Sunday, April 06, 2008

Red Rock Resurrection

Sunday, March 23 ~ Sedona, Arizona

It's noon on Easter and well past time to leave Sedona and begin the six-and-a-half-hour drive back to Albuquerque.

As I pull out of Ravenheart Coffee's parking lot from a dizzying meeting with my tax person, part of me really wants to drive up to the lookout atop Airport Mesa and take in the city that was twice my home. But it's late, there's a long journey ahead and I need to get going. So I do.

An hour passes. I'm on I-40 east of Flagstaff when I suddenly realize that I've left a sweater in my Sedona hotel room.

Not a big deal. Someone can pick it up for me and I'll retrieve it when I'm in Sedona again in September.

I call the hotel, only to be told that I've left not only the sweater but also a garment bag.

In nearly three years of full-time travel and hotel living, I never left clothes behind. How did I forget half of them today!?

I shrug, turn around at the next exit and head back.

Ninety minutes later, I'm in the hotel parking lot, all my missing pieces retrieved and accounted for.

All but one.

The still-missing piece is Sedona itself.

Forty months ago, when my marriage ended suddenly, so did my relationship with this amazingly beautiful and powerfully transformative place.

Although I returned frequently to visit my daughter, the profound feelings of connectedness that twice drew me here to live did not. Each return visit carried an emotional charge as weighted as Sedona's signature red rocks. Each departure, more bitter than sweet.

As I sit in the parking lot, I realize that it was Sedona, not forgotten luggage, that called me back...called me back to reclaim a part of myself that never left.

Perhaps had I listened to Sedona's noontime call, I wouldn't have had to turn around. No matter. I'm here now and I resolve to stay until she's done with me.

She's not asking much, just a short drive to revisit a few favorite spots and vistas...just a brief circuit to reconnect her energy with mine.

And so I drive up through Soldiers Pass, past Thunder Mountain and, finally, to the majestic view from the Airport Mesa lookout. As I do, the part of my heart that shut Sedona out 40 months ago begins to crack open again.

Sedona is where my heart opened to let in one relationship, then shuttered when that relationship ended. Today, as I look down over the jewel of a city where so much of my emotional life has played out, an unexpected healing occurs. In this moment, I sense a new chapter beginning and feel the freeing up that will allow another intimate relationship into my life.

There are so many other places to revisit -- Cathedral Rock and Courthouse Butte, Long Canyon and Red Rock Crossing. But it's 4 p.m. already and I'll lose another hour with the time change back into New Mexico.

Besides, Sedona is done with me...for today. As she did once before, she has prepared me for love.

This departure is all sweet. The "forgotten" items that drew me back have triggered an Easter resurrection that I won't soon forget.

Sedona photos by Mark David Gerson


motherwort said...

I read your blog and realized that my very own experience with Santa Barbara echoes it. I have ben returning regularly since my heart was broken here, and I have found small spots of joy in it, but it wasn't what it was. And so I felt not just the loss of a deep intimate relationship, but the loss of a place that had come to be home and happiness and promise all rolled into one (not to mention beautiful). As I headed to my conference I thought to myself Maybe this will be my last visit for a while. Maybe it's best to be done with Santa Barbara. Maybe it was just love that made it luminous to me and with love gone, the magic was gone too. I returned to therapy recently. It's been a long transformation year with the loss of love, a new hip, my mother's cancer, my daughter's move to high school, changing jobs, and a ton more. One of the things I realized was that some of what I missed was the person I was in that relationship and I thought I couldn't be that person outside of it, although of course I could and can, my own lack of belief in myself my only limit. I think I found it last night diving to Santa Barbara. I think I found that magical, adventurous part of me, the one loves deeply, the one that is open to life. I think I had my resurrection, a little late, as always.

Thank you for helping me put words to this wonderful rush and flow of feeling. I feel reborn. Lucky me, lucky you, and lucky the ones whom we open our hearts to and who open their hearts to us.

Mark David Gerson said...

It's never too late for resurrection!

Anonymous said...

It's funny: my sister is a born-again Christian and, unbeknownst to her, I am pagan. However, right before Easter (Oester or Ostara for me), she sent a brief but poignant e-mail: "Happy Resurrection!" It couldn't have meant more to me, facing a new career of spiritual counseling and an ordination in June - and a certification in a very special healing modality. It's nice to have my sister back, and I'm more ready than ever to give her unconditional love. As usual, the Universe times things perfectly.

I am usually called to "reclaim" beautiful places that I've been to - or any other places, for that matter - after a breakup. I love as truly and as thoroughly as I can, acknowledge and forgive myself my part in "our" troubles when I know them, and keep an ever-wider opening heart. And I have recently realized that I cannot hate or resent anyone whom I've loved: I loved them, and that doesn't go away. Being both Native American and of faerie, Nature (wherever, whenever) is a healer, family, and a joy for me. I could not avoid it for long...just as I could not avoid love. I'm not just evolving, but transcending...