Flashback to 2018:
Was it my therapist or a friend of mine who guided me towards Sedona, Arizona? I can’t really remember. However, one of them did warn me that if I go there, I may never come back east.
While roadtripping across the United States in the winter of 2019, I had actually scrapped the idea of stopping in Sedona. I had spent so much time between Florida and Texas, that my days were beginning to dwindle away. That and the fact the weather was trending towards cold and grey, I just wanted to stay in the sun. A day prior to me passing by, I gave the weather report another look, and the forecast had magically changed. So with-out much thought, I decided to spend a day and half in this mystical desert town. I knew I’d be back there again, but I didn’t know it would be so soon.
In the Fall of 2019, after navigating through some rough, yet familiar seas, I decided to make the move out to Sedona for 7 weeks.
Having been on the road for a couple of weeks, I was looking forward to finally calling a place my home. Being out in the open world is fun, but there comes a point where I need to settle in. This is something I’ve recently learned about myself. My initial arrival wouldn’t come with-out a delay though.
I pulled into my Airbnb under a starry filled sky and a cold chill in the air. I approached the front door, punched in the code, and much to my surprise, the door wouldn’t open. After contacting the owner without a response, I tried contacting the host, but no one was responding. Now what? Well, I had two options. One was to sleep in my truck for another evening (which I wasn’t too keen on because of the temperature), or two get a motel room. I wasn’t agitated, as I’ve learned at times to let life just play itself out, but I just wanted a hot shower and warm bed. I drove to a neighboring town about 20 minutes away, where I knew I could get a better cell signal and patiently awaited a response. Still, no response!
Knowing that there was another guest staying at the house, I decided to drive back to the b&b and give it another attempt. Lucky for me, this time the guest was at the house and she heard me trying to get in. Finally, HOME!
The next day, my body went into overdrive! I wanted to hike every trail, meet every person, taste every meal, and feel everything that this place had to offer. I had to calmly talk myself off the ledge and remind my younger self that, “hey little guy, we’re here for a while, settle in and make it your home.” With-in days, those angsty/go-go feelings passed and I was beginning to settle in.
It’s now January 24th, 2020, 5am! The alarm clock goes off and it’s 31 degrees outside. While I could stay in bed all tucked in and warm, I’ve got a special date. Her name, Sedona!
Having hiked my way up to the birthing cave the previous week, I made note of going up there for a sunrise. Armed with my headlamp, ginger/maple tea and bear spray (I need to be more afraid of these ugly looking Javelina’s), I made my way into the forest.
There’s something about being in the forest alone as day breaks. Not another living soul around, it’s just you and the endless world. Some have asked me if I’m afraid out there, and to be honest I’m not. I’m more afraid when I’m sitting on an airplane, I’m more angst and fidgety driving around my home-town. Out here though, this is where all the magic happens.
A rather brisk 20 minute hike led me to the cave, where I had it all to myself. I tried setting up my camera, but between the little daylight I had and the maneuverability around the cave, it got to be quite difficult. So I sat and waited for the sun to come up.
While I was sitting there, I was watching an insect make its way up the wall. It kept falling over, but was ever so determined to make its way up. We all could learn a thing or two from this little bugger. While it’s OK to quit when given the circumstance, there are other times with just a little patience, strength, and determination, we can achieve just about anything.
As I was just about to leave, I heard some voices incoming from down below. Turns out it would be a young man and his girlfriend, that I had met a week prior in the very same spot (girlfriend excluded). We caught up on our doings, and wished each other well.
On the way down, I ran into the infamous Javelina’s. I could best describe them as half pig, half rat. Not only do they snort, but I could’ve sworn I heard one bark as well.
My morning would end with an invigorating Kalua Tantra Yoga class. The teacher wound up being from South Africa, where interestingly enough, I’ve been looking at possible extended travel for 2021. She connected me with her family, who runs a nature guide training program down there. The signs just keep on coming!
I guess you could say I’m falling in love, but it’s not with a person. It’s with a Sedona!
Two roads diverged in a wood,
and I –
I took the one less traveled by,
and that has made all the difference