This morning I came across this picture of Cathedral rocks in Sedona, one of Arizona's treasures and a must-see on any trip west. I first visited there in 1980, before the highways were crowded with tour busses and the t-shirt shops had proliferated. I thought I would die if I couldn't live there...I even thought I might have lived there in a former life -- a bit far out for me. It is still one of the most beautiful spots on the planet, but I definitely would not want to live there now. It's a good thing I have not given in to all my impulses. Sometimes first impressions just don't hold up to the test of time, right? Or more likely, we just think we want and need different things at different times in our lives. It reminded me of a poem I wrote a few years ago about Oak Creek, the beautiful Sedona landmark pictured here and the source of many pleasant, reflective moments on my visits there. It is a place filled with an energy that penetrates one's psyche in a deeply refreshing way. (Just do avoid the tour busses if you can!)
It used to run wild and uninterrupted
but few things remain that way today.
Now there is a little park, not so bad,
but no one just happens upon the creek any more.
Still, if you make your way through parking lot
and visitor center, there at your feet the water
plummets over stones like mirrors in the sun
smooth from relentless liquid caress.
Like a thousand gems, the water gives back
sunlight so intense its brilliance fractures
the horizon, too blinding to stand and stare,
except for the brown bird who seems not to notice.
Now, late in the day, still springtime cool,
everyone gone, silence broken only
by the muted scrabble of water,
I sit on a flat rock and watch the fading day.
Red pinnacles now silhouetted in blue dusk
stand sentinel over the darkening stream
whose music orchestrates the twilight
and awaits the rising of the moon.
from "Sip Wine, Drink Stars"