Finally, a day here in Austin that actually feels like winter. It’s cool, damp, and overcast (yes, that’s what winter feels like here). I put on a big sweater and made oatmeal with cinnamon and raisins. Now the apartment is redolent with their sweetness (to me, that’s what winter smells like).
As I look out the window, all I can think about is Ojo Caliente, outside of Santa Fe. I haven’t been in hot water in so very long. Soaked in it, that is. Ojo has been a favorite soaking spot since the early 90’s.
First time I was here it was shabby, but in a hippyish way. The screen door at the main building slammed shut when you let it go because the old, coiled spring had been adjusted to within an inch of it’s life.
The pools are the stars here: Iron Pool. Soda Pool. Lithia Pool, even Arsenic Pool. Once held sacred by the indigenous Native Americans who lived here, and believed to have restorative properties, I think in our own modern ways, we recognize their sacredness, too.
They spring from the ground at the base of a large, protective cliff. As I soak, I imagine scouting parties up on the ridge watching over the land. Signs remind you to “Whisper” so that all can enjoy the peaceful environment.
Hello silence, my old friend. When mixed with a bit of arsenic and iron, blue sky and red dirt, you’ve got the recipe for bliss in the middle of winter.