To Let Things Feel Normal

“Everyone must resist the urge to let things feel normal, and stand up for individuals, minorities, organizations, and causes that will be under threat during the Trump Administration.’  “John Oliver

Oh the pressure is on:  to shop the holidays to financial ruin;  loudly gnash teeth over USA’s  recent joint political/ governing/ and citizen election debacle;  fret the unsettled global times, engage in a family holiday melodrama, or think too much about how Georgia is both powerful and thriving due to American preference for the lies and misinformation of fake news. And how about that Global Warming!

Excellent reasons and season to choose to continue the binge hiking during  this period before the Winter Solstice.   To spend some time to figure out how best to navigate safely,  with purpose, faith, peace, and good humor  in this world determined to go Tilt Ta Whorl .

Out the door and down the road to visit with an old friend, Hot Loop 94.

The Hot Loop can be a trickster. Important to keep track of  time when together, and keep a visual siting on a few formations and location in relation to them.  A compass essential.  The light leaves early from low between formations,  and cinder-cones. Late Fall through Spring is  the best time of the year to visit.  There are stretches of exposed basalt that heat up, and while it feels great on a winters day to walk your bare skin in the sun, it’s extremely hot in the summer months.  It’s quiet time with the Hot Loop. Saw only one lone cowboy all the day long. Surrounded  with cinder cones, red rock formations, deep washes, Jack’s Canyon, and the top ridge line of the Colorado Plateau above to Horse Mesa.  The narrow trail changes up from stretches of loose black basalt pebbles, thousands of small distractions,  aiming to send hikers sprawling if not mindful of every step. Then rusty red boot sucking  mud in deep forest shadows. An opportunity to hike with entire chapters of  Sedona’s 340 million years of geology.

The surrounding area tempts hikers to leave the trail.  Whether it is the colorful geology laid before the eyes, the sight of a high up there cavern, a first rate Sedona metaphysical vision, the sound of scrub jays,  cattle, or an angle for a photo providing a sweeping panorama for a perfect holiday greeting card….mindful to  remember it’s a clever seduction to stray from the trail being played upon hikers, the trail always the truest,  faithful companion.


This time of the year, Just before the Yule. Just before the light returns, and Santa Claus arrives…. is the perfect time to walk the earth, get clear on what and who is important and what my role is and will be going forward. My decades indicate that  both the perception, term, and the reality of this thing we call   ‘normal’ wears a thousand different disguises;  fluid, varied and changing.

May each and everyone enjoy safe, joyous, and peace-filled holidays. I’ll be visiting around with you to catch up over the holidays and return to posting with the New Year.  Peace and Blessings.

Interesting Read:  Climate Change Tipping Points Are Not Just Symbolic featured in the Guardian .

Local  AZ organizations doing good environmental work:

Keep Sedona Beautiful

Friends of the Verde River Greenway

Sedona Recycles



  1. Beautiful pictures, Johanna.
    We spent four great years in Arizona (not Sedona) and I have a favorite spot in my heart for AZ (our daughter was born there – Bisbee).
    Thanks for taking me down memory lane again (we spent a week in Sedona a few years ago – it is a beautiful place).

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow, when you started talking about hiking, I had images of Everest, lol, but I had forgotten where you live, lol! I was a bit relieved, cause I was thinkin, “No girl, no…” lol
    Lovely photos. I think you have the right idea on making the most of the light we have 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Have been on a 40 day trip to Singapore, Bali, Australia and New Zealand. Then home to a week + of jet lag, laundry and the Christmas season approaching. We were aboard a cruise ship when we learned the election results (had completed absentee ballots) — mainly Aussies, Brits and Europeans on this particular cruise. Folks could not believe the results! We were asked so many times, “How could you????” And we would shake our heads, grit our teeth and answer “WE didn’t.”
    Such a timely writing here….just getting back to a bit of reading and found your post.
    I especially like and relate to this line
    “The surrounding area tempts hikers to leave the trail.” — seems to me this relates to the political area and situation we find ourselves in. The temptation is to give up and say, “He’s not my president” — but sadly, he is. We can’t leave the trail and abandon hope. I for one, will be participating on January 21, the day after the inauguration, in the Women’s March in Boston. It is scheduled in so many cities across the US. I hope thousands participate to make our voices heard. I think we may have a ThrowBack to the 60s in the next few years — with citizens becoming more active and letting their displeasure known. I hope so. But at the same time, I pray for peace and understanding…..less divisiveness and hatred.
    Didn’t mean to vent…..your writing brought up all these feelings. The very best to you during this season of Advent.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh Lillian, thank you for reading and your response is just so heartfelt and valuable. Yes, I filled this post with metaphors, and intimation.

      Thank you for writing of the possibility of the activism of the sixties returning. It will certainly be different as it is experienced in the age of technology, the internet, and
      social media.

      The January 21 Women’s March is indication of a renewed commitment to standing up and speaking out. I’m including a link to the Women’s March in Boston (, you mentioned, as well as the one in the Capitol Washington (
      Women are gathering in Phoenix (

      Lillian, thank you for your most excellent commentary. Looking forward to your essays on your trip as well as your reporting of the Boston Women’s March. All my best to you.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. enjoyed the post

    On Mon, Dec 12, 2016 at 8:08 AM, JoHanna Massey wrote:

    > JoHanna Massey posted: “”Everyone must resist the urge to let things feel > normal, and stand up for individuals, minorities, organizations, and causes > that will be under threat during the Trump Administration.’ “John Oliver > Oh the pressure is on: to shop the holidays to finan” >

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Johanna, a wonderful post! 😀 Nothing like a little walk (haha!) to counter the crazy world of ours. The trial looks extraordinary, stunning landscape and the night picture of the stars is spectacular!! Wow! Whilst I was scrolling through your photo gallery I kept coming back to that one – I think my heart would stop awhile in awe of such a night display. The signage is definitely extreme and not sure I’d venture too far on my own! Wishing you a wonderful Christmas filled with magic…much of which seems to be on your doorstep! 😀 Warmest wishes to you for the new year. ♥️

    Liked by 1 person

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