Recently, I visited Ojo Caliente, one of my favorite places on the planet. There is something so incredible, expansive, refreshing about this remote mineral springs about an hour outside of Santa Fe, New Mexico. The geography surrounding the springs is magical. There are these monolithic rocks that the springs press against that appear to me like ancient beings watching over the area. All this under the wide blue New Mexico sky.
There is something hard to describe about the sky in New Mexico. For me, this is maybe what defines most the feeling I have of New Mexico. I feel the part of me that belongs to the sky: I am a bird perched at the edge of a rocky crevice, the moment before flight.
Anyway, Ojo Caliente has several natural baths, each fed by a diferent spring and posessing different mineral qualities. Around the tubs a rather high end resort has come to be, but the pools themselves remain rustic. I love connecting here with the elements of water, sky, rock, and the fiery heat rising from the deep to infuse the waters.
Reuniting with nature I have found to be one of the best ways to align with my innermost self. My personal feeling is that dis-connection from the natural elements is maybe the primary reason living in a city gives rise to stress. So, living in a city part of the time, as I have been, just means I need to make intentional effort to spend time with the elements via baths, candles, breath work, etc…
More ideas on generating the elements can be found in my book, The Playing Card Oracles. Below is an excerpt from my second book, The Teacher Within. It was inspired by one o my visits to Ojo Caliente.
Oh, the Water
Oh, to turn rich, multi-dimensional experience into words
ironed out on a page is the unsavory task of the writer.
My only wish is that my words could carry you
as the indescribable sensation of floating adrift.
If only my words could suspend you like water itself,
I would feel my task complete.
So please, dear reader, won’t you lend me a hand,
and loose those tired thoughts which to you have become like dry land,
and allow me to fasten sweet buoys to your heart strings?
We will be rogue sailors, if only for a brevity,
destined for islands of wild adventure that our best maps somehow failed to chart.
And returning home, while haunting the old familiars,
don a new fleck of color in the landscape of the eye,
decidedly resembling mist.
–Ana Cortez, The Teacher Within