Shop after shop. Mall after mall. Even the outskirts, 20 minutes from the main drag, were joined to the centre by an arterial ribbon of mini-malls, fast-food joints, and gas stations. Yes, it’s all tastefully done. The planners have kept a firm hold on what can and can’t be built in the city of Sedona, but for me it’s lost a lot of its magic.
You can barely see the houses nestling in the foothills, so well do they blend in with their surrounds. Hardware shops in this part of the world don’t do much trade in pastel paints, unlike the West of Ireland or the Venetian island of Burano or the Spanish city of Las Palmas. Here, it’s all muted tones and autumnal palettes. And for that one has to give thanks.
Downtown, once you escape from the main drag, the Tlaquepaque shopping village, originally conceived as an artists’ community, appears to have been around a lot longer than it actually has. A child of the 1970s, these 40 or so shops and galleries look like they’ve taken residence in a hundred-year-old village. There are many European planners who could learn a lesson or two in Sedona.
The main street itself though, leaves a lot to be desired. Overpriced food, half-assed cocktails passing themselves off as Margueritas (beware the newborn expert), and shelf after shelf of sameness was a far cry from what I remembered.
Sedona is famous for its vortexes… and yes, I have that pluralisation correct… in Sedona one vortex, two vortexes. We’d passed a few dust devils as we’d travelled across the Sonora desert, and knew vaguely that a vortex ‘is created from spiraling motion of air or liquid around a center of rotation’. Usually, that is. In Sedona, they’re created from ‘spiralling spiritual energy’. So it’s little wonder that the place is a magnet for new age therapists, mediums, aura readers, and such like. And yes, there was a time I’d have been right there in the midst of it all. But that was then.
I no longer feel the need to know the future – why live through the disappointment twice. But I did have my aura read (and photographed) just to see if my chakras were all open and in good working order. I got a clean bill of health. Lots of white and blue light. Am relatively sane and have a bevvy of spirits working in the wings guarding me night and day. What’s not to like about that?