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When It's Right

Saturday, September 12, 2015

This is a post about when it's right. When you find a place to stay that fits you, and better yet when you meet friends you've "known" for a long time without meeting, and when you do they're even better than you'd dared hope. Sometimes that happens.

I was blessed this whole trip to Sedona, Arizona, treated like some kind of birding royalty, put up in The Summit Resort, which had multiple pools, none of which I dipped so much as a toe into, because I was too busy putting boots to trail. I'd be throwing my stuff in the car for my next excursion, and I'd see a bunch of people lying on chaises around a pool, behind an iron fence, and I'd think, "Now why would I do THAT when the redrock desert lies out there just waiting to be explored? You can lie around a pool anywhere, anytime. You can't chase bushtits and ravens and desert cottontails anywhere, anytime."

After my festival work ended, I had a couple of nights for which I needed lodging. My soon-to-be dear friends at Scattered Light Jewelry, who were also in Sedona for the Sedona Hummingbird Festival, suggested Sky Ranch Lodge, up by the tiny perfect Sedona Airport, and it was a complete fit.

Lesser goldfinch at the fountain near the Sky Ranch Lodge's amazing overlook.

This is the view from the lodge's piazza. All Sedona stretched out below me. Wow. And scrub jays racketing through the brush.

I found this mantis nymph on some yucca in the lodge's extensive gardens and fell in love.

Once more, with feeling:

Needless to say, I was happy there. 

About those about-to-be-dear friends...

One of the great incentives for me to travel to Sedona in late July was the chance to finally meet Barbara Samuelson and Russell Strawn Smith of Scattered Light Jewelry .

I own a number of their pieces and love them more than I can say. 
See "A Tale of Three Pendants" for a detailed discussion of their metallurgical and aesthetic genius. I've been a true, raving fan of their work for a LONG time. Over a decade.

So when, in the course of Facebook nattering, I found out that Barbara and Russell were going to the Sedona Hummingbird Festival, that sealed the deal with wax and a big kiss. I was GOING. 

Look at them! You've seen their work on my blog, but in the flesh they're too good to be true.

Well of course when we met in the vendor hall it was all over. All we wanted to do was yak and hike and go find Indian food together. So we did.

Selfies, good and failed, followed. Russell: How do I work this thing? Your modern devices confuse me. 
Zick: Here. You put your thumb in front of the lens and Bam! Selfie fail! 

Barbara, behind us: Mmmmf.

At the glorious vendor mart at the Sedona Hummingbird Festival, I got me a couple more of their exquisite pieces, and every morning I mull: Shall I wear the acorn that opens up, or the Heart and Hand pendant?

Heart and hand. They swivel together on this ingenious pendant by Barbara. As they do in life, the heart's work is in the hand. One can't move without the other being attached, involved. Whether you're cooking, doing someone's laundry, weeding, painting, or making a piece of intelligent jewelry.

Russell's acorn pendant. Look at that finish! He makes the alloy on the lid himself. It's so beautiful. I've cracked the lid a bit as a hint

that this acorn opens up! I asked Barbara what I could keep in there. With a wry smile, she suggested two extra-strength Advil. Haaa. I was thinking of a dodo feather, but hey. Let's get real.

The sweet little latch.

Barbara and me: soultwins. Don't let those enormous soft eyes and gentle beauty fool you. She's a badass, just like me.

We went out to find the sunset and found this Chinese dragon cloud.

 And this agave. Barbara told me what it's like to strap an old agave inflorescence on top of your car and try to drive it home to decorate your store in Round Top, Texas (which is called Lark: Inspired Giving). It's not for toddlers. Those damn things are HUGE.

We drank in the sunset at Lizard Head, and reveled in each others' presence. We plotted on how we might get together again.

Everywhere we looked was beauty. When artists convene in the desert, look out. There's gonna be some heavy appreciatin' going on.

Agave sunset.

Look at those lovebirds! Just seeing them together made my heart fill up.

In such a place, with such lovely people. If only the sunset could have gone on all night.

Russell borrowed my phone and produced this image. Please, borrow it more.  It is he who constructs the botanically perfect pendants, articulated, that move and open up just as the plant or flower does. He is an artist, but he's also a mad genius engineer.

Barbara made a portrait of me against a flaming sunset.

I felt more like myself out here than I had in years. Sedona makes me feel hopeful. Like there's a bigger world out there waiting for me, like I'm ready to start a new chapter. Maybe it's in the vortices.
But I think it's probably in the love of new, old, forever friends. Here's to meeting and cementing friendships, and making online connections real, in the flesh.

Photo by Barbara Samuelson

 bashed shin and bino bra--that's how you can tell it's me and not Christie Brinkley.

Now go buy intelligent jewelry.


Just as in physical existence, people can be related by sharing genetic material, I believe that souls can be "related" to one another on a more ethereal level. When we meet on this physical plane, we remember them in some way and greet them as we do family that we haven't seen for a while. I hope that the three of you stay in frequent contact from now on; it's good for one's mood and creativity to be around these "kindred spirits".

Been lusting after scattered light jewelry every since I saw it mentioned in your blog and I visit their Lark & Etsy website to drool... soon, oh soon! I almost want to get married again to wear their oak leaf & acorn ring as a wedding band. Almost.

Posted by Gail Spratley September 12, 2015 at 9:11 PM

Perfectly expressed, Mimi. I've always known these two, but what we were to each other in other lives will remain a mystery.
Gail, I know exactly what you mean about the wedding bands. Bittersweet. Maybe just buy the ring and wear it on the right hand.

'Love this post. Love to hear about new found kindred spirits. This makes me happy.

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