Wild Moon Cottage is a small working homestead in the pristine Ozark Mountains. We have dairy goats, poultry, organic herb and vegetable gardens, a start of a tiny fruit orchard, several black walnut trees, wild berries and fields of wildcrafting goodness. We raise our own milk, our own eggs, much of our own medicine and food. I do laundry by hand, make my own vinegar, candles, soap, bread, cheese ........ For a living I am an artist and herbalist. My goal for myself and our homestead is to be as self sufficient and self sustaining as possible.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Sedona Story

Sedona Story

No matter where you are there is always amazement and wonder to be found. But, there are times and places in life that will have such a profound effect as to be remembered down to the very last thread. 1971, Sedona Arizona was one of those times and places for me.

I guess I was around 7 at the time, my older sister had gone her own way about a year before, leaving just my mother and younger sister for me to look after. We moved and traveled so much back then. We had left a little town in Texas, Brownsville I believe, in the dark of night, which was often my mothers way of doing things. We would just pack what we could fit and drive to where the wind led. This time it led us to Sedona.

I don't know at what time we arrived but I woke in the backseat under a blazing sun, at a roadside park, to the sound of an eagle or hawk calling from the sky. I remember feeling a safeness there, even in a half sleep state. A feeling few and far between. I remember laying there thinking that I never wanted to leave and at the same time, knowing I could never stay.

The air was so dry there, we had lived mostly in the Southern coastal states, often near the ocean. The air in Arizona had none of the heaviness of moisture in it and made me think that it must make it easier to fly.

Where we were, there were great sentinel mountains on two sides but the other two sides were open and went on forever. I had seen so much and so many places by then, but I had never seen anything like this. The very Earth herself was painted the color of Palominos and Buckskins and Chestnuts and Roans. I was in awe and I felt something deep within me being pulled. It was certainly not the barren desert I had imagined, life stirred on everywhere.

We stayed at the roadside park for a few days because they had clean bathrooms and even an outdoor shower head. We washed what things we had, rested under the overhang of the main building and basked in the sun of a new world. There was something huge waiting just over the horizon for us, we all three felt it.

When we packed up to leave our roadside sanctuary I felt a sadness but at the same time great elation for what was to come. We drove for about an hour, I was always navigator, and eventually came to what I believe was a state park. I don't remember any guard houses or signs, just two huge rocks, like great watchers, that marked the entry. Once past the rocks the wildness just went on and on, it didn't at all look like other parks we had called home.

I have often wondered why my mother never got a tent for us to live in. How strange those days seem to me now as I sit in my little house writing this on a computer.

Anyway, the park, if that's what it was, didn't look like a park at all. We saw no other humans and little sign any had ever been there. We found an area of wonderful trees, there were several with lovely white bark like Sycamore tho I'm not sure what they were. The most impressive tree tho, was also the scrawniest, it grew twisted and turned and made me think of an old spirit trying some odd yoga position. As small and bent as it was, it was also fairly strong, strong enough at least to hold 2 wild little girls. I believe now that it was a Soap Tree, I was in love with it no matter what it's name.

We stayed there for about a week I think, driving into the town of Sedona for supplies now and then. My mother always wanted to be around people and staying out in the world made her lonely. I was the opposite, I was lonely in the towns and cities.

One day, while in town, my mother met a woman and they became friends. The woman asked us to her house for supper and as usual my mother gladly accepted. I didn't want to go but my mother made me and as it turned out I am thankful she did. The woman's house was wonderful, much like the haciendas we were used to in Texas and Mexico but much, much bigger. Like a hacienda castle. The Queen of this castle and the woman she lived with, fed us like royalty. Pepper (my sister) and I, ate like pigs with my mother giving us the eye all night. By then I was quite immune to "the eye" but it never stopped her from giving it. After we supped and rested from the frenzy, the Queen (which I will always remember her as) took us for a walk, saying that there was something we needed to see.

We walked for what seemed like hours and just as dusk began to spread her gentle blanket across the land, we came upon some mounds of rock. Since I was the "man of the house" I prided myself in always being the strong one, the one who would protect us from harm, the one who wouldn't cry but would hold my mother and sister when they did. At the foot of those mounds everything inside me broke. I fell to my knees crying like a baby, wanting to curl up and just lay there crying forever. It may sound like a sad thing and in fact at the time I was overwhelmed with sadness, but it was not sad at all in it's act upon my life. there at the base of a couple of simple stone mounds all the sorrow of the world poured out of me. A whole lifetime took place in the space of a few minutes. But that, I will keep to myself for now.

I don't know how long I laid there but it was still light when I regained my composure. The Queen, my mother and sister had walked on, which I was so very thankful for, and when I caught up with them they acted as if nothing had happened. The Queen led us to a place round back of one of the mounds where we could climb and bid Pepper and me to go up and see what we could see.

Standing on top of those mounds I felt like a queen, a priestess of the Earth herself. I could smell every scent and see every sight and hear every sound. The air was filled with, what I now know is, Pinion. My sister and I danced and sang and played, we became part of those mounds, part of the sky and the wind and of every creature upon Earths belly. We became one with Creator. I don't know how long we were there but when at last we tired the sliver of moon was high and it was so dark we couldn't see the ground. Time, in it's generosity, had stood quite still for us that night and has for me many times since.

I don't actually remember leaving the Queens house or driving back to our little tree village. In fact the next few days seem a blur to me, but I remember when we pulled out between the 2 rock watchers for the last time. I knew it would be a very long time, if ever, that I would be that safe again. It was a knowing of what was yet to come and a fear of having to live it.

I have never returned to Sedona, the place that taught me who and what I am, but it will never leave me. And sometimes, in my dreams, I still dance upon those mounds and I am a queen.

Juli 2001


JoyceAnn said...

Juli , Enjoyed reading this , your story is beautifully written.
I hope to visit Sedona in the future.

~ Many Blessings ~

oldcrow61 said...

Lovely story.

fly tie said...

that gives me chills.

thanks for sharing.