For some reason, I associate Sedona with healing, although I cannot bring to mind any particular legend. Driving through the town, there are numerous crystal, psychic, and other New Age shops, which suggests my suspicions are true.
“There are four vortexes…” our Pink Jeep tour guide starts to tell me.
“…vortices,” Ric corrects. “The plural of vortex is vortices.”
“Anyway, these sites were originally identified by a famous psychic. Apparently, scientists have gone to these spots to measure electrical and magnetic currents and have noted a difference, but not consistently.”
“I want to visit the sites,” I tell Ric. If there is healing to be had, then why not? What’s to lose?
The first vortex we visit is Airport Mesa. We park at the base of a series of trails all leading up into the mountains. Ric’s knees are shot, so he opts to wait in the truck, but I think: I’m here, let’s do this thing!
A flimsy wire fence provides a bit of a rail for the first climb, the strata of rocks forming a pseudo staircase. I make it to the landing, but am feeling dizzy, so sit for a bit on the bench provided. The arrow for Airport Lookout indicates I need to climb farther. There is no rail, I have no walker for support, and the path is narrow. I realize this is not going to happen.
I return to the truck.
The next vortex looks like it will be worse, as there is a fair amount of hiking involved to get to the place.
We decide to try the Chapel of the Holy Cross. We are not alone. Cars line the winding ascent up the mountain to the chapel, and crowds of people walk along the roadway. Now wedged in traffic, we continue as far up as we can go, and to our delight discover that there is handicap parking at the top. From there a concrete walkway spirals up to the church – still a fair walk.
“Are you going to try it?” Ric asks me.
I push my walker up the ramp. My heart starts to race and I feel dizzy again. The ramp is guarded on each side by concrete walls. I can’t see the end. I stop to catch my breath.
“How much farther?” I ask a couple descending.
“You’re almost there!” they offer. “Just around this curve.”
I will myself to keep going and then I’m at the top. The chapel is a breathtaking: rose-coloured glass walls allow for an uninterrupted view. A small garden with water fountain announces the entrance to the area which is paved with flat cement benches all along the outside. The view is remarkable.
I am wary of sitting along the edge, so pull my walker against the corner of the church and perch there, photographing the mountain views. The rock formations are interesting, and some resemble works of art: a mother and child, and clearly an eagle’s head, carved by nature into the side of the mountain.
Somewhere way down below a rooster crows and the man next and I exchange looks of surprise and both laugh.
I feel okay. No burning in my legs, no difficulty breathing, and my heart rate has normalized. I made it!
Going down is a little more difficult, and I inch my way slowly. Two young women approach on their way up and one is clearly out of breath. I raise my eyebrow at her and say:
“Really, Ladies? If I can do it, you can do it.”
Her friend laughs: “We like to be dramatic.”
An older woman and her family fall in behind me, reassuring me to take my time.
Ric is waiting in the truck when I return.
“How was that?”
“I did it!” I’m so proud of myself.
We drive to the next vortex, which takes us off road to a small parking lot. The designated area requires a hike down to the water’s edge. I start out, without my walker, amazed that my legs are still going, but don’t get far before I realize I’ve really pushed it today, and healing or no healing, I still need to take care. So, I turn around and let Ric know I’m ready to leave Sedona now.
I’ve said my thank you’s and goodbye for now.
The sun is starting to set just as we hit Phoenix, a suitable ending to a memorable weekend.