By Emily Rosen
Was it the red rocks? Was it the New Age-ism surrounding us? Was it our history? Was it the place where we stayed? Was it our mutual yen to get away? Was it the incredible freedom to be our totally uncensored selves? Or was it a mish-mash of all the above? Who cares! What it was was our version of five days of perfection.
The last time I saw Ivy, almost 30 years ago, we had tripped cross country together when she decided to move to California to be near her parents, after her live-in relationship with my son had ended – amicably. (Neither has since married – happily.) When we parted, we promised each other a version of a “do over,” when she reached the age that I was then (we’re 30 years apart). We’ve kept in touch, though unseen. Good people keep promises, if good luck be with them.
We met at the Phoenix airport, her salt and pepper hair braided Indian style slung over her left shoulder and rippling to her waist. Yep! That was Ivy. And for all the incessant picture taking that we did, no one was there for the moment we first spotted each other and hugged like the long lost souls that we were.
With apologies to Thomas Wolfe, you can go home again, or that is to say, you can recapture the bliss of those long ago moments. Well, we could, and did. Ivy, the artist/yoga-teacher/health food specialist/positive-energy-seeker, was the official log-burner on chilly nights at our temporary home at the Oak Creek Terrace Resort in Sedona. There we warmed ourselves by the fireplace and splashed in the double Jacuzzi, swung on the double swings on the top terrace in the morning sun, and toppled a few times in the double hammocks as we stared mesmerized at the creek waters hissing in speedy movement across the rocks at the lower terrace. We giggled a lot, too.
But we came for the reds and managed to find them while walking and hiking trails daily that spirited us to heights we couldn’t believe possible. Me … an ol’ lady, dragging up those trails. Wow! And one day we spent on a flat mesa, way high up, with not a soul in sight, hugged by Cathedral Rock, or was it Bell Rock? Chimney Rock? Thunder Mountain? Whichever one, it felt cozy and protected, emitting vibes of harmony and peace … oh, yes, love, too.
A hike on the path to the Buddhist Stupa in Peace Park, where we each engaged in our own style of meditation, topped off that day of soulfulness as the rains burst out of the clouds just as we closed the doors to the car. “Car-ma” indeed.
There were the eat places, greens and beans and soy in a myriad of iterations, and, once, a sneaked-in hunk of bison for the abs and brains, in garden settings with obsequious monk-like staff And oh, BTW, Ivy had sworn off liquor and I don’t drink alone, so no booze.
So throw away your anti-depressants, say good-bye to your shrink, book your flight to Sedona, and hide the TV remote when you get there. If you’re not smothered in constant bliss during your stay, I will eat your boarding pass.
As for Ivy, same time next year. I don’t have 30 more in me.