At a drum circle last night, a middle-aged man wearing glowing spectacles and a flashy cap summed up Sedona in this way: "White people are crazy. The indigenous people would come here, heal, and leave. We actually stay."
It's quite the experiment.
Here in Sedona, natural laws don't apply. Gravity? Forget about it. Trees grow upwards and straight, and presumably they need water...but not here. The juniper trees jut out from red rock clay and immediately begin twisting their way to the sky.
The century plants take 100 years to become the alien-like orb they are. At around 20, they shoot a long stalk into the air that grows 8-10 inches per day. They can grow to 15-20 feet and then produce beautiful yellow flowers that attract bugs and hummingbirds.
Red Rock Mesas jut from the ground, out of nowhere. Unlike the forbidding hills of Utah, the mesas here are welcoming. As I hike around one, I literally feel it inviting me up, asking me to come closer to the top...and so I climb to a big flat red rock and absorb the radiant energy. Spontaneous human rock prayer towers appear on the landscape, the only prayers I've seen that conform to nature.
The Arizona red rocks have called people here for centuries. Back in 1927, Bill and Blanche Russell were driving out west when their car broke down in what is now known as Cliff Dwellers. They set up a lean-to against the rocks, Blanche insisting that they were meant to live there. Over the years, the two created a successful business as the first automobiles started scooting by and Mormon settlers flooded to the area.
This area attracted pioneers and now it attracts folks who seem to operate at an altogether different vibration. The natives are free spirits, absorbed in this bubble, experimenting freely with clothing, with music, with art, with each other.The ability to string together a coherent sentence seems secondary to a big smile and warm hugs. It's all in the rocks. Yes, the rocks.
Yes, Sedona is an experiment.