On the heels of my Summer of Linda, the travel bug bit me again. This time, I drove to Sedona, AZ, for a three-day vacay with JB and DB, two women I met 36 years ago when, armed with a master’s degree and a can-do attitude, I jumped onto the corporate hamster wheel. Back then in our company, we truly looked like female clones–skirt, blazer, pussy bow blouse (oh yes, there were blouses before the hats!), heels and hose were de rigueur. We flew coast-to-coast for conventions, staying in hotels with shiny marble bathrooms and enormous chandeliers blazing in their lobbies, and watched in amazement as our company’s stock split, and then again–and yet again. But while our investments grew, there was still lots of cocktail talk about that damned glass ceiling we kept bumping up against.
The day our Executive VP announced in a staff meeting, “You women need to realize that there are places in this company you can’t go,” was the day I formulated my exit plan.
It’s funny about long-time friends; we are each other’s life witnesses to marriages, divorces, devastating addictions, children growing from toddlers into accomplished adults who HAVE toddlers. While JB is still married to the same man she fell in love with at 19, DB and I were young divorcees during our corporate stint. To this day, our reminiscing about picking up two guys at a Breckenridge ski resort–a Jewish dentist (me) and a tripped-out orthodontist (her)–and the resulting shenanigans elicits wistful, far-away looks followed by peals of laughter.
Side note: I later traveled back east on business and spent a few days with that dentist. At the time, I wore braces to correct a wayward eye tooth, and I think that may have been part of the attraction–his ability to see my potential beyond those silver brackets and multi-colored rubber bands. He had a slightly mysterious air, confessed to an artist ex-girlfriend, was ten years older than me and lived in Bucks County, a place that sounded as exotic as County Cork; what’s not to like, I thought? Our bucolic drives through the deep, verdant Pennsylvania countryside and coming upon yet another covered bridge, each more lovely than the next, are still sweet memories. But, by then and back home, I’d met mr. invisible, and he wasn’t keen on dating a girl who took off on weekends to frolic through the meadow with another guy.
If only I’d known then…
Although JB, DB and I stay in touch, we three hadn’t been on a road trip together since we wine-tasted through Napa and Sonoma for my 40th birthday. We were waaaay overdue.
Now, dear readers, since you know I’m not a woo-woo girl, you may be surprised by our choice of Sedona, a place that’s known as “the epicenter of mystical mania,” with its other-worldly red rocks, swirling energy vortexes and passel of crystal shops that smell like they’ve just been given a good smudging. And although none of us consider ourselves a likely model in a Patagonia catalog, by day two, we were off-roading the bulky Sedona terrain. I had a death grip on the grab bar of our open-air pink Jeep as our guide navigated the vehicle down a trail aptly named Devil’s Staircase, bumping, stopping, jerking and lunging, at gravity-defying angles.
Jostling of my internal organs aside, all was worth the big reveal: Standing atop the overlook at Chicken Point, feasting on the surrounding formations that appear sculpted by Henry Moore, then brushstroked a dozen shades of coppery red by O’Keefe herself. The sandstone summits, as jagged as Jack O’lantern teeth, are in vivid contrast to the endless unbroken sky that’s the color of Bradley Cooper’s eyes (I know, I know–but I just saw his brilliance in “A Star is Born,” and when Jack looks out the car window and in that deep, boozy voice that sounds like it’s rolling over gravel, says to Ally, “I just wanna take another look at ya,” my heart nearly split in two).
By the time we hiked up to the Chapel of the Holy Cross, a popular lookout spot that’s nestled between the uneven cliffs, it’s as if the walls jutting 200 feet to the heavens exert a slight pull, lifting me from the red rock foundation. As DB and I walked into the whisper-quiet Frank Lloyd Wright-inspired holy place with its unadorned interior to sit on simple wooden pews, I understood the sign near the door: “The chapel is a shrine that provides peace to all who enter.”
But I really didn’t get my woo-woo on until we walked through the doors of Twin Flame Blue Ray Healing for a reading by a holistic energy practitioner named HH. A pretty, dark-haired woman who looked to be in her mid-30s, she led me up the stairs to a tiny room with a couple of chairs and a desk-sized table covered in a sheer, white cloth with a stack of tarot cards and some polished stones and crystals scattered on it. Fifteen minutes and $48 bucks later, I walked down those same stairs with a little pep in my step and JB walked up to get her reading.
Without knowing one thing about me except my first name, HH shared specific details regarding my personal journey. I didn’t ask for a relationship reading, but she went straight there, nailing my love life as if she’d been standing on the sidelines these last five years. She had me at hello.
With my Empress card standing tall and strong on HH’s table, that ol’ Emperor card was pulled from the deck upside down. Lying on top of him was a card with EX in its title. As I stared at the cards, the Emperor appeared to have mr. invisible’s face, which made me think of no clothes…which made me laugh out loud.
It seems that one size does not fit all where spirit guides are concerned. When JB joined us after her reading, HH nailed it again–but the part she nailed was so raw and real, that JB burst into tears in the re-telling of it. But JB’s distress dissipated as she realized she received confirmation from some power other than herself of what she already knew to be true.
And here’s what I know to be true…never let decades slip by without telling dear ones how much their company means to you. It doesn’t take a road trip to get the job done, but we three will go some place special again–and hopefully again–where we will laugh, follow our curiosity and try new things, sip wine around a turquoise pool just before sunset, and look out to all the beauty that’s there, waiting.