Thursday, July 12, 2007

Ten Thousand Waves

We’ve established a family tradition (tradition being anything you do more than once) of going, on our last night in town, to Ten Thousand Waves, the Japanese-style bathhouse on the outskirts of Santa Fe, for a soak in one of the lovely outdoor hot tubs at the venerable City Different institution.

Tuesday night, after a couple of dinnertime margueritas and a short, personal safety meeting in the spa parking lot, I slid into the warm water in the Waterfall Tub, a deep pond of the softest, silkiest H20 on earth.

Immediately, I was transported to a place of interstellar calm and serenity; the self-conscious concerns I had about wandering around a semi-public place in a kimono melted away; my worries that I was breaking all sorts of unstated rules of behavior in the locker rooms evanesced, and I floated through liquid space in the harmonious presence of my loving family, not a care in the world other than that our scheduled hour would be up too quickly.

In contrast to our experience at another place we liked when we lived here—Mark Miller’s Coyote Café—Ten Thousand Waves remains beautifully cared for and lovingly run. A real spirit of mindfulness and compassion pervades the place. No truer proof of the spa’s healing powers is that even Mimi was imbued with a sense of expansiveness; Jen and I both received more than one unsolicited hug and kind kid words of love.

Our room had a cold plunge with a small waterfall that poured over your head; I tried that once for intensity, but mostly, I liked languishing in the hot water; an underground wellspring pumped tiny bubbles upwards in one area of the tub—you felt effervesced, as if tiny electric eels were lightly shocking your body with giggles from toes to topknot.

The three of us fairly floated from the place afterwards, and even retained some of that calm through our four hour flight delay on the way home yesterday.


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