"Baby there aint no shortcuts on your way.
Baby there aint no highways in these parts.
You know baby gonna have to drive yourself down every little winding road, If you REally Wanna Get to where you're goin."
"No Shortcuts" by Heather Maloney
And we did just that. Last month, I had the honor of having my Gramma accompany me on my adventure to New Mexico and Arizona. It was a very healing trip for both us. For her, she was mending a broken heart from the loss of her husband in January and for me, I was on the continuation of a journey, trying to make some sense out of my entire life, especially the last two years.
Early on in the trip my Gramma overheard a conversation with our family friend who was asking me about our family dynamics. Growing up, I was always the "steady" one. the "independent" one, the one "no one ever had to worry about", the one who "always managed to keep it together". To be honest, I was never given the choice, at least that was my perception.
A few days later we were on the road from Flagstaff, AZ to Sedona, AZ. We were told about how scenic the drive would be and how intense the energy is felt in Sedona. That morning, I was feeling a bit stressed for some reason as we were making our way to route 89A, the winding road that would take us to the sacred place called Sedona. Just as we approached, my Gramma said out of nowhere, "I'm so sorry I never realized how you felt about growing up". In an instant my eyes flooded with tears and I had to pull off to the side of the road. It was quite a quick and extreme release of energy I had in me for over 30 years; feelings that I held tightly wrapped inside so no one could see them or suspect them. We sat there together for a few minutes as she rubbed my hand softly and spoke words just as softly to calm me. She was finally giving me the permission I had always hoped for. It was the support from her that gave me strength to continue.
We drove down the insanely dramatic road to Sedona together. Everything was exaggerated; the mountains, the steep winding road plunging us in to the canyon, the sky, even our senses were functioning at the same level of intensity. The rest of the drive we where in awe as we eventually found our way to Sedona Mago Retreat.
The next day we sat in the vast space at the retreat center looking out at the panoramic views of the red rocks off in the distance. There is said to be 12 vortexes on that property, I am sure we were sitting in one of them. We sat there for a bit taking it all in, the beauty, the energy, our entire lives as it had been laid out in front of both of the past few days. We were mostly in a quiet state of meditation individually yet both deeply connected. We had arrived to a place that allowed us to have that space between each other and the universe that supported us, that cradles us. It was finally the place I wanted to "get to where I was going"