Even though I had not consciously planned my trip to Arizona to be about my dear mentors and teachers, it quickly became clear that my time in Arizona was a pilgrimage not only to beautiful sacred places but to the memories of my dear friends. The day we were traveling from Canyon de Chelly to Sedona, October 4, was my dear spiritual mother Rachael Salley’s 80th birthday. Rachael loved her birthday. Rachael has been gone over two years now and I miss her every day. I was so glad Val and I were together to celebrate. Rachael always said we were her cosmic daughters and spiritual sisters. That night, we had supper on the restaurant patio, in beautiful Sedona, under the crescent moon shining just over the red rocks as we celebrated Racheal’s memory and legacy. We had a special dessert as Rachael had a real sweet-tooth and never missed a good dessert.
I’ve been to Sedona, Arizona, twice before but it had been over ten years and I felt really called to visit again. I also wanted to visit Sedona again in the memory of my dear friend Page Bryant. I knew Page over 20 years and spent many happy hours in her home. Page was a very wise woman and fortunately left that wisdom for all of us in 14 books. She was very connected to land and sacred sites and the powerful earth energy at those sites. In the early 1980’s Page was the first to identify the energy spots in Sedona that are now the famed energy vortexes that draw so many people to that land. (Starquest Sedona, by Page Bryant) When she moved to North Carolina in the 1990’s, she connected to the same earth energy and wrote her most popular book, The Spiritual Reawakening of the Smoky Mountains. Page taught me about sacred land and the honoring of holy places; her work weaves through all my writing.
So, with great devotion to Page, Rachael and Peter Calhoun, I was grateful to be back on that holy ground again. It really didn’t matter what I did in Sedona, just being surrounded by the beautiful red rocks and deep green forest was why I came back to visit. But you know me, I have to get out and be a part of the that places as much as I could We started our visit at the Chapel of the Holy Cross, a beautiful chapel jutting out of the rock with uninterrupted views of the dramatic landscape. It was a perfect place to meditate and remember Rachael on her birthday. I lit a candle for her, Page and Peter.
The first full day, we hired a wonderful young guide to take us to some lesser-known places. Fortunately it was not a jeep tour as we had enough of four-wheeling in the Canyon de Chelly. Instead, we stopped by Airport Mesa to look at the beautiful view. Conner, our guide, talked about the geological and spiritual history of Sedona. Then we went to the Peace Park where two Buddhist Stupas were nestled close to the forest and towering red rocks. It is a place for meditation and prayer and I felt the great peace of those millions of prayers flowing from the prayer wheels. The third spot was Rachel’s Knoll, named for the woman who had preserved the view for visitors far into the future. I just sat on a rock and breathed the warm western air, so content to take in all of the energy of the land. After a pizza lunch, Val and I visited some crystal shops and bought some rocks and some incense.
Val and I were staying in the Amara hotel which happened to have a great pool with an even greater view. Since I am a pool person, I spent the afternoons soaking up the October sunshine, reading and swimming—my favorite things. Every evening, Val had made dinner reservations at some nice restaurants and we enjoyed eating and drinking, talking and remembering all of our wonderful trips we’ve taken together.
Our last day in Sedona, we were invited to visit an internet acquaintance of Val’s, Rhianne (www.rhiannenewahnd.com) a long-time resident of Sedona. Although we had never met before, it was like we were long lost friends. First, we had a tour of her beautiful garden and then settled in for a long chat. Rhianne has hosted women’s groups for many years and I was very interested in how she formed and ran the groups. She also has developed a wonderful system for spiritual guidance by tapping into the different feminine archetypes that we all hold in our hearts and minds and was kind enough to allow Val and I a chance to experience one of our own archetypes. Three hours past as if there was no time. It was hard to leave our new friend but it was getting late and we were very hungry. That afternoon I spent down by the river, relaxing and reading and enjoying some quiet reflection until the bugs started after my ankles. Another beautiful dinner and a visit to some art galleries made for a perfect last evening.
It was time to head back to Val’s home in Santa Fe and we felt we did what we needed and wanted to do in Sedona. I enjoyed the people we met, the beautiful scenery, delicious food, and sacred land. I felt Page, Rachael and Peter’s kindness and wisdom with me. I loved honoring the land and the dear souls who influenced my life. I couldn’t be more grateful.