Oh, God and I do mean God, because who else could have created such incredible beauty? Tectonic shifts and erosion and ferrous oxide, yes, I know, but all that had to start somewhere and I do believe that a Universal Force, the Divine or call it God, ignited this place and the world.
We spent four days and three nights cradled between red rock formations that blew our minds. Look left, look right, look across the valley—look everywhere and see Mother Nature’s sculptures. How can you forget the glory of God in such country?
I can only show you fragments, scraps of the experiences we had, because it was all on such a scale that it’s impossible to cover in a blog post. Or two. Or three.
Let’s start with the Chapel of the Holy Cross, inspired by the Empire State Building (say what???) and designed by Marguerite Staude, a student of Frank Lloyd Wright, with his help. Here’s what she said: “Though Catholic in faith, as a work of art the Chapel has a universal appeal. Its doors will ever be open to one and all, regardless of creed, that God may come to life in the souls of all men and be a living reality.” Built right into the buttes of Sedona, it’s supposed to be a powerful energy spot. A Sedona vortex.
It’s a good thing Mass is said facing the congregation now, because any priest who looked at that view would certainly forget the words to the ritual. As I entered a “pew” –really just ultra-modern benches without backs–our guide told me that my particular seating position was supposed to be the most powerful in the chapel. I sat and within moments felt the vibration of the place and was engulfed in tears. I don’t know, just happened.
I never leave a chapel without lighting a candle. Born Catholics have their little rituals and that’s one of mine, even though the Church itself never did much for me and I don’t consider myself a Catholic except by culture.
The statue of St. Francis was different and fitting.
Can you see the bird?
Amitabha Stupa was our next stop, in the interests of ecumenicalism. We circled three times and left an offering. I’d like to go back and will go back on our next trip.
The Buddha presides over the stupa and all of the red rocks. He has so much presence.
This is a place to sit a spell and meditate.
The attention to detail made every step an adventure.
And always, a reminder that we were in the high desert.
That’s the prayer wheel. Spinning, spinning, spinning…..
Every step we took was on a work of art.
And when we looked up, we couldn’t miss red rocks, ever.
Closer, the rocks sometimes looked like little cities, little buildings, and some had names to match.
Every rock was a visual orgasm. Ohhhhh….!
Our guide told us that twisted juniper trees signify the location of powerful vortexes.
A closer look. Ignore the golf course. We did.
Because this is really what it’s all about.
Walt Disney had a place in Sedona and often brought Disney execs there for inspirational retreats. Some say the idea for Mickey Mouse ears was born here.
This sculpture is called Salmon Dreams. The bear was my father’s totem and I never miss an opportunity to photograph one. Or a depiction of one. This was at a shopping place called Tlaquepaque that had galleries, shops, restaurants. We had lunch there but I wasn’t interested in paying Sedona prices for the beautiful jewelry or clothes and I don’t feel like I missed out by declining.
Oak Creek shows itself everywhere and this ivy is also everywhere. Ahhh…peaceful.
I fell in love with this piece.
Orchid is the color of the year and this shop reminded us with an adorable dress. You’ve got to love the combination of commerce and religion.
We found a fantastic sandwich and salad place. Five stars.
But we also ate at L’Auberge de Sedona where I had the best filet mignon I’ve ever had. This was a dessert we shared. It didn’t stay whole long enough for me to get a shot of it intact.
Cheese and a 20-year-old port for dessert rounded off dinner another night. Have I told you how lucky I am to be married to such a cool guy? I probably have, but let me tell you again. I have a very cool husband.
This is the moon, but we saw Mars and so many, many stars and constellations.
And then we went stargazing. Our hotel had an astronomer over to show us the night sky through elaborate telescopes and powerful binoculars. He was very knowledgeable. And super-looney tunes. It was so much fun!
I have a story about this fossil that I’ll tell another day.
Found these at one of the trail parking lots. They’re painted. Interesting little idea.
Are you tired of red rocks yet?
Not quite as red.
And did you want to hear what Oak Creek sounds like?
Close your eyes, breathe in….and out….ahhhh…..
That’s it for today. Did you love it? Talk to me. I did last week’s Sedona gift giveaway already, but I’ll do another today. Here’s how it will work:
Please share on Facebook, Twitter, G+ or other social sites, then leave me a comment letting me know what you did. One entry for every share. I’ll mail you off a cute little something if you win.