We all experience ghastly days that shake us to the core. Days when our inner monologue runs on a defiant loop: “Oh, if I can just get through this … if I can just beat the odds … maybe one day the light will return.”
At least, that’s how it felt for me on July 6, 2017 … my sixtieth birthday … when I suffered a mild heart attack in St. Louis on the way west from our old home in Illinois to our new home in Arizona.
With a little luck and a lot of perseverance, two years have passed. Last Saturday–on July 6, 2019–my husband and I traveled two hours north from sizzling Scottsdale into Sedona’s red rock country for a hike to celebrate our shared sixty-second birthday (yes … it’s sweet, surreal and serendipitous) and (serendipity squared) the second anniversary of me (actually, us) surviving heart trauma.
Given the multi-layered significance of July 6 in our lives, it was only fitting that we chart a new course for the day in this geological wonderland. So, we packed plenty of water, slathered on the sunscreen, and stepped out on the trail toward one of Sedona’s gems: Bell Rock.
On the course of our hour-long journey, we stopped frequently to marvel at the spectacular scenery in our new home state … to acknowledge just how far we’d come in twenty-four months. From a familiar-and-comfortable suburban-Chicago life … to a frightening hospital stay in the city where I was born … to our 112-degree arrival in Arizona when our air conditioning faltered … to a well-earned, grateful life of wide open spaces, majestic sunsets and creative possibilities that have since bloomed.
At one point on our final approach to Bell Rock, I snapped this photo to capture the flight and magnitude of the moment. Just like this young mountain biker who wheeled past us, we’ve rounded the corner and transcended the story of An Unobstructed View. We’ve begun a new chapter in our journey here in the Grand Canyon State. We’ve welcomed the passage of time. We’ve found the gift of reflection in Arizona’s rejuvenating red rocks.
8 thoughts on “A Better Day, a Better View, a Better Path”
Congratulations on your recovery. I think you’re wise to reclaim the date. Better to focus on good stuff than dwell on the bad.
Thank you, Jeff. This one felt more like an actual/acceptable birthday.
Congratulations on a wonderful (shared!) Birthday. Gorgeous photo
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Thank you, Kim.
I must tell you Happy Birthday again!! It truly is something to celebtate. Bell Rock is just ONE of Sedona’s special places. Having lived most of my life in Flagstaff I can share many many more beautiful places with you and your hubby in Sedona. You’ve got to get off the beaten path as they say.
Again Celebrate your new journey❤
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Thank you! We’re ready to do more exploring, Laura. I know we’ve just scratched the surface in Arizona.
I just couldn’t help myself when I started reading dates in your post, I did a quick bit of numerology. The day you had your birthday heart attack was a 5 which represents change. That one was certainly spot on as heart attacks are life-changing and you were moving. Your recent birthday date was a 7 which represents spirituality and wisdom. That one seems to ring true too as you mentioned the gift of reflection. 🙂 Thanks for letting me play with the dates! Blessings to you and your husband!
Your numerology insights are fascinating, Julie. Thank you for sharing them … and your support is a gift!