Going up to the Montezuma hot springs is one of my weekend routines. Get up in the morning, have a cup of coffee, check emails, go soak. I'm a lucky girl. Usually I go early enough that I'm there alone to listen to the river and the bird songs and watch the vapor rise off the water undisturbed.
Sometimes, though, I meet people. Interestingly enough, its never been the same person twice. I've met professionals, carpenters, hippy travelers, neurotic 20-something couples, obnoxious teenagers, eccentric locals, and people in transition. The first timers are easy to spot; nervously going from pool to pool, looking for the right spot, checking out the vibe.
The hot springs have their own rules of ettiquette. If a pool is empty, its fair game. If someone is in it, you always go to another pool. If they are full, you ask if you can share. In general, noise is to be kept to a minimum and conversation is entered into with an almost ritualistic respect.
Today I struck up a conversation with a very interesting man. We talked about the nature of relationships and love. We discussed the difficulties of independent people who value their space entering into romantic relationships and what has to be done to keep a relationship going.
"What if" he proposed, "you could find someone that didn't expect you to change, even subconsciously, who you are, who wanted the best from you and you felt the same. Someone who encouraged your eccentricities and you did the same. What would you do then?"
"That would be great" I said. "But the difficulty is getting past expectations."
"Expectation minus reality equals disappointment" he returned. "And in the end if we are open to possibilities we are always changed by our encounters with others."
Then I went home and made pancakes.