By Jace Bandalin
Once I’ve made my way across the winding backroads of Saint Helena, through the twisting forest trees and past the shops on Main Street, I park my car in the lot, having arrived at the gorgeous site that is White Sulphur Springs. This is the same place where I completed my Hoffman Process more than 11 years ago. It is the same place that I have been blessed with employment for the last decade.
Its natural beauty can’t be overstated, from the towering redwoods up the hill to the trickling sulphur stream with that unmistakable aroma – some things never change. Some days I remind myself to pause and really take in the splendor of the space around me. It’s easy to grow accustomed to my surroundings, no matter how radiant. The gentle reminders to acknowledge that ambient beauty can be nourishing.
White Sulphur Springs – A Love Letter
However, within the beauty that is White Sulphur Springs, one very important component has been missing. There is one thing that is more than ambience, more than the natural splendor of trees and stream – that one thing is you.
For years, this site has been abuzz with the influx of students and the outflow of graduates – a heartbeat that breathes in and breathes out. Always an incredible blend of moments of silence and uproarious sounds of a near ludicrous variety, its inconsistency has always been so delightfully consistent.
The Splendor of Place
While the silver lining of the last four months has led to extra time for the staff to fix various areas around the grounds (beautification and repairs that have held lighter priority when stacked against the courses and students’ needs), it just isn’t the same as when the magic of the Process is in full swing. The classroom remains quiet, the dining room unoccupied, the gong un-gonged.
With a course engaged on site, while the teachers work with the students, the role we the staff hold is to remain in the wings, waiting to assist. The energy that comes from the effort and care that each student puts into their Process radiates out and spreads a blanket of love and joy by the end of the week, which is nothing short of miraculous.
Ripple Effect of Positivity
We love supporting your work, we love the joy it brings, and we love the joy that extends past the person and into their community. That ripple effect of positivity makes the world a better place. But part of making the world a better place is also recognizing how to do our work safely for ourselves and the people around us.
For now, we’re taking things slowly. We’re keeping the lights on and continuing to make this place the best it can be. When you get here, whether for the first time or hundredth time, you can also enjoy the beauty of White Sulphur Springs, and that gong will chime again. Until then, stay safe, and know that you are loved and missed.