Every day people arrive who have never been here before. Trying to bring first timers up to speed is a large and important task. The days of darkness before electricity are gone. Campfires no longer smolder in the park. Outhouses are a dim memory, except on the bat hike. I met a couple one morning as they were basking on the rocks below Oak House. They first came to the hot springs this summer. They love the place; the freedom, the peace, the primitive natural-ness. We three are approximately the same age. We had a good talk about what is good about the hot springs. The gulf between my experience and theirs shrank as we enjoyed the morning sun and cloudless blue sky. Good things happen here and it's good to be part of something unusual and benevolent.
People create the feeling. Some days, the feeling is exuberant and extroverted. Other days feel more reflective and contemplative. One evening might be full of conversation and interaction. The next night might be still and quiet. It depends on who is here. If everyone was conscientious about contributing, then scraps of paper would be picked-up, people would put their cell phones away, the dishes would be clean and ready in the kitchens, the cabins would be tidy before housekeepers arrive to change sheets and sweep the floor, no one would smoke at the pools, and all day visitors would leave by 10:00 pm. Instead of folks furtively trying to "get away" with something when no one is looking, people would realize that their actions have effects and the feeling of the place would remain cooperative, respectful, and receptive. It's a difficult thing to define and each moment has its own explanation. Those of us who've been here a few years have a responsibility to pay it forward - educate and model the ways that have evolved and are still being refined.
Thank you to all those that accept the mantle of stewardship and recognize that how you are and who you are create and shape the space and the moments we share!