Taking this month for myself is one of the best things I’ve ever done. Every day I just get up and do whatever I want. In the past, I’ve travelled almost entirely for work or to meet up with family. But almost never for myself. I was so scared of booking this trip. I dithered for months until I was like a person hanging over a cliff who couldn’t hold on any longer. I just had to let go and take the plunge. When I left New York I was exhausted. I couldn’t look at one more bit of paperwork. It was too painful to relive last year for the tax man. But this trip has restored my soul, surrounded me with love and taught me so much about myself. Here are some highlights –
Joining the full moon drumming circle on top of Cathedral Rock and playing the clave sticks. Listening to Jahni Coyote play didgeridoo on Airport Mesa, hearing Rodger on the Indian flute atop Warrior rock and joining the medicine wheel ceremony for the eclipse.
Overcoming (at least partially) my fear of the dark and spiders. Journeying alone through a remote canyon at 3am and walking with my friend Dave and his dogs in the pitch black down a country lane, looking at the stars with coyotes howling around us.
Brother Joseph’s advice on how to deal with bears – ‘Walk slowly forward saying: “Dear brother bear, it is time for you to move on with your journey. Go now.”‘ He has met 6 bears including a grizzly and swears it always works.
Dancing with Laura in the car on the 11 hour trip back from the Christ in the Desert monastery. Being encircled with butterflies at the gas station, seeing a cobweb in the shape of a heart float by while sitting on a a tiny ledge way up in a canyon. And hearing Natalie Merchant’s ‘Kind and Generous’ play unexpectedly when I started to feel sad about Laura’s death.
Learning about gems and crystals at the local gem show and from Dayton in Madrid.
Climbing like a monkey up the steep face of Bell Rock, Fay Canyon and Cathedral Rock and finding all the beautiful vortices.
Connecting with the most diverse and kind bunch of big hearted people who shared my journey. Whenever I felt a little outside my comfort zone on a hike or pondering religion, someone magically appeared alongside me as a gentle companion. I’ve reconnected with dear friends and made new ones. Honestly I don’t think I’ve ever hugged so many people in such a short time. Thank you Brother Francis, Brother Joseph, Charles, Chuck, Daddio, Dalma, Dave, David, Dayton, Elizabeth, Gene, Greg, Heather, Helena, Jahni, John, Kay, Kathleen, Larry, Lisa, Mark, Mike, Malaika, Richard, Toby and Wendy.
And last but not least, Laura what is it with all the chocolate? I never ate chocolate until this trip. Am I channelling you? What’s happening…