Change is the only constant, and I am unendingly shown this through the people I meet and the places I go. Sometimes I get so caught up in my academic work that I forget I am in one of the most beautiful places in the world.
While walking down my street I hear my phone ring, and flip it open. It’s my friend Kelly and she asks, “Do you want to go to a hot spring with me and few friends?” This is what I mean by change, the little nuances that visit us within our days. Some call them miracles, others divine intervention, I just call them beautiful surprises. So, of course I went to the hot spring; for the most powerful word in the English language is not love, or peace, or F#&%, but yes.
About an hour away from Prescott, the Camp Verde Hot Spring sits for those who would like to partake in its wonderfully warm waters, one of many within the region. However, driving there means hopping in a four-wheel-drive vehicle, traveling down a scenic highway for half an hour, then up and down a treacherously muddy dirt road that stops at a trail on the side of the Verde River.
The hike is roughly two miles to where we must cross the crisp waters of the mildly raging river with our pants off, and boots tied together hanging around our necks. Walking barefoot for a half mile because the smooth river stones massage the bottoms of our feet, we arrive and there is already a guy and a girl sitting in the bowl shaped spring, with slight wisps of steam rising from the clear water.
Easing myself in, the girl sitting across from me is from Portland, Oregon and makes specialty chocolate which she sells in jars, and she just happened to have some. It tasted like a garden full of magical flowers, and when I closed my eyes, my nostrils filled with a sweet potion, universally altering my consciousness. For this is the most real I have felt in a very long time, and is greater than anything the pharmaceutical company could ever produce, it is experience that creates sorrow and bliss, not a synthetic tablet that promises escape and numbness; I am here, and wherever I go, there I am.
We stayed until the beauty of darkness prevailed, and the stars were the only ones awake, all the while the moon was under its dark covers staying warm, not awaking and reflecting for anyone. Walking back to the river barefoot, there was just enough light to perceive the shadows on either side of the path, and then crossing the river, a feeling of rebirth rushed over my retinas, and I perceived my life with a entirely new set of perceptions, and the understanding as to what is truly important, and what can glide away with the unanimous night.
Driving back home, I thought about what I planned in the morning, and how different the day actually turned out. For life is one big game of checkers, cause and effect, and on one side I make my own decisions with my black-pieces, but on the other side controlling the red pieces is change. We have a free-destiny in this life of ours, we move our own pieces, and the universe moves some as well.