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Farewell Emily and Parkes | Maple Grove Hot Springs

Of all the decisions we make on these 45 acres of land, there is one that will always be our most important. ⁠

⁠And trust us, the decisions abound. ⁠

⁠What to plant, build, take down, move here, replace there, heat up, or cool down?⁠

⁠Where to walk, park, hike, soak, sit, find shade, and fall asleep?⁠

⁠How to design this or preserve that? The rules to have, the units to offer, the days to close, and the rates to charge. ⁠

⁠They all pose choices and call for thoughtful decisions. ⁠

⁠But no decision is more important than the one we make when choosing the HUMANS by whom all the deciding must be done. ⁠

⁠As we near the last month of our Center Hosts Emily and Parkes seasonal stint, we could not be more thankful for these easy-going partners who have made the best of some not-so-easy-going days. ⁠

⁠They remind us to tell stories through song and art. To show up and dive in, even when you're feelin' done with divin'. And most importantly, to offer the welcome embrace that one often wishes came their way instead. ⁠

⁠In a month, these guys are going places. Literally. They will be walking the Pacific Crest Trail. We already feel the big, worn-out shoes they are leaving with us to fill!⁠

They leave this community with a lot. But one thing stands out as a gift they seem to drop wherever they go.

They deliberately seek discomfort—in jobs, life, adventures, and beyond. Yet, they show up with one of the most comfortable creating energies. In a way, they turn discomfort into home.

"I am wrestling with so many emotions as we close this chapter in our lives and prepare for a new one to begin. There are so many things I'm going to miss about this special place. The magpies with their morning songs, my evening conversations with the owl that greets me almost daily, watching the fox and its mischievous playfulness, and the moose who graced us with its peaceful presence for the first few months—watching Sully chase the carp, the Canadian geese, and the wood ducks who flock above our heads.

The golden streaks along the hills with every sunrise and sunset, the quiet winter mornings where I have never experienced such peace. The trumpeter swans gracefully floating down the river with their songs echoing throughout the valley. When the sun hits, the steam rises from the source pond creating a golden glow as if God himself descended down on earth. Seeing the snow sparkle like glitter beneath the light of the full moon, floating in the springs staring at a thousand stars, watching Sully run in the snow living every day like it's the best day of his life, the mule deer who cautiously make their way down the valley at dusk, canoe rides on bitter winter days where the wind stings my cheek (just to name a few 😉).

But what I will miss the most are the relationships that we have cultivated here. When you have no TV, very limited internet, and no distractions, you can't help but be completely present with the people who you share these magical moments with. So many beautiful conversations about life and so many deep friendships formed. And a daily reminder of how beautiful our lives are, and Maple made us recognize that more than ever. Thank you for a beautiful six months, a chapter in our lives we surely will never forget." — Emily and Parkes


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