Tuesday, March 13, 2007

SW+1YR-ONE: We'll Be Rising

By the time we got to Phoenix, the drought was over. But the rain had come and gone, and we were literally in the Valley of the Sun. It wasn’t hot, but temperate. We drove our rental north towards Sedona, outrunning the new developments on the outskirts. But just barely. We spotted the mythic saguaro. I had seen them in so many westerns and was thrilled to see them out my window. They seemed almost real.

We began to climb in altitude, something I was to learn is much more important for climate than direction in Arizona. The interstate wound and climbed, and our little Corolla chugged its way higher, heading for Sedona. That’s when we saw all the cars parked on the side of the interstate.

Traffic slowed, and I had visions of spinouts, and even worse, delays. But to our wonder, we saw families on the side of the road, playing in the snow. Some were building snowmen. Others were throwing snowballs. That’s when we realized the wonder of the weather these people had just experienced. It was “Snow in San Anselmo”, Van Morrison’s mystical song about the wonder of snow in such a place. Quoting never does the man justice; you have to hear him sing these lyrics:

Snow in San Anselmo
My waitress my waitress my waitress
Said it was coming down
Said it hadn't happened in over 30 years
But it was laying on the ground
But it was laying on the ground

From that point on, we were in the mystic. The next 12 days were a spiritual journey of sorts, and this is mere travelogue next to the sights and insights we saw and experienced. That day, we got another glimpse when we left the interstate for the fifteen minute drive to Sedona. The red rock! Words don’t do it justice. Neither will the pictures I post tomorrow. Suffice it to say the landscape was close to the heart. The red was the blood of life showing through the rock itself. Because, it soon became obvious, this land was truly alive.

And I'll quote myself, because reading will do me justice enough:
Another World (the SW+1YR remix)

The first time we saw the red rocks of Sedona,
Skye turned to me and cried, “Oh, Son,
it's like another world!” And so it was.

And as surprising as a sudden sunrise
rising from the land, that paradise of blood
earth rose in forms of innocent

creation telling stories of its genesis
with whirlwind-sculpted characters in passion
play: “And it's alive,” I answered Skye.

~Son Rivers 2006

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