Beauty in Unlikely Places

Just got back from a trip to Las Vegas, Death Valley and Sedona, AZ. Talk about different! Yet, each possesses a beauty all its own, one that I have come to deeply appreciate.

OK, so you may be wondering what’s so beautiful about Las Vegas? Well, I say, have you ever seen thousands of lights shimmer in the heat of a desert night? Or the sun rise over the valley, igniting the subtle colors of the minerals buried deep inside the mountains? It’s enough to make your breath catch in your throat.

Then there’s Death Valley. Nothing like what I expected. Wow! Unique vegetation, winding roads, rolling hills, and mountains. One can feel the spiritual energy as it rises from the earth. Try walking on Badwater Basin, the lowest point in the United States. The silence is deafening. (I also feel a bit of pride at walking the basin in 120+ degree heat, if truth be told.) Starkness holds a beauty all its own.

Sedona is another story entirely. “Jaw-dropping” hardly qualifies as an adequate description of the scenery in the town and on the road south from Flagstaff. For starters, you’re driving through a national forest. Humongous pine trees line the road, behind which stand rust-red cliffs cut with canyons and creeks as far as the eye can see (when the eye can see, for the trees are thick). The route twists and turns downward toward Sedona, through the trees and mountains until the town suddenly appears, peaceful and serene. Buildings in the same rust-red and tan color as the rock formations, and constructed in the low level, pueblo style that one would imagine of Southwestern architecture. No skyscrapers here! I highly recommend a trip to Sedona for everyone, even if you don’t care to visit any of the vortex sites (which we did). The spiritual energy is palpable throughout the entire town. We’re definitely going back for a second look.

So, what I’m trying to say is, don’t let your preconceived notions limit you. (I’m definitely guilty of this.) Beauty lies in unexpected places. As I tell my husband, who knew that I would grow to love Las Vegas, and not for the gambling and the glitter? It calls to me in a way that no other place can. The desert Southwest has established a firm hold on my heart and has no intention of letting go.

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