I drove home earlier today from the Clarkdale, AZ area. It’s south of Sedona and Flagstaff. Everyone told me to be sure I didn’t drive on the major highway, but to instead take the drive along Oak Creek. And I’m so glad I did. The drive reminded me more of the east coast types of woods I am used to. I saw the creek flowing and was able to sit under the trees and listen to the breeze rustle their leaves, the way the breeze used to ruffle the leaves of the trees near the reservoir back in Boston. I remembered what it felt like to lay down on my back under the trees and see them swaying above me, and then how it felt to take a picture of them with my cell phone pointed up toward the sky.
Today’s drive was about more than taking the scenic way home. It was about remembering and realizing anew what makes me happy. Being one with nature, and using as many of my senses as I can to appreciate it. I looked, really looked, at the greenness of the leaves around me. I listened to the creek babbling as the water fell and flowed downward past me. I smelled the air around me and the freshness and slight dampness to it that you just don’t get in the Lake Powell area (unless a storm has just moved through, which is rare.) While I sat there, I finished my organic green superfood drink I had just bought at the natural grocers store – a brand I had never had before but would like to get again. I felt good about consuming it, knowing it will only do good for my insides.
I took a small notebook down with me to the side of the creek. I wanted to write whatever just came to me, and here’s what I wrote.
- What do I need?
- What makes me happy?
- What gives me peace?
Then I just started writing thoughts as they came to me, and in no particular order. I didn’t want to censor myself. I’ve put brackets around a few of them just to give you some context.
- being in a health food store like I just was, with so many vegan choices so I could be more true to my principles
- eating green again
- feeling whole
- hearing the birds outside
- hearing the water rush downstream
- being able to write again
- remembering this feeling when I am no longer here [i knew i would want to recreate it for myself]
- having these trees provide shade to me, and so much more.
- lots and lots of trees.
- sound of wind through the trees
- feeling after a really good run, when you feel like you could go on forever [thinking of what used to make me happy and wondering if it could, again]
- familiar [the comfort you can sometimes draw from the familiar, whether it’s people, or surroundings, etc.]
- beauty in the simple
- being alone to learn about myself and not feel like i am lacking
- [being or feeling] centered
- having a goal
- having something to focus on
- feeling like no one else is around
- feeling that i never want to leave
- being true to myself
- the smell of the woods
- the smell in the air right before a storm
- my animals and how excited they get to see me
- seeing my family and reconnecting with them again
- taste of ginger
- eating well
- taste of real food (and yes, I even underlined it at that time when I wrote it)
- idea that i could come back here again so easily
- the color green, from leaves
- living frugally
- living simply
- not having waste
- eating raw, but also pasta [they had so many good raw vegan foods in the natural grocers store, but i realize i really, really love pasta! and that is ok!]
- fresh food
- fresh produce
- knowing i needed to stop [on the road]
- taking the time to stop [following my feelings]
- the beauty of a spring day
- can do whatever you want to do and set your heart to
So there you have it – my stream of consciouness. I may not have been in what is known as one of the four vortexes that are in Sedona but I feel like sitting by that stream, the place just called to me. I could have stopped anywhere along the road, but I decided to stop there. And then I heard the water, and then I knew I had to go sit by the stream or creek. I knew i would also know when I was ready to move on, and I did.
I hope that each and every one of you can have an experience like this, or have some time to be introspective, if it helps you. I didn’t originally want three days off in a row but now I am so grateful to have had them. It allowed me to spend more time with my oldest brother and his wife than just quickly at the wedding, and it gave me the time to drive home slowly today, to see the beauty around me and really take it all in.
And today, I am feeling better about things and myself. And I’m really thinking about what I want to be the NEW Me. As someone said in a comment to my last post, sometimes it’s not about going back to who you were, but becoming who you are now. And embracing it.
Thank you as always for reading, especially since this makes two posts two days in a row!!
12 thoughts on “Reflection”
Seeing how many times the words that refer to green and trees, I’m wondering if maybe your path back to forested lands might be one to consider for the future. We all have landscapes where we feel most at home and where we best belong.
I should proof before posting – Seeing how many times the words that refer to green and trees show up in your list…
I was wondering something like that when I was there yesterday. It brought to mind how I feel when I have trees around me (of which there are some around where I live now but they are not the same as what i saw yesterday or what you see at a higher elevation, or on the east coast – ok, make that anywhere where there isn’t desert! I feel more at home where I am now in Page, because there is water, that I know. But you might be onto something, Chinle, you just might be….I loved being at that spot yesterday.
Terri, Two posts in two days. Wow. You’re on a roll. I can usually tell when you’re down — you don’t write. Of course, when you are up, you do write, so I’m happy to see that you are writing again.
I’m at an RV rally in the Smoky Mountains for a week. I’m parked next to the Little Pigeon River and like you, I love being beside flowing water. The feeling is hard to describe, but I can tell from your post that you know the feeling. Keep the memory alive and go back often.
Ah, the smoky mountains – that sounds wonderful, Jerry!
That is a great observation you make – when I’m not writing, it’s usually because I’m feeling very stressed and when I am home, I feel like I don’t have any energy or motivation to put words on paper, or that I have no imagination or creativity left in me. WHen I write, I find it actually makes me feel better. Need to remind myself of that more in those “down” times, I suppose.
And yes, I do know the feeling you are describing. That’s how I felt yesterday. 🙂
Many many (MANY!) years ago my family and I drove along Oak Creek and I still remember it. It’s a special place. I note you have ‘freedom’ twice in your list and though it may just be an error, I bet freedom is the basis for everything you’ve been accomplishing these past months. I’m glad you’re feeling better!
Actually, if it shows up twice, then I must have written it twice! And I’m glad to hear someone else had a great experience along Oak Creek too. I can totally see why and wish I could live there full time! And thank you, Dawn, I am feeling so much better.
Thank you Terri for taking the time to share your personal thoughts and dreams. Best to all your fur-babies!!!
Thank you, Karl! They are all doing well, and seem to be lovign the extra space in the apartment.
What a beautiful spot. I was recently in Sedona and actually stayed in a little Airbnb cottage right along the creek. The scenery there in Oak Creek Canyon is so beautiful and peaceful.
Thank you! And yes, I can see why national geographic says it’s one of the top ten scenic drives in the country (or at least that is what the lady at the chamber of commerce told me.) Oh, that sounds lovely! Would you mind sharing the link to the airbnb where you stayed?