, unabashedly want to use the place -- running at a loss if need be -- just to grow its own affiliated organizations and serve as a global headquarters and to privately enjoy themselves, and, again, maybe someday sell it to the highest bidder regardless of their intentions for the place...and the hell with ever serving any damn greater good.

 

While Pneuma itself is a nonprofit, California law allows a nonprofit to run a for-profit offshoot, which the 'Pneuma Retreat Center' indeed is. This has allowed it to gain bankruptcy protection if need be against creditors and still keep operating the place at a loss without endangering the deep pockets of the parent outfit.

 

Such a situation being allowed to happen is why both  for-profit operation and private-shtick focus must forever be taken out of the equation...and replaced by genuine-service intent.

 

Cynics might wonder if such a high-minded nonprofit operation could ever get by financially instead of becoming yet one more money draining enterprise. Of course it could. Do the right thing, follow the bliss, and the green energy follows to support it every time.

The place would become so popular it would maybe have to follow the setups of Breitenbush, Wilbur, Orr Springs, and, now, sometimes, Jackson, in requiring reserving visits ahead of time, rather than allowing the formerly accustomed, impulsive, in-the-moment drop-ins. With its limited mineral water sources -- far smaller than any other regional rural spring resort -- calling ahead or reserving online might be needed, if not willing to try pot luck by zipping up the hill fully in the moment as before.
 

While possibly putting a damper on impulsive visits the Springs once thrived on, often lending a spontaneous happening vibe, on the plus side such a setup would tend to make the energies on the grounds more relaxed and focused. Visitors' time spent there might be more valued, energies more centered, for having tuned into the place and committed ahead of time. 

Fondest Hopes Dashed

As said elsewhere, writer (and possibly a few others)  had at first naively imagined there'd be a concerted effort among the new, way-absentee 'owners', management, and volunteer work traders to open their collective hearts to revitalize the place, working in the infectious, can-do spirit the place inspires.

 

Especially on hearing how Mathew Engelhart, founder of California's modest Cafe Gratitude restaurant chain, was a partner for a while.  

(He had wanted the three-sided fireplace in the restaurant gone, which, judging from their site photo on the renamed structure -- Yahooey Golumpus Lodge of Bliss, or some such high-sounding tripe -- became a done deal.)

 

Surely we'd hit rock bottom and the only way was up.

 

Anticipation by some had been on seeing the Springs experience a dramatic rebirth as a thriving renaissance rural retreat after its 34 long years under an improbable, starkly profit-driven 'ownership'...one that at times seemed to barely tolerate the bohemian-leaning, counterculture-friendly patronage that long formed the core of its support base. Possibly it did so only because it proved great for business, reportedly grossing an annual quarter-million dollars in the last years under Foggy's reign. Possibly, to give credit where credit's due, it was because he was, beyond his off-putting relentless profit focus, something of a rebel himself and perhaps enjoyed enabling a quasi alternative-culture-friendly scene which -- with its clothing-optional policy especially -- was so in-your-face to conventional society's depressingly conventional mindset.

 

In any event, it had seemed like a golden opportunity, after two generations of the old regime, to realign the healing energies and get the place's once-powerful medicine wheel spinning again.
 

In our dreams...
 

One looks back wistfully on the old absentee stewardship after experiencing the post-Foggy apocalypse now happening. We had clothing-optional banned, gazebo altar erased, sweatlodge banished. Masseuse took a reduced cut and gift shop consignees' share shrank. The lobby's set out oracle cards disappeared. Over an acre of stately tall pine and cedars were mowed down, almost certainly needlessly, to generate an at least once planned new septic system leach field for bathhouse greywater. Workers no longer got free monthly baths or eve an employee discount; lower echelon workers still worked at insultingly low pay...Then, incredibly, the bathhouse, very heart and soul of the realm to many, was matter-of-factly gutted.

 

To call the intended repurposed bathhouse building Shambala House was like cutting down the one-time groves of ancient trees in the Bay Area and naming the ensuing, mostly tree-bereft development Redwood City.

Future prospects couldn't have looked more dismal short of closing the front gates outright -- again, a possibility if current 'owners' eventually give up for one reason or another and can't sell right away due to inadequate or inappropriate publicizing and/or holding out for too much money, perhaps eventually ending up attracting some detached deep-pockets culture vulture speculator who goes around snapping up distressed properties and then decides how best to flip them for fastest profit before flying off into the night in search of the next easy prey.

Things had become so sorrowful that your writer, longtime volunteer psyched in the joy of service to a noble cause and charmed by a place so easy to resonate with, with greatest reluctance unplugged fully from the Springs in late 2017, after 18 years of casual work-trade and six years building this site, and hasn't set foot on the ground since.

 

The fact that the current 'owners' Pneuma website  almost from the get-go referred to Stewart Mineral Springs as Pneuma Retreat Center boded ill indeed. It sounded early alarm bells to each and every fan nurturing hopes of visiting again and experiencing even the faintest glimmer of their former, long accustomed enjoyment and healing benefit of the realm.

 

The place is at a hyper-critical juncture. One fraught with grave uncertainty. Assuming the worst rumors are true and the place is indeed either bent on trying to morph into some manner of an essentially private compound for Pneuma-related groups -- subsidized by booking a few clueless public groups who can stomach drinking their Kool Aid -- or is primarily holding out to sell to the highest bidder sometime down the road, then Stewart aficionados can either kiss the place goodbye...

 

...OR, a much happier thought, keep holding its former high energy, mobilize a Friends of Stewart Springs group, and visualize a miracle happening. The Chinese character for the word "crisis" also denotes "opportunity."

 

 

Know that humanity stands at a time when, by collectively marshaling spiritual forces, we CAN manifest a new, service-loving stewardship. One that will bring back the bathhouse and restaurant and perhaps the sweatlodge with a merry infusion of volunteer work trade community involvement -- including dances, live music events and vital workshops -- given enough in time engage and get involved to share the load in supporting the new stewardship and prevent anyone from burning out.

 

The choice is ours. Less than the required number of focused Springs fans and efforts remain futile ghost dancing, magical thinking, waiting for Godot, dreaming the impossible dream...

...enough, and it's a done deal.

Blessed be

 

 

 

___________________

 

 

 
 

 

Note: As  a breather from the current abysmal situation, the following is a recycled writing on improvements made on the place in more recent years, plus brainstorms for possible future projects. While some updated perspective is shoehorned in, it was mostly written years before the current crisis. Make due allowances. 

Recent improvements on the grounds

Physical upgrades

seeking spiritual

upgrades to match

Latter-day efforts by last 'owner', John Foggy -- who's running of place, again, looks pretty darn good now  -- have 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 in changing room, bathrooms, and office. 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.

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One nice addition was the custom hearth work for bathhouse lobby wood stove (seen above), done by local tile artisan work-trader Monica, along with tile work on office, bathrooms, 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 huge recent downgrade

In contrast, another project, deeply disturbing, was new 'owners' in 2016 cutting down a giant swath of forest above main road and just down from the hillside cabins. Reason? To make way for installing new septic leach line for bathhouse's greywater, to be pumped 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 sorry fact came to light. Maybe it was like, "Fine; we'll go with that" response rather than taking time to seek a more ecologically sound and innovative solution for which the department might've well granted a variance once they did due diligence in thoroughly 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 yet still strolling grounds, an 80+ year-old believer in the waters, over a century ago.  

Bridge of song?

Perhaps the promise of potential positive changes were best symbolized by the rebuilt car bridge spanning Parks Creek and leading to the 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. The bridge had been previously damaged by the great Parks Creek flood of the '90s and repaired.

One could view the 2011 bridge rebuilding -- tackled by late Mendera and a dedicated Mexican-American crew, from previous legal owner Foggy's specs -- as a reflection of spirit orchestrating the resurection of the place.
 

Bridge over troubled waters? Well, barring periodic raging deluges sending boulders size of VW bugs crashing downstream, the waters really weren't usually all that troubled; they were often pretty mellow, actually; the analogy only goes so far...
 

During reconstruction everyone used the former sole

approach to bathhouse/office -- the venerable old covered walking bridge (seen here), once called Angels Bridge.
 

On the subtle level, this possibly re-activated energy patterns of former, more renaissance times, when, among other things, the bathhouse was protectively distanced from disrupting sounds and the fumes of motor vehicles and drivers' wound energies intruding on three sides like a bad dream.
 

The new policy became for visitors to park below the bathhouse and sweatlodge and stroll up the short incline, or to park on upper road and cross the covered bridge below the restaurant. Let visitors walk a bit, the lazy gats, and free themselves from road energies.

The former quasi drive-in bathhouse was self-defeating. How many spring resorts allowed noisy vehicles to park directly by the bathhouse, engines running and doors slamming and people yakking away six feet from spa goers trying to relax and meditate while sitting or lying down in a dark, womb-like sauna?!
 

Ours did, blessed wayward springs that it became not long after leaving the Stewart family and the mason's service, its service-dedication plug pulled and unseemly commercial considerations taking over. Having thus restored at least that measure of quietude worked wonders to relax the heart of the place on a remedial level.

 

One project many years under consideration before getting tabled was to install a mini hydro power generator upstream and tap Park Creek's abundant free energy, as Oregon's Britenbush does (in their case impressively supplying ALL their electricity). 

This would reduce the place's dependence on inefficient and environment-degrading grid electricity generation. Still on the table was the goal to tighten grounds' aged patchwork electrical infrastructure, thus reducing energy waste and bringing place into closer harmony with nature, strengthening foundation for healing and transformation.

 

What might further help?  (given a new, appropriate stewardship, of course.) Though a logistical challenge and requiring a serious financial outlay and long-term disruption, it would surely fine-tune energies to create a chill freebody zone by relocating the laundry room and office to a new spot -- like the open lot above the bathhouse -- and have visitors park along road and walk across both bridge approaches. Having the chance to feel creek's soothing energy on approach would help spa partakers better unwind  and let go into timelessness, being even more insulated from disruptive vehicular energies, mundane street-clothed business transactions and the often hectic operational and maintenance hub-bub. (Wilbur Springs long had its overnight guests park far away from the spa and hotel office once unloading luggage, making for an incredibly serene vibe.)

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Virtually every other popular regional rural c/o mineral springs resort has its office and laundry located away or well separated from the 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 a respite from such noisy busyness to slip into a blissful meditative state while locked in purifying and healing mode.

Writer's convinced that the non-ideal, now-late, bathhouse setup was more than anything (beyond new, conservative and exclusive-minded 'ownership') the ultimate cause of the eventual re-imposed nudity ban. The place, to writer's knowledge, was never clothing-optional -- other than perhaps casual de-facto skinnydipping -- before 2000, beyond the 1970s' renaissance era under the Goodpastures.

Another complication to changing the 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 the bathhouse couldn't become more streamlined and self-serve. But it would go against the grain of the place's long tradition of "Allow me to draw your bath, kind lady," working-it solicitude and infrastructure setup that offered private baths rather than communal pools.  

(This obviously also worked against ideal clothing-optional environment, visitors feeling put off by having to constantly switch between private and public c/o zones with mandatory wrap-up in between...often made to feel, depending on mix of visitors and one's own mindset, either like quick-change fashion models, striptease artists or shameless exhibitionists.)


Possibly the relative scarcity of mineral water precludes ever making the place self-serve, short of some high-tech rationing system, as precious liquid must be carefully dolloped out. One tech solution: once a set limit is reached, taps automatically shut off until reset by the attendant for the next soaker, a sign lighting up, reading "No more water for you!" But just by moving office, laundry and massage meet,while keeping current attendant system, the atmosphere would be 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 the above sentiment? Especially after she brokered the deal for the current 'owners'...who apparently likewise hold its sacredness high...so high, they didn't want anybody to enjoy it besides themselves and maybe a few select groups willing to pay a pretty penny for the privilege.)

Stewart Springs might be likened to a stray dog. One that belongs to no one and is adopted by everyone, regardless of who "owns" or manages it at any given time. Sensing its sweet lost dream, nature-loving visitors of spiritually receptive bent and  free-

(image) Former inspired walkway, with heart stone center, above cold plunge (photo and stonework by a local, Kiera, who later removed heart stone after falling out with management)

spirited leaning and spare time on their hands, were happy to plug in and help the place along...sometimes for green, other times in exchange for baths and saunas, some for a combination of the two.

 

Or at least take a pronounced proprietary interest in the place...as it had lacked a living-on-the-grounds legal steward for over 40 years. The Stewart family had seasonally called the place home during the operation's first 78 years, as did a few later stewards.  

But last known, there wasn't any manager actually staying on the grounds. (Wouldn't be surprised if there wasn't even a resident caretaker. First an absentee owner, then remote managers. Finally, nonexistent guests might've seemed the inevitable result.)  Wilbur Hot Springs, in contrast, until recent years had the same managing couple calling the place home for over 24 years.

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Take the writer. With time on my hands (and as it turned out apparently part beaver), I felt a spontaneous pull one day to build up a diversionary rock dam in the creek portion below the bathhouse. With the aid of my O/C and a love working in nature, I eventually created the place's first cold plunge in ages.
 

Built and reinforced over the course of several summers, starting in late 1990s and in time gaining seasonal, mostly-volunteer help from others, it lasted (with breaches needing repairs now and then) until late 2012. A raging deluge from the double whammy of sudden spring snow melt plus heavy rain then wiped it out, and we had to start all over.

 

Since the end of the Goodpasture days of the 1970s, having no pool meant would-be plungers were often forced to wrestle strong currents threatening to carry them downstream and slam them onto rocks (as actually happened more than once) if they didn't cling for dear life to friendlier rocks while submerging -- sometimes succeeding, once breaking a person's ribs while attempting a rebirthing (!)  That, or be hard-pressed in low-flow season to ever find a spot deep enough to immerse short of awkwardly lying flat in the shallows, pointy rocks sticking into the back or belly.

Maybe the thinking of management operation -- often a bit spartan and indifferent around the edges, due to a starvation budget and absence of any more mindful stewardship and vision. st least none supported by the legal absentee steward -- was that a cold plunge wasn't really needed -- or, more likely, even considered.

 

That, or efforts to keep a plunge pool were abandoned due to periodic rampaging creek floods all too soon erasing any determined efforts...along with the steps leading down into the waters. Writer once found a concrete step slab in the creek while moving rock about for the dam. It had apparently been torn loose by a creek rampage, reportedly happening almost right after a cement pouring, the ambitious project done no doubt with fond hopes of permanence. Nature often seemed to have other plans.

In later times, many work traders -- notably Kiera, Aurora, and the late Mendera, along with Jesus's Mexican-American crew for modest pay -- joined in or took over the maintenance and repair of the dam and further zenning of the plunge area...including long-needed stone steps leading into the plunge. After writer stepped aside due to health concerns (hernia), Mario took over, doing great shakes braving icy water in a wetsuit and painstakingly moving up to one-ton rocks about with a come-along, rebuilding and deepening plunge to the 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 had happened in recent years, one grounds manager was convinced that trying to create any deeper plunge would be a futile effort, despite writer's assurance that one dam actually lasted for over a decade and gained depths up to five feet -- once, briefly, to over six feet after a backhoe was brought in and before dam-trapped silt and gravel built up again and soon erased the luxuriant depth that had ephemerally made the plunge a genuine, dive-able swimming hole for summer goers to luxuriate in.

Countless contributors

Myriad others made similar strides to the place over time, harnessing often considerable talents and dedication, either for bath-trade, lodging, campsite, or pay so modest it would be out of the question if not being so smitten by the place. One dedicated bath attendant and yoga teacher, Dustin, several years ago on quitting no doubt spoke

Longtime masseuse Debbie Davis > 

for many former minimum-wage-plus-two-bits worker bees when lamenting, in supreme irony, "I love this place but can't afford to work here anymore."

 

 

Another former attendant, Seth, felt inspired to paint the bathhouse ceiling's soothing sky and clouds motif that would grace the bathhouse many years...until unaccountably being painted over. Probably the sky-scape was deemed too outlandishly California in the eyes of the new 'owner's' conservative taste. And Nathon, who later celebrated his wedding to Sarah Sunshine on the grounds to a staggering overflow of family and friends -- largest gathering in recent times -- did wonders with the realm's imposing front gates by water-blasting away the gloomy dark surface of long years, revealing the cheery light wood tone hiding beneath. And gardener Russell transformed the grounds with the greatest profusion of colorful flowerbeds in decades, much to the delight of visitors and staff alike.  

 

Of course, being a for-profit enterprise could often create off-putting commercial headwinds that one had to get beyond -- visitors and workers alike -- before being able to tune into the place's innately powerful healing properties.

 < (image) Once-happening peoples' altar, inside the spring gazebo, now empty and forlorn. It was at first replaced by a cheery sign warning No This, No That, Violators Prosecuted, ostensibly posted to discourage the curious from climbing over the railing to check out the adjoining, untapped red springs (very modest seepage)

Indeed, some past managers and employees seemed to have kept almost solely focused on the place as a cash cow and job security, dismissing all else as woo-woo ka-choo, new age nonsense...but then dutifully paying lip-service to it when it served their purpose, dreaming up catchy p.r. sizzle like "Indulge your Soul" to try luring newbies. No better able to tune into place's healing energy or resonate with its notable light work tradition, and under constant pressure from the 'owner' to max profits, they could -- and frequently did -- go on stupifyingly outrageous power trips, displaying curt, blatantly rude, sometimes even downright scary behavior.

This was, of course, more than a tad non-conducive to any visitor hoping to unwind and heal from the sundry slings and arrows of outrageous fortune...rather than, instead,  experience even MORE at the would-be refuge...suffered more keenly for having let their guard down for thinking they'd found a place of long-reputed relaxed purifying and healing dedication (or knew it in kinder times and assumed it was the same until being shocked senseless to learn it wasn't).

Dead man walking

This was largely the product of the former, remote 'ownership' attracting a management who would agree to focus on maximizing profits, but who, in the case of couple Ted and Rowena*, at the same time seemed to struggle (often, it appeared, futilely) to keep alive some hamstrung vision of the place's higher purpose.

Many dismissed any such effort as an impossible tightrope act, pointing out that one cannot serve two masters.


The result seemed to be building an intent to attract those 'more refined' -- and, big coincidence -- more affluent; visitors willing to drop more coin, resulting in pricing out and eventually lifestyle-ing-out everyday folks of more modest means and unassuming, down-to-earth ways of working with nature.

_______


Any would-be laudable efforts were in part (as mentioned in 11-part rant), aggravated by late co-manager Ted D. dealing with Stage 4 liver disease throughout his entire ten-year run, from 2006 till his death in 2016. And in part because there was always so much work to be done to keep the operation running without a bigger staff that it was easy without mindful anchoring to either rev into callous, hell-for-leather overdrive, courting fast burn-out, or unplug and goldbrick, feeling overburdened, unappreciated and underpaid.

_____

 

One could feel unmotivated to build any more abiding regard for the place and its service beyond it providing a modest paycheck...and perhaps a giddy power rush now and then for helping run a historic institution beloved by so many and held in awe by newcomers.

All told it was rough sledding for any more heart-centered workers hoping to build any positive energy flows. Lord knows, writer went through his own tiresome big-frog-in-small-pond phase before resetting and happily becoming a small fish in the big sea.

 

One former-employee friend vowed, after an abysmal experience with manager and eventual firing, not to set foot on property again until old management was gone.

 

Now its gone...but, alas, might as well still be there.

For the former, frequently alternative-culture indifferent/hostile and bourgeois mindset was only magnified -- to the point of widespread shunning of the place by countless of the place's most dedicated supporters.

 

Of course, overseers and staffs at a nonprofit, or even what might be called a conscious capitalistic spring resort, can 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 being part of a concerted group effort. They're focused on providing genuine service rather than any narrow preoccupation generating green, gaining intangible rewards in spirit and inner fulfillment as well as an (ideally) live-onable paycheck.

 

In any event, intent and awareness are always the bottom line regardless of business model.

The innate profound healing energies of Stewart's in time often won over such disconnected workers. Work efforts became a happy tantric fusion of spirit and matter.

Strange but True Dept.:

Hollywood's macho action actor Steven Seagal once tried buying the place when it was tenuously on market in the late '90s. A super 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 the place seemed protected.

In startling irony, writer, seeking a bit of escape, had  just watched Seagal's "Under Siege" movie on "NBC's Movie of the Week" the night before. Yet I didn't even see his tall personage, with exotically attired entourage, touring the grounds the next day, being so immersed in coldplunge work. On my taking a break, a local visitor asked wide-eyed, "You ever hear of Steven Seagal?" (He hadn't.) I said, sure, I'd just watched a movie of his last night. "Well, he was just here." Manager Mary's mother, Pat, having 11 years helmed the office, later told me how she glared at him through the window as he walked off. "I just knew the first thing he'd do if he bought the place would be to to fire me."

 

In fairness, pressure to get jobs done quickly and efficiently -- not always able to make due allowance for the fragility of human spirit and hold the ideal of not having to exceed a dignified work pace, especially with rigid profit focus by' owner' -- could make keeping a centered, grounded headspace challenging to impossible. As a work-trader, never needing to earn money at Springs to put food on the table, the writer was happily spared any such gnawing pressures. Admittedly, such a situation was uncommon. (see second Something About Mary story.) Workers scrambling to keep a roof over head couldn't afford the luxury of such noble sentiment or quixotic vision, especially if the 'ownership'  chose to over-work and under-pay employees.

Fine-tuning the springs

& ourselves

Places like Springs are needed more than ever now, especially with the pandemic having recently tried humanity so sorely, the world's social/political orders polarizing, and once cherished democratic principles seriously unraveling. Places like Stewart's offer natural medicine to help heal and so better cope with the times' trials and tribulations (what some view as only the birth pangs of a new humanity wanting to be born).

 

The one-winged angel could not fly!  >

Longtime, now reportedly gone, flood-damaged creek island statue, one wing missing, symbolized all too well the mismanagement of Stewart Springs in recent decades. The place wanted to soar as a public-friendly healing refuge but instead remained earthbound, held hostage by often inappropriate, far-absentee legal stewards 

Growing numbers are awakening, albeit many in fitful leaps and bounds dedicating lives to healing and unfolding higher selves and the joy of service. Again, as society reaches some semblance of 'new normal', sojourners seek such sanctuaries on the road, ports in the storm, safe havens from the fading yet still dominant dark forces gripping our fair planet. Having accessible places amid nature to push the re-set button, rejuvenate and re-connect with special nature forces --  is absolutely crucial.

 

That's why it's so tragic that new 'owners' seemed utterly indifferent to erasing the popular culture and time-honored ways of the Springs in the course of pursuing their rankly diversionary, uber inappropriate re-purposing schemes. 

 A new stewardship -- a match made in heaven via conscious group envisioning, unfolding in due course -- would redeem the place and the beloved realm at last become a modest, full-tilt healing spa, retreat and cultural center.

 

 

 

Writer, of course, should've realized the current malaise would happen. After all, the last, controversial manager was the very one who brokered the sale. New 'owners' must've resonated with her "refined" vision of the place (or found her useful to stay on until unfolding their own dubious plans) as they seemed way too content to have her continue on, running the rubber-stamping staff with new relayed orders by remote from 150 miles away during her last two years, continuing to flex a counterculturally indifferent, at times authoritarian, power trip, so unspeakably contrary to the place's original kindly operational spirit.
 

There's a clue, Sherlock.

Changes under a future, open-minded stewardship

With the advent of more affordable solar electric panels -- worlds cheaper today than in 2010 -- along with a breakthrough in denser, long-lasting storage batteries like Tesla's, Stewarts could borrow a page from Wilbur Hot Springs and get at least some of its electricity from sun. (Wilbur, like Breitenbush, is totally off-grid.) One idea kicked around was to set up a solar-operated stirrer for the mineral water reservoir to keep the minerals suspended.

Insulating the bathhouse would further reduce electric use and firewood. Its ceiling has so far stayed uninsulated because ancient wiring sheathing in

< Amazing stone sculpture by the cold plunge, engineer(s) unknown, created in the summer of 2012. Overnight earth spirits, perchance, wanting to gobsmack mortals' minds?

in attic crawl space is so brittle it can't be safely buried under batting.

Installing solar water heaters on the bathhouse roof or nearby, though possibly marring rustic charm a tad, would reduce propane use when the sun can assist heating process for free, with zero pollution.

Electric service carts for housekeeping in the warm season could go a long ways to keep the grounds energy settled, as anyone who ever witnessed their whisper action at Harbin (or any golf course) can testify.

Building a faux-natural hot fresh-water pool -- even a simpler, ambient temperature one (mineral water's far too limited to permit a communal mineral pool) -- somewhere within earshot and sight of the creek would greatly boost communal energy and enable elders and the handicapped easier access to the creek water -- if not the creek itself, creating solid, railing-ed steps -- further aiding and abetting more people's enjoyment and benefit of the place.

Adding a steam room, as Harbin, and Jackson Wellsprings did in recent years, and Orr has long had, would mark a quantum leap in bathhouse amenities.

 

Breathing in mineral-water steam is the third part of traditional water therapy along with soaking and drinking. Writer wasn't a fan of steam baths until experiencing Jackson's in Oregon.

 

Generating steam from mineral water with special equipment seems to make all the difference: one senses the beneficial minerals being absorbed with every breath, the same as with every moment spent soaking in such waters. Dry saunas are great, but so are steam rooms and saunas that allow pouring water over hot rocks. Stewart visitors had long been frustrated that one couldn't throw water on the stove. Even though enchanted by the fire view through the glass door, it rendered throwing water on it begging for disaster.

If not earmarking the area up from the bathhouse for new welcome center/front office, instead one could possibly build a gazebo and plant grass where visitors could then congregate and maybe have acoustic music concerts, poetry readings, group meditations and such during nicer weather. It wouldn't take much expense, with volunteer local supporters merrily pitching in on a work-trade basis --  given a cool nonprofit stewardship.

Tile work by Monica; centerpiece 

reportedly found on grounds

Pipe dreams? Maybe.
 

But the potential is there for even more dramatic transformation. Again, if enough people holding the vision see the current 'ownership' mismatch in keen perspective, the current seizure might ultimately prove no more than a brief regressive blip in its long-term evolution, before the place once again amps up pioneer founder Henry Stewart family's humble 78-year service dedication, one echoing that of his Native American rescuers, that the land be forever honored as sacred and dedicated to the purifying, healing and rejuvenating of ALL beings in the loving arms of nature.

New 'ownership'

betrayed longtime spring devotees

Once more we've experienced absentee Stewart Springs stewards. (Some former legal stewards lived right on the grounds.) It was the first new 'owners' in 34 years, despite the ridiculous epidemic of rumors over the decades every time a 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 had told managers to encourage making wisest decisions amid his over 99% absence.)

Who knows where

the greywater goes?

The new 'ownership' reportedly told the outgoing manager that it was committed to plowing back into the place every cent of profit it generated during its first two years. If true, much of it seemed to be poured into developing an expensive, outlandish new septic field for bathhouse waste water drainage, located across the river and down from the cabins. 

As told, it tragically involved clear-cutting an acre or more of mature trees below the cabins. Though the project was -- if actually undertaken -- an enormous drain of funds (early estimate was $130,000.), it was perhaps the karma of  the former, sometimes-shady, operation for having emptied bathhouse tub graywater into Parks Creek for so long, and county health department maybe finally checking up on place...possibly after being invited in by new owners, wanting to be totally compliant with the powers that be, possibly on the advice of the outgoing manager, and of course then likely threatened with operation closure if the problem wasn't duly remedied. (But maybe the project was halted after the first, dwindling bathhouse visits, then mandated virus closure, all combining to make a drastic decision to simply permanently close bathhouse, problem solved, no longer sweating over not being up to code.)

 

The roguish charm of the Foggy reign was that he was rebel enough to try staying under radar of the oftentimes cumbersome, nit-picky county health and building regulations, thus keeping operational costs down and the various change efforts more relaxed -- but in this case at the unfortunate expense of polluting the creek with bathers' diluted toxins, bath oils, etc. But, again, surely there was some more ecological water-treatment solution out to problem out there if parties were willing to research a viable creative option and then over time gain a county code variance.

What's needed now, more than anything, is every now frustrated aficionado of Stewart Springs envisioning the current legal title holders GONE...giving up,  ideally with spirits chastened after coming to mutually acceptable terms with the new enlightened stewardship envisioned coming forth. But, however it comes down, GONE.

Another change with 'owner' turnover -- for what it's worth anymore -- was the staff reportedly no longer working for 25 cents over minimum wage (though writer heard a report to the 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 hadn't been seemingly intent on stealing place away from everyday people or offering a tightly controlled, bland substitute for the former prevailing wild and free, open-minded spirit...now forlornly locked up in some dank dark dungeon under the now gutted and repurposed bathhouse.

 

Many bailed. One new worker quit the second day out, seeing the writing on the wall, her conscience disallowing working there only to aid and abet the betrayal of the place's cherished tradition of offering healing service to humanity.

Sky's the limit

If and when the place eventually returns to original pure-love-of-service mode under new stewardship, such as currently distinguishes sister springs like Oregon's resident owned-and-operated Breitenbush, there's a world of room for further zenning the grounds and amenities and mellowing service operations. Once the unseemly focus on generating profits and bogarting the realm for private use is fully taken out of the equation and it's instead merrily running as a nonprofit charitable public benefit operation, the sky's the limit.

When the current mismatch is through with its wonky fantasy, perhaps gaining the awareness they've created a mountain of bad karma for themselves but maybe giving up for totally unrelated reasons, THEN countless fans' focused vision will have cleared the way for manifesting a new, appropriate stewardship...

 

...one reflecting the venerable institution's DNA and dedicated to working hand in hand with  nature and the community at large to create a rustic Mt. Shasta cultural retreat and healing center that's at long last again in alignment with the founding family's down-home spirit of humble service.

It could become one of the growing pockets of transformational gathering spaces interconnecting the planet's like-minded, enlightened operational models of human-friendly living.

Future stewards will naturally restore and re-open the bathhouse -- and forge a viable new c/o policy with mindful intent, creating the respectable climate crucial to furthering the place's innate transformational potential.

The Karuk-led sweatlodge could be re-instated with grand ceremony and celebration -- that is, if still interested after having gotten the latest bum's rush from their ancestral land and the group hasn't found a new permanent ceremonial spot to group's liking by then. (Word is that they did, somewhere along a creek.)

 

With the future stewardship embracing the idea, fans might form a think tank of loose-knit Friends of Stewart Springs to brainstorm most readily doable projects, strong on work-trades and donated materials.  Employ the far-flung  talents of those living in the region or visiting awhile, creating a thriving cultural center.

 

One way or another, enough focused people working together will manifest a new, appropriate steward to rescue it from the current 'owners'' misguided efforts. Ideally, they'll realize their private-minded intentions for the place were egregiously inappropriate and were ultimately hurting their own service shtick and potential power to do good in the world.

Despite the nightmare the place has become to any who knew and loved it in kinder times, this too shall pass...

 

One might even allow oneself to get excited at the idea of enough people envisioning a rescue by an appropriate steward, imagining the Springs' future role in world transformation and fitfully bringing humanity back into a greater semblance of balance with nature and one another.

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 (cue song), we work with what we've got. And we've got (or had) Stewart Springs...the way all who have loved place and realize its infinite potential of BECOMING, each fan offering his and her input and skills and momentum to its ultimate manifestation following the liberation and redemption from its current unkind clutches. 

As mentioned elsewhere, the place has been trying to shake free of its benign neglect for decades, ever since leaving Stewart family's deeply grounded, dedicated management in 1954. It was closed outright from 1984 to 1988 but for special groups (including Peter Caddy's) -- yet forever appears determined to find its way back, even now.

 

As former front desk worker Brandy put it, before getting sacked for essentially being human, "It's a hospital for light workers."  

playing beaver

volunteers

of america

Visualization

is the key

One could unaccountably feel pulled to want to help the place along. Financial reward was seldom a motive. 

Steam Bath!

It behooves everyone who's ever loved the place to imagine this happening. It's a simple matter of enough conscious beings INSISTING that the higher destiny of realm unfold with a new, hand-in-glove stewardship, while holding the place's innate energy, plus fans organizing to pool their resources, talents and connections, to make it happen.
 

Bend time, visualize it as already here and hovering over the grounds, gaining strength and clarity with each passing day...ready to descend and hit the ground running at  the right moment...to at last restore the healing realm to serving the greater good.

Damn-age (almost) done

Imagine the best possible place, see an angel investor, a progressive-minded wealthy person(s) wanting to put their wealth into things that will help humanity,  

Perhaps the details of the actual set-up doesn't matter so much as long as the place is at last becoming a legal nonprofit enterprise that the benefactor can resonate with...but with the appropriate intent guaranteeing that the place would henceforth stay locked into being a people-friendly, progressive-minded, service-oriented healing sanctuary and retreat. As said many times, that's been in the place's DNA all along.

 

It merely awaits reactivating.

 

However the universe manifests the rescue of the place -- given enough collective prayers and envisionings and organizing in time bear fruit -- those who honor the Springs's place as the rare, down-to-earth, service-loving operation it is, set in the midst of powerful natural healing land and water forces, would naturally want to make it the best one possible.

 

Talk about empowering... Imagine something akin to Harbin's Church of Heart Consciousness or Breitenbush's worker-owned and -operated collective, only on a modest scale matching the property's size and its limited mineral water output.

 

One might argue that the new steward would ideally get the place at a lower price (or at least at-cost), by way of erasing the grievous karmic debt of having so long held back the accustomed wellbeing and crimped the heartsongs of so many untold thousands of the place's devotees.

 

As the place's intangible yet invaluable business asset -- good will -- was destroyed, a dollop of genuine good will on their part would redeem a now-tattered honor for thus having aided the ultimate transformation of place to its highest, flying-with-the-eagles destiny to serve a greater humanity.

merrily, merrily...

Of course, some note how much easier it is to heal and rejuvenate at an undeveloped

pristine hot spring that one actually has to hike to to reach. Such places, as Stewarts was originally in prehistory, are uncomplicated by any commercial, man-made overlays, blissfully free of karma created by man's unenlightened behavior. Indeed, some will only visit such springs. They feel near-zero pull to developed ones with their clutter of man-made structures, off-putting clock-watching and ouchy fees. ("Dead frog skins" was what some tribes called green paper currency.)

Remember, contained in the Chinese character for the word  'crisis' is the character for opportunity. It's worth watching over now more than ever, holding a vision for its future resurrection under new, enlightened nonprofit stewardship along with the psyched involvement of the community at large.

 

Yes, talking serious money  -- the place traded hands for $2.6 million in early 2016. But it's a drop in bucket in the larger scheme of things. While attracting the right public-spirited benefactor would be worlds easier if there were already set up some sort of nonprofit Friends of Stewart Springs organization (or even just an informal sussing committee), this is beyond writer's abilities and inclination; I'm a catalyst; that's my main role. Maybe others enjoy plugging into various social media to gather people together in common cause. It'll obviously take a strong group effort, people getting more or less on the same page. But the way everyone seems to be doing their own thing these days, living in the moment with minimal commitment, maybe a concentrated group work effort will emerge only if and when the place is rescued by the right legal steward.

 

Thousands around the world would love to see the place evolve into a nonprofit healing spa, retreat and cultural center... a thriving rural scene dedicated to natural purification, healing, and rejuvenation...one that could at long last join northern California's Orr, Wilbur, Harbin, Sierra, and Oregon's Breitenbush and Jackson Wellsprings as another of the West Coast's rural natural-healing havens...having once and for all banished its checkered history of misguided intents and wonky mismanagement by sheer force of will and collective vision of myriad fans. (As noted elsewhere, the Springs in the middle 2000s was invited to join a reciprocal discount arrangement with Orr, Wilbur and Harbin for management staff visiting each others' places; Springs management, used to the place being a standalone orphan, never responded.)

 

Writer heard how Jackson Wellspring guaranteed preserving its spa service integrity only because its original steward, Eugenia Jackson, had  the forethought to set up a binding legal charter in 1923 for the grounds to forever remain a non-profit healing place, a 'natatorium' for the public -- even if legal ownership changes. Future Stewart stewards might do well to emulate this as much as California law allows. (Calling all legal eagles to research options...)

As emerging divine creators and stewards of the planet, together we CAN, over time, with enough pure energized intent and focus and determined commitment, manifest the change. We can liberate the Springs, once and for all.
 

The universe is on our side. The collective vision of the realm again becoming a lighthearted universal healing, rejuvenating, and cultural center might come to pass...

 

...IF enough conscious beings who cherish the realm INSIST on it. 

Blessed Be

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