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Monday, August 15, 2005

Life is A Journey! This started out as her blog until I took it over. This is her Post but I Like it a Lot

"I am Don Quixote!... When Destiny Calls Me, Onward I Go!"


My first trip to Sedona was in April of 2001. I had just ended a very intense and transforming relationship, had written a semblance of a novel and when I decided to temporarily leave my very busy life as an Upstate New York business owner, I chose to rent a house for a week in Sedona to work on the novel.

Over 1400 pages of novel notes were based on my relationship with Benito, a complex and highly spiritual Mexican immigrant who changed my life. Not only was it a love story, it was an experience that taught me about spirituality and deep connection with others. We shared the same nighttime dreams. I would think of him and he would call within minutes of my thought of him. As I began researching and writing the novel, I would read him excerpts from it and he would say "How did you know that? That is EXACTLY what happened!" Or he would tell me a story and I would reach over, pull out my novel notes and read it back to him almost verbatim. It was bizarre! It was amazing. It was beautiful. It was about connection and the knowingness that comes naturally when you allow things to flow in your life. At the time, the title for the book was Don Coyote and has since been renamed Trickster.


So, back to Sedona. When I arrived at the private rental home, I was greeted by the owner Maria. She and I hit it off and we went for coffee at a local bakery before she left for LA where she was completing work on a screenplay. Over her coffee, she leaned towards me. "So, tell me what your book is about?" In a fragmented way, I told her it was about a Mexican guy and an American girl and that the backbone of the book was based on the life of the coyote who gets hunted, moves, adapts, survives and so on. Maria says to me "Watch out the back in the morning and every day you will see a lone coyote passing through the backyard." The first sighting of the Lone Coyote outside my window.




Here's a photo of the lone coyote taken from the rental house balcony.

Maria proceeded later on in our conversation to tell me about what it was like for her to buy her land in Sedona and to build her home. It was built high on the rocks and in order to access the main floor, you had to go up 16 steps to get into the house. She told me a story that when they were clearing the land, they found human remains. Now, in NY, finding human remains initiates a call to the police. In Arizona, bones, ruins, the ancient past of the area is uncovered on a fairly regular basis, so it was really no big deal that she found a femur and pelvic bones! I enquired "What do you DO with the bones when you find them?" She replied,"I set them aside and that night I went out, lit a candle, said a prayer and buried the bones at the edge of the property." Taking a breath she said in a hushed tone, "You know, I believe that the coyote that passes through each morning is the spirit of the guy whose bones those were."

Maria had no way of knowing that in my novel was an excerpt: The Mexican guy's grandfather had traveled north to the US in search of work and had never returned. It turned out that grandfather's traveling companions had spotted a coyote at every twist and turn and they believed that the coyote was the spirit of the deceased grandfather who had been killed during a group border crossing.

At the end of the day, Maria was on her way to LA and I was settling into life at the rental house. I went to sleep that night in the master bedroom. The only book in the house was on the bedside table and it was on screenwriting.

The next day I had writer's block -- I was stuck! Until a light bulb went on in my head and I asked myself why I was writing the MOVIE in my head, trying to make it a novel instead? I then outlined the whole complex thing sitting on the back of Bell Rock on a Wednesday afternoon.... and then towards the day's end, with the scrap paper I still had left, I found myself drawing house plans (What house plans? Go figure!? Since when did I have an opportunity to build my dream house?)




Bell Rock

The Sedona story continues -- Later that week I put my tourist hat on and head out to the Airport Vortex with my digital camera. The vortex gave me(on demand) a brilliant rainbow and then it gave me a guy who spoke to me and reminded me that there was a pot of gold at the end of it... which ultimately led for a search for the "pot of gold" which led me to the Elephant's Foot which led me to Painted Canyon Drive and I came to a stop at the side of the road at a Real Estate sign. (Hmm! I thought. There's a novel idea. After a lifetime in my hometown, I was considering what it would be like to have Sedona red rock views from my home).




Could it Be? Could it be that there is a pot of gold at the end of it?


As I was looking at and half-heartedly pondering the land for sale from my car at the shoulder of the road, two coyotes slowly appeared at the front of my car -- one looked me directly in the eyes; the other one nervously followed him as he headed into the parcel that was for sale. I don't know if there was meaning in this (?reasons for all?) but I was very oriented to the Coyote at this point in my trip. Was it a sign? Was the coyote guiding me?

The following week I was back in NY having lunch with my colleague, Mark. He asked me whether I had completed my novel during my time in Sedona. "No" I replied, "...but I titled it Don Coyote". Mark then outpours the song in the restaurant "I am I Don Coyote the Man ofLamancha!...Onward I go!" I made a face while I laughed at and with him. At the end of lunch we walked down the street and had gone our separate ways just as a woman was handing out flyers on the corner. I took a flyer to be polite and my jaw dropped as I glanced down at it. "Syracuse University Theater Productions presents: Man of LaMancha" and there was Don Quixote on his horse with Sancho Panza next to him.
Chock it up to irony?

So next thing I know I'm surfing the internet looking for Sedona Real Estate -- I couldn't help it, Sedona seemed to take hold of me. One day I got an email from Gretchen at Sedona Realty (
http://www.sedonarealty.com/) and the subject line read "Cute Little House". I opened it and it's showed a two bedroom, one bath (read between the lines - affordable) with huge panoramic views of Sedona.


It was located on Tonto Rim Dr. I viewed the 360 virtual tour and decided that when I go to Sedona in August (four months down the road) if it was still on the market I would go to see it.

In the meantime (I have a tendency to enjoy researching the unknowns...) I found out that the seller's name was Douglas Flackman, an oil artist). I had been told that Douglas was relocating East to continue his work. Since this feng shui consultant wanted to learn more about the energy of the "previous owner", I Googled "Douglas Flackman" and was taken to a webpage where I could view his beautiful work. Must be a good energy person to do this kind of work, I thought.

Then I clicked on "Home" on the artist's page and it took me to the HomePage of the "
Tilting At Windmills Gallery" and there -- once again, was Don Quixote on his horse! I begin to wonder if this house MUST BE FOR ME!? It was a long wait until my next planned August visit.

www.tilting.com


In the meantime, I was preparing for my Master's program in Feng Shui and had to recruit client histories, hours and feedback for services I had provided. I was preparing a mailing and questionnaire for my previous clients . One day I realized I didn't have all of their addresses in my records.

As I looked up my client "Kim Hennessey" in the phone book, just above her name I found "Paula Hennerty" -- a nurse I worked closely with at Iroquois Nursing Home years before. I am not one to make a spontaneous call very often, but I made a call to her at that moment. We caught up on events from the past few years since we had seen each other--and when I told her of Sedona and Don Coyote and Don Quixote she replied "What are you DOING?! Don't wait! You HAVE to go out and see that house."

I argued with her to an extent that I had too much to do, but then I looked in my calendar and had "Sedona" written on the weekend of June 25. My mother and I had planned to visit Sedona and the plans had been cancelled but I had never removed it from my day planner. So, June 25 I was on a plane to Sedona for the second time - for four precious days.

Oh, and in the MEANTIME, I had been corresponding with a guy in Pennsylvania who specialized in the archives and collections of Carl Moon, who photographed Native Americans in the early 1900's. Tom Driebe sent me a complimentary signed copy of a
coffee table book he had written and two little used books that he thought might be of interest to me. One of those books addressed the "People of the Tonto Rim" --- Could this be the SAME Tonto Rim that housed Douglas Flackman's house for sale, located on East Tonto Rim? I took the book with me on the trip.www.carlmoon.com

So I'm back in Sedona again in pursuit of a place that I might call home. I went with Gretchen from Sedona Realty to go see the Flackman house. What a disappointment that it didn't do anything for me? What a joke! It called me here with its beautiful views and when I walked through the door it seemed dead to me there. This would not do. What the heck am I doing here in Sedona anyway?! Am I crazy?

I spent the weekend driving all around, getting a "feel" for neighborhoods and spaces. Not far from the Flackman house was a huge green area. The acre+ lots had been divided and were For Sale By Owner. I decided to explore.

It was not long before I was writing my family and friends at home that I could not even afford a chicken coop! One acre with a crumbling coop was priced at nearly $100K. The price of my WHOLE HOUSE in NY. The journey was leading me to realize that Sedona was out of my league.



I hiked around some more and as I arrived at a particular lot at the base of Wild Horse Mesa, in a heartbeat I KNEW I'D COME HOME. In a moment I knew that no other lot would do. No other house would do. I threw away all of my real estate notes and catalogues and guides and I called the owner and offered the value of my entire house in New York for that parcel of land.


It was all too soon time to leave Sedona, but not without many photos of this parcel. The last photo i took was from across a nearby field. I went to take a longshot of my land and I had to look twice. There, peeking out above the trees at the top of my property was the "Don Quixote" house in clear view.

Making the Offer/Meeting Cherokee
I had put in the offer on the land here and then I took a drive uptown to get a smoothie at the local coffee shop. I sat in the shop and looked around me at the people who were milling around. It was a shock to realize I had just put an offer in on a piece of land in a community that had so many people that seemed so unlike me. What on earth was I DOING? Had I made a mistake? I had nothing in common with the people in this town! They called my number to give me the smoothie and I quickly left the place. I drove down the street to a New Age shop and went in to buy a couple of souvenirs. When I approached the counter there was a lady in a long flowing mumu with long hair and big-lensed glasses. She was strange looking to me, but she looked at me with warmth and kindness and in a gravely voice said "Did you find everything you were looking for?" I said "Yes and more. I'd better just move here so I can stop buying souvenirs!" She looked me straight in the eye and it was like the moment was frozen in time when she said "You are being CALLED HERE, you know. You are MEANT to BE here. Do you KNOW that?" I said "I guess so." and I paid for my stuff, thanked her and left the store. I returned to New York and proceeded to go home to get my house there ready to sell. After all, I had to sell the it to buy the land, so things were now set in motion.
Maybe Don Quixote was leading me after all! Three days later my offer was accepted. I put my entire retirement account in escrow (and sent it off with a SMILE!???) -- agreeing to lose most of it if I didn't come up with the remainder by the October 1st Closing Date. I put my beloved NY house on the market a week or so later.

Think the story's over!? Not quite! Soon it was August and I was getting ready for my next trip West which wast to include a week in Sedona and week in Utah for feng shui mastery training. My mother came along to visit Sedona with me for a few days on the early end of the trip. It was very hot in the middle of monsoon season in Sedona -- we spent most of the first day going in and out of shops and cafes, being typical tourists. We went up to visit the Chapel on the Rocks and while there I glanced at the open bible which was opened to the Book of Mark and my eyes landed on 21:22 which reads...
AND ALL THINGS, WHATSOEVER YE SHALL ASK IN PRAYER, BELIEVING, YE SHALL RECEIVE.... Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you... For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. ...Therefore I say unto you, What things so ever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them. (Just in case ye don't "get it" the first time -- or the second!)


Chapel on the Rocks, Sedona Arizona


Mom and I went for a happy hour marguerita at The Wild Toucan and then we proceeded to visit my land. At approximately 7:15 pm, she and I were on the Southeast ("Wealth") corner of the property planting a special silver dollar that she had given me on this trip -- along with a copy of the prayer from the Book of Mark. Just a few hours later, a call came in from my real estate agent back in NY. At 10:15 that evening (with a three hour time difference between NY and AZ, it was at exactly the same moment we were planting) the paperwork was signed for a full purchase offer on my house in NY.

THAT was weird too! The buyer had come into NY from California for the weekend. She and her husband had taken a trip down Memory Lane and drove by Grandma's house and found it For Sale. She went up to the front door, looked in the window, called to her husband "Honey! I have to have this house." and he says "OK." -- They went to a reunion dinner, met with the real estate agent later and were on a plane back to California the next morning. The house had come full circle and ended up back in it's own family.


The little house in Marcellus. It's been good to me.

And after following the signs and messengers, I have ended up where I need to be.

Fast Forward to 2009:
Hitting The Road Tomorrow

Sometimes we can't see the forest for the trees and it is good to get away from home to ultimately come back and have clarity. There are lots of decisions for me to make in the near future and this trip should help! I will be seeing some special friends along the way and there are a couple of potential employment opportunities too.

Putting it out there and letting the chips falls as they will.
Click Here for the mapquested trip if you are interested.
UA-62098351-1

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