“There are some places so beautiful they can make a grown man break down and weep.” Edward Abbey
I can’t help but feel the words of “The Greats” while I am on this journey. In every mile I drive, every step I take, every hike I do, their words seem to resonate in my heart more than ever before. I believe in the healing powers of this earth and that rang true for me more than ever before while I was in Sedona yesterday.
Before heading to Sedona I read up on the spiritual vortexes that attract so many people seeking healing and enlightenment. The glowing amber of the rock, the deep emerald green of the pine trees, and the sapphire blue sky created a breathtaking splendor that would be hard to deny creates some sort of healing within us.
After reading about the healing energies of the different canyons and rocks, I decided to make the hike up to Boynton Canyon. This canyon is said to be a vortex possessing balancing energies:
“The Balance between the masculine and feminine side is almost as important as growth itself. Even a less evolved person, if he is balanced, at least treats others the same way he treats himself. And that is what balance is all about.”
The hike in and of itself was quite a journey. Within minutes of beginning the hike, I could feel the powerful energy that emanated from the rocks themselves. It was eerily silent other than the soft sound of a flute echoing off the canyons. I finally found the source of the flute: a small man sitting on the peaks of one of the highest rock structures. In between playing his flute he would chant, “We are one with this earth. Man and woman within us all, one human.” I felt as though I was on some sort of spiritually guided hike.
The hike was long and hot and after about an hour and a half of hiking and not seeing anyone else on the trail, I began to question whether or not I was on the right track. After debating with myself between turning back or continuing on, I finally passed a sign confirming that I was on my way to Boynton Canyon. The hike was relatively flat until the last stretch where the only option to get up to the canyon was to climb, hands and feet, to the top. After a good two hours of hiking, I arrived at the canyon.
Within moments of arriving at the top, a powerful wind swept through the canyon, echoing against the walls of the tall rock. As I stood in this massive canyon alone, nothing but the sounds of my panting breath and falling rock to remind me of my solitude, I began to feel overwhelmed. My heart felt as though it was on fire, the way it used to feel when I was with Kelly. My skin began to crawl with goosebumps and suddenly I realized I was crying. I could see tears hitting the red sand beneath my feet and I looked up to see a hawk circling above the canyon. All in the same breath, I felt life’s capacity to be painstakingly beautiful and horrible all at the same time.
Standing in this canyon, the natural beauty of Sedona practically suffocating me, I was faced with one of life’s truths that will haunt me for the rest of my life. No matter how far I drive, how many state lines I chase, or how many canyons bring me to tears, there is no place far enough or high enough or deep enough that will ever bring Kelly back.
But in that moment, standing in that canyon, wanting nothing more than for him to be right by my side… I let go. I let go of ripping myself away from longing for him. I let go of not allowing myself to feel the grief too heavily. I let go of of wiping away my tears. I let go of searching for an answer. I just let go. I longed for him, and I let my tears fall, and I let myself miss him and want him and wish he was there. And finally, when I could open my eyes again, something within me changed. I felt liberated. I let my heart feel the hurt, and feel the cracks and the tearing and the pain, and in doing so, I felt as though the beauty of Sedona filled some of those spaces. And just for a moment, I felt Kelly’s arms around me, and finally, finally I felt whole.