It had been a hard week’s work in Phoenix, Arizona, doing 3 presentations and a multitude of interviews for National Geographic, and I felt in need of some rest and recuperation. So I headed a couple of hours north into the desert, to the small town of Sedona, pop 10,031, founded 1902, elevation 4,500.
I had never been to Sedona before, but had been intrigued by its “energy vortexes” (sic) ever since I first heard of them several years ago while I was researching the Four Corners states of the southwestern US. People from around the world have been drawn to this New Age “spiritual Disneyland” to feel the force of its energy centres.
Did I feel the force? It’s hard to say. As I caught my first glimpse of the Red Rock I did feel a little tearful, overawed by its sheer scale and grandeur. But this is not unusual for me when confronted by one of nature’s more extravagant displays of beauty.
The following day I felt energized and rebalanced after an 11-mile hike with an old friend – but was this vortex energy, or simply the sense of wellbeing that generally ensues from fresh air, exercise, and enjoyable conversation?
I also felt a new appreciation of nature’s majesty as I took my morning walks, escaping from the noise of the highway to stroll amongst twisted junipers and admire the spectacular rock formations – but this could be attributed to the fun I was having with the fisheye lens on my Sony NEX-5N camera, the distorting effect of which I thought appropriate to Sedona’s reputation as a place where things may not be exactly as they seem.
I am definitely open to the possibility that particular locations might have a special vibe. Places of worship often have an atmosphere of quiet contemplation and serenity. Historic battlefields can seem sinister, even on a bright sunny day. I am wiling to believe that we can imbue places and spaces with the force of our emotions to such a degree that the emotion lingers long afterwards.
Ultimately, it doesn’t really matter whether Sedona’s force field is real, imagined, or perceptible only to the sensitive few. For me, it was a chance to recover my personal energy and emerge rejuvenated for the next round of meetings, interviews and presentations.
What do you think? Have you been to places where you have felt a particular energy? How would you describe it? Do you know why that energy existed in that place? Did anybody else experience it too? I’d love to hear!