Thank you Cacti, thank you red rocks, thank you massage, thank you best road trip ever
So if you haven't guessed already, the theme for this blog is gratitude. I am overflowing with it! I feel so blessed, so incredibly loved. When you get to experience the rugged beauty of your country on a spiritual quest - something happens. God is in everything! It is spectacular and I am saying thank you thank you thank you God thank you Universe thank you everything and everyone that showed up randomly on this journey to make it so magical.
Ok. Back to basics.
I left El Paso this morning very early. I had decided to prolong the trip and see some beauty rather than book it to LA in 10 hours. Wisest choice ever made in the history of man. My first stop was the Saguaro National Park near Tucson, AZ. It took about two hours to get there and the weather was absolutely perfect for windows down/singing/foot out window activity. I have not enjoyed this behavior all trip, so I was pleased to say the least! I guess the storm from last night cooled things down for a bit.
By the time I reached the desert in Saguaro, it was hot as balls again - and vertually impossible to go hiking, but the 9 mile scenic drive around the park was absolutely breathtaking. The cacti are so strong and regal and...phallic. So beautiful and everywhere! What really struck me about this park were the sounds. I have never heard birds and insects like this before - desert folks. It was amazing. I just sat on the hot rocks for 10 minutes and enjoyed the strange symphony. On my way out Emmylou Harris' song "Boulder to Birmingham" came into my head and I sang it all the way through.
I also met an adorable couple from Arizona in the park who were super friendly and said they were so thrilled to meet me and asked for my cd and said they would pray for me and my career in LA. Thank you God!
The drive through Pheonix was the not fun part. Lots of traffic and my first brush with an asshole tailgater, but I made it onto 17 north soon enough and the beauty began. Hills and hills of green and rock and sky and clouds. Absolutely gorgeous. I made it up to Sedona in record time and as I pulled around the bend and the red rocks peeked out at me - I lost my breath. Tears came to my eyes. It reminded me of the first time I spotted the statue of David - jaw to the floor. These rocks are packing some seriously spiritual juice.
I received a hotel recommendation from my old boss at the West End House and decided to splurge. I needed to end this part of the journey on a high note. And hello! Amara resort and spa is a beautiful hotel with a view of the red rocks and an idyllic, serene creek flowing in the back. I new I was in the right place. I booked a massage and am happy to report that my lower back and ass DO NOT HURT ANYMORE. That massage girl had freaky fingers, but I guess she knew what she was doing, because I feel great.
After a steam room - I walked down by the creek and sat by the water for a little moment with the Big Guy/Sky. I realized that I was sitting by a creek with a tree and a rock that I had imagined in my mind many times before. A place that I have always dreamed of sitting. It was surreal. Truly. I don't know how to explain it, other than tears came to my eyes as I fully and truly felt that my dreams are coming true - moment by moment - for some reason God is blessing me. I have no idea what I did to deserve this. But at that moment, I could feel with all of my being that I am on the right path - and living the life I have always dreamed of. Wow. (Hope that didn't freak anybody out - but I'm in Sedoma and this kind of shit happens here).
So I decided I wanted to buy a tourquoise ring at one of the arty shops in town. The first store I walked into was run by a stunning woman from the Choctaw nation. Tourquoise Buffolo had a sale on rings, so we took our time looking at them and chatting. I decided they didn't have the right one - I have freakishly small fingers, fyi - and just as I was about to go, I spotted the right piece - a mother of pearl/opal dragonfly necklace. I stopped and picked it up. The wise woman said, "Ahhhh, dragonfly, the gatekeeper of your dreams." I was like, seriously?!?! AND this is the totem for my beloved niece Eve who I already miss so dearly. Now I can have the gatekeeper to my dreams and a reminder of my Eve close to my heart always. Seriously - what is up with Sedona being perfect. The beautiful woman's husband and grandkids came in for a huggy. They had been up in northern New Mexico hearding sheep for awhile. She beamed with pride and as they left called out, "Goodbye my little bears."
I walked across the street to have a late/lite bite at a place called the Cowboy Club. I sat at the bar and struck up a convo with the most interesting couple. The man had a huge mustache, teanned skin, kind blue eyes, and the most exaggerated southern drawl I have ever heard. He was a horse trainer from Oklahoma - a true cowboy - who joined the army in his 20s - ended up stationed in Germany where he met his wife. They got married in the early 80s but then divorced. After being splitsville for 23 years, he called her in 2005 and they have been married ever since, living in Germany. I was like...who are you people! This is awesome. He gave me some sage cowboy advice - "Always trust your first instinct about those crazy people out in LA. Don't let em sweet talk ya. You'll know right away if they're good people." Thank you cowboy. I reminded him of the fact that we were at the 'cowboy club' and he said that was bullshit. He was funny. They wished me well and godspeed and good luck and where on their way.
Did I mention I feel blessed? I'm back in my gorgeous hotel room feeling relaxed...and ready. Earlier today when I saw the sign for LA in southern Arizona - I felt scared. I wanted to drive around this country inevitably so I would not have to face the big scarey in the big city. But I'm ready now. I've got my advice and my dragonfly and my beauty and my inner knowing that this is the ride of my life and it does not stop when I reach the west coast!