Sustainability in business is a timely theme anywhere, but is especially a matter of great discussion here in Sonoma county. The Sonoma BEAwas started in 1997 in collaboration with the Economic Development Board by business, environmental and government leaders to promote responsible environmental practices that cut costs for business.
The BEA’s mission is to connect businesses both with each other and with the resources they need to implement affordable, green measures. They focus on no-to-low cost practices to help strengthen local businesses in the current challenging economic climate.
When my son (now in his thirties) was born, I was given a book titled Loving Hands: The Traditional Art of Baby Massage by Frederick Leboyer. In those early months of new motherhood I would set aside time to massage my baby son with pure coconut oil following his bath. He loved it. He returned the favor when he was still small — by crawling, and then walking on my back when I would lie on the floor. He thought it was very entertaining, and I loved it. These were special bonding times for both of us, helping us to just relax and have fun together. I continued to massage him as he grew older, especially his head and feet, assisting him to disconnect from the stresses of daily life and ease into a relaxed state.
I am lying on a bed of chamomile, deeply inhaling its gentle fragrance as I listen to a waterfall flowing behind me. I don’t want to leave here but am too energized to stay, so I rise and follow a stone path around a heart-shaped koi pond and across the small waterfall.
There, I take one last look at the guardian stones — boulders, practically — and wish them well.
“Every Japanese temple garden has these three stones, kind of a trinity of spirits to watch over the well-being of the garden,” Osmosis founder Michael Stusser had told me during a tour of his haven that morning. “They’re usually quite small and subtle. It’s a break with tradition to have guardian stones so large.”
FREESTONE, Sonoma County – Everything I’d read and heard about Osmosis – and it was all good – included a breathless claim: “It’s the only place in America with a Japanese enzyme bath!”
So my first question for Michael Stusser, who created this “om” of an oasis in the postage-stamp town of Freestone 20 years ago, was, “Why is it the only one?”
His answer was long, but it boiled down to this: high maintenance.
“Anybody can throw a few drops of scented oil in a tub and call it a spa treatment,” he said. “But making an enzyme bath is like making wine and cheese; each batch has to be closely overseen, and each is different.”