The first time I was introduced to the healing waters of the Jefferson Pools was when a college friend hosted a few of us ladies for a mini reunion. We had all shared the same portion of hallway my junior year. I love these ladies, even though I hadn't stayed in touch with them over the years. My friend's vacation timeshare was part of the Homestead community in Hot Springs, VA. I hadn't been to the Homestead since high school, so it was refreshing to revisit the resort while revisiting with old friends.
We each donned our white terrycloth robes and hopped the shuttle for a soak in the Jefferson Pools in neighboring Warm Springs. I had a migraine from not hydrating enough while walking that morning, so I was reluctant. My friends suggested that the healing waters might help relieve my pain. When we pulled up, I was attracted to the design of the buildings: round. I love round buildings! I was enchanted with the old, rustic, white structure of the women's bath house and really wanted to test the water. I loved the chipped paint coming off the walls, the opening in the domed roof, resembling a tee-pee, and the encouragement of silence to help maintain the tranquility of the environment.
We all got in. My migraine grew worse. I lasted about 10 minutes before I felt nauseous and thought I'd better get out. The water was 98 degrees (all year long), flowed from natural springs, and held a faint smell of sulphur. I excused myself, got out, and went to rest on a chaise in the waiting room. I fell asleep. After 20 minutes, I woke up. My migraine was completely gone. "What in the world is in this water?" I asked the attendant. I HAD to know what took away my migraine. The attendant told me that Native Americans had identified that these waters have every mineral that our bodies need. Thomas Jefferson knew what was up; he soaked in these waters three times a day as an elderly man. (I have since learned that my body had a magnesium deficiency. I now soak in epsom salt to replenish my magnesium levels when I feel a headache coming on.)
I was stunned and pleasantly surprised that my migraine vanished so quick!!
I was so pleased with the magical powers of these waters that I returned 2 weeks later by myself. I also learned that a vortex is centered at this point and magnifies the healing energy of the Jefferson Pools. As I soaked by myself, I noticed a woman enter the water, sheepishly, without clothes. Hmmm, I thought. Her body type is similar to mine, and she's daring enough to soak naked. Hmmm. Note to self: this is possible. I looked around ... the rest of us ladies wore our bathing suits, but this one woman felt comfortable in her own skin. I wanted to feel comfortable in my own skin too.
The third time I soaked in the Jefferson Pool, I did so while my son, Kendryek, took skiing lessons. And this time, I entered the water naked. It was exhilarating and liberating! I floated on my back and enjoyed feeling the warm water surround and support my skin and joints. I enjoyed the contrast of the warmth of the water and the coolness of the air as my face and toes peaked out of the water.I floated with my eyes closed. After awhile, I opened my eyes to change positions. I looked around the pool. Unbeknownst to me, five women had entered and were also floating in the their own little world. And they were all naked! What an amazing feeling to be part of this sisterhood of naked strangers floating in warm water. They were of all ages and all body types. How freeing!
The fourth time I visited the Jefferson Pools, Bonnie (my dear friend and marketing manager) and I were scouting the area for locations for our upcoming women's retreats. There were four or five of us women soaking in the pool. Each of us kept to ourselves, in our own cocoon of water molecules, This time, I floated on my back and didn't worry about what was exposed above water. This time was even more freeing. And this time ...an amazing thing happened. Rain began to gently drizzle through the opening in the roof. I slowly floated into the middle of the pool to allow the rain to drizzle on my face. I LOVE rain. As a little girl, I'd sit outside on the sidewalk with an umbrella and let the rain pour down around me. Rain is my element. I named Kendryek's middle name Rayne. So you can imagine the joy I felt to be floating in 98 degree water and allowing cool rain drops to kiss my cheeks and chin. I smiled and felt I was in heaven. I looked up to see hundreds of rain drops travel from the roof's opening down to the water. Like each drop had a purpose. The sky was gray and allowed a dull light to seep through the opening. I slowed my breathing, pulled my ears under water for greater silence, and became fully immersed in the sensation of the gentle raindrops on my face, on my neck, on my breasts, on my palms, on my knees, and on my toes.
I felt the comfort and protection of mother love. And I felt the stimulation of a lover. I felt grounded. And I felt ethereal. I felt incredibly grateful. I knew Mom and Dad, who used to enjoy watching me sit out in the rain, had conspired to lend a hand in the synchronicity of the rain clouds opening up during my chosen hour of soaking. I felt grateful to have the time and resources for this experience. Grateful for my health becoming more and more magnificent. Grateful for my nerve endings having the sensitivity for these physical sensations. Grateful for my friendships. Grateful to be a woman. Grateful to God. Grateful to be alive. Grateful in my own skin.
I realized that this was, in this moment, the epitome of sensuality, and the epitome of spirituality. I look forward to many more moments like this.
You can also enjoy the healing water of the Jefferson Pools during one of our upcoming Women's Retreats (this October and May 2014). You can soak naked or while wearing a bathing suit. Whatever your comfort level is. Click here for more information: http://www.luxuriaholisticcenter.blogspot.com/p/retreat.html