As of Monday, we are in the Age of Aquarius, thanks to the convergence of Jupiter and Saturn. What a time to be in Sedona, Arizona. You probably know Sedona is a community about half way between Phoenix and the Grand Canyon, famous for its dramatic geology. I am staying with friends, Belle and Bill, on a piece of land adjacent to thousands of acres of national forest and a few miles from the Red Rocks.
Most of my time here so far has been hiking, cooking and writing, like my days in Berkeley, but different. Dry air instead of sea air. Vast open spaces instead of urban busy. The lawn signs are more Stop the Steal than Black Lives Matter.
Sedona’s history museum says Dorsey Ellsworth Schnebley “discovered” Red Rock country, a perspective that is, er, a little outdated. Native Americans lived here for thousands of years, including the Anasazi, the Hohokum and the Sinaqua. Today, their descendants — like Hopis and Navahos — live on reservations to the east. The Red Rocks now belong to affluence and tourism.
With or without the humans, the region is loaded with magic. The rocks have been sculpted over 350 million years by seas and sands. Iron oxide gives the rocks their distinct color. Photographs don’t capture the magnificence of these geological giants, set against the clear skies and desert expanse. Hiking through them is inspiring. Many believe there are cosmic forces here, called “vortexes,” that promote healing and self-discovery.
Having lived here for many years, Belle has a special perspective on the spirits of the Red Rocks. When i suggested we hike to a vortex, she replied, “You are the vortex. We are the vortex. It’s all a vortex”
However and whatever you celebrate, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. In spite of the insanity of 2020, my annual list of the past year’s Ten Best will be easy to create. I hope yours will be too.