Finding Myself at the Four Corners of the US
You never know when a much-deserved vacation will turn into a personal growth experience.
-Melina Gerosa Bellows
Black bird surveying from the eave of the roadside convenience store.
Crow? I wonder.
No, Raven, it responds eyeing me confrontationally.
What? I ask.
I have secrets, says Raven.
Moments later: A stack of white stones, in the arrangement of a baby bird, perch like a Brancusi among the mountain rubble.
White Bird catches my eye, trying to tell me something.
I crane my neck as I pass it, listening with my whole being.
Hope! White bird trills cheerfully, I represent hope!
The Southwest is talking to me. I was pulled to the Four Corners—where Utah, Colorado, New Mexico, and Arizona bump and kiss—by some mysterious, primal gravity. As the finality of my divorce sets in, I feel lost, unmoored. A single working mother to two under six, I must summon the strength to recreate myself and start over. For some reason, my journey has led me to this sacred land, where I hope to connect with the earth’s infinite healing power. As Albert Einstein said, “Look deep into nature and you will understand everything better.”
During my two-plus-hour drive from Flagstaff, Arizona to Amangiri, the new resort in Canyon Point, Top Forty’s Lady Gaga suddenly turns into a Native American radio station. The hypnotic drumming and chanting keep me company as the desolate desert miles roll by.
Passing the shores of Lake Powell, I drink in the views on the way to The Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument. Dramatic and contrasting, towering, mountain plateaus ring deep canyons as they are hugged by an endless sky.
The towering, striated, sandstone mesas change colors depending on the sky’s serendipity. Meanwhile, wild flowers—yellow desert marigold, blue cornflowers, wild rhubarb and purple locoweed¬ polka dot the arid sand. Ha, ha, ha they seem to tease the desert, You can’t stop us!
Hard to believe that two hundred million years ago, this entire area was under water. The ocean came and went more than once, and then the dinosaurs walked the land. For centuries this same spot has been the homeland of the Navajo and Hopi tribes.
Nestled in a valley, Amangiri’s architecture blends into the landscape so naturally that the 34-suite resort is as camouflaged as a chameleon amongst the rocks. My white, stone suite, with its king bed and a panoramic view of the mesas, rubs in the fact that I am here alone. While I’m grateful for the break from the daily grind and feel truly blessed to visit such a swanky spot, I’m faced with the one person I’ve been trying to avoid—my ouchy self.