back

forgive me for the lapse in time between postings. there was an expansive trip to peru in july and beach days in august. many dinners eaten al fresco. countless bottles of rose enjoyed. our kitchen saw no shortage of farmer’s market goods, and the naps – well they continued effortlessly. there was serious contemplation of going back to school for acupuncture, and a current ease with the decision not to. not at this time, at least.

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i guess all of this to say, summer’s vibrant energy kept me away from this space.

but here we are mid-september, days from the autumn equinox. although the indian summer might continue relentlessly, i find myself craving reflection and groundedness, shorter days and deeper thoughts. the energy and vibrancy of the past few months is now being harnessed for this next season of introspection, and i cant’t help but celebrate it. the shift happening externally is certainly reflecting the shift i’m feeling within.

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as i journey back into this space, an excerpt from the poem Under the Harvest Moon by Carl Sandburg:

under the summer roses

when the flagrant crimson

lurks in the dusk

of the wild red leaves,

love, with little hands,

comes and touches you

with a thousand memories, 

and asks you

beautiful, unanswerable questions.

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west side

i think the true mark of becoming an angeleno is surpassing the seven-year itch – that year when the magic of the bustling city fades, the concrete feels suffocating, the traffic unbearable. all of a sudden, an insatiable appetite for space and nature and slowness takes over and you’re left feeling an immense void. you feel overwhelmed. you must get out.

but then life happens. you fall in love. you begin forging a path at work. you start building a home because with all the change, you need a sense of stability. the annoyances of the past are seen through a different lens – one that instead appreciates the grievances as pieces of a dynamic city’s identity. slowly, with every beach canyon trail hiked, farmer’s market visited, and dinner party hosted, the darkness becomes light and you begin to feel a part of the city. you feel like you belong.

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this summer marks 14 years that i’ve lived in los angeles, specifically the west side. there is much i haven’t seen, and though one could consider that a loss, i view it as my saving grace. it is through the familiar faces and eclectic shops/eateries, the west side’s access to nature and its temperate days with cool nights, our quiet, quaint space and the garden that gives me life – it’s through all of this that i choose to stay.

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when i wanted to give up and search elsewhere, it was the west side that brought me home. it’s where my heart softened and i was able to breathe. it’s where the inner work is happening, where the everyday is celebrated.

this is h o m e.

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simple pleasures, currently

a few of the things that are lighting up my days:

a good night’s sleep and a subsequent early rise.

the explosive fragrance radiating from the jasmine bushes two blocks down.

…and the poppy bush next door.

that moment when i taste a charred brussels sprout leaf straight out of the oven while I still have lingering chocolate coating my mouth from the brownie i just ate. salty meets sweet.

the feeling on my skin when i apply my nightly facial serum.

a home-cooked meal and a glass (or two) of champagne. because wednesday.

the anticipation of visiting mama and daddy next weekend.

…and celebrating a special birthday.

finding a good book and actually finishing it.

the sound of effervescence while opening a bottle of topo chico mineral water.

thoughtful text messages from lifelong friends.

this space for allowing me to capture otherwise forgotten moments.

how to know it’s may

at 6 am, light.

in the trees, chirping.

along the neighborhood streets, blooming jacarandas.

at the market, asparagus.

in our windowsill, chamomile.

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wrapped around my shoulders, a pashmina.

the talk of the town, mothers.

on trails, wildflowers.

in the air, aromas from reawakened grills.

in my glass, rose.

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outside, dinners.

on the 22nd, a special birthday.

bedside, lilacs.

at 7:30 pm, fading light.

 

celebrate

i wonder what it would look like if i was more intentional about celebrating. i’m not referring to the birthdays and engagements and babies type of celebrating (although they are all wonderful in their own right). i’m talking more about the everyday celebrations, the moments that might come across to the onlooker as mundane, but are in fact intimate victories worthy of observance.

this topic has been on my mind lately, in the wake of friends losing loved ones to aging or illness. it’s not lost on me that grief is inevitable or that our lives are so very fragile. in fact, it’s the reason why i even consider celebrating the little things. we are not immune from life running its uncertain course, so why not honor those daily instances that alleviate the anxiety? why not walk away from the day with a sense of triumph?

what follows are a few of the things i celebrated this week:

the spring bounty at the farmer’s market, prepped for the week.

stretching after running.

making a now-favorite vinaigrette for all those greens.

knowing my limits in social gatherings (i.e. an early exit because of work the next morning)

a couple more gray hairs, signs of another day lived earthside.

time with friends. time with my husband.

breakfasts eaten outside in the quiet of morning.

to celebrate. it’s a concept i hope to turn into a regular practice. being mindful of the impact the everyday victories have on my spirit and consciousness. because what a gift it is to take another breath, to live another day.

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on being

what does it look like to just be yourself?

it’s a question i’ve been thinking about since i listened to an episode on oprah’s super soul converstaion, in which she described her  best piece of advice was to just be herself. in this day and age of social media and its lure to create perfect life displays, i find it’s increasingly distracting us from being our true honest selves.

when i consider what it looks like to be myself, i think about what it is that ignites a light within me, what it is that brings purpose to my life and in so doing, makes me want to share it with the world. it’s greater than the voice in my head that doubts or wants me to believe that i am less than. when i consider what it looks like to be myself, it’s someone who follows her heart and does so without fear of judgment or failure. it’s someone who lives in the security of knowing she is meant to be here, in this limited time, for a wholly beautiful purpose.

i have yet to unearth the entirety of my being because, to be honest, i’m not sure i’ve given it much thought until now. what does it mean to just be myself. it’s interesting that as the season is transitioning from one of reflection to one of growth, i too am experiencing a growth of my own – learning how to rediscover myself with more intention and surrendering the things that don’t serve me in this life on earth.

here’s to the journey in letting go and being me. 

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s u n

it’s not lost on me that i am a tried-and-true california baby. a product of citrus and waves, temperate seasons and sun.

but mostly, sun.

truth is, i didn’t realize how much i am dependent on that powerful energy source until fairly recently. while i appreciate this unusually wet winter (so long, drought!), i’m finding myself a little out of sorts without the consistency of our beloved sun. into this new year, we have experienced more rain in weeks than california has experienced in years, which when calculated, amounts to even fewer days of winter sun and its unique warmth.

in years past, i woke up to cold morning runs, ending with a shower and basking in the sun’s gentle heat. breakfast was eaten outside, a blanket wrapped around for warmth. we had beach days, albeit chilly, for the thrilling joy of crashing waves and crowd-empty shores. hikes were routine, as the mild winter sun allowed for a steady journey without heat fatigue or dehydration. and of course, my garden, filled with drought-friendly succulents, all fed off the universe’s nourishing light.

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in the absence of those moments, i have to look inward and find a new sense of myself – a self that can’t be so reliant on the sun. it’s a process, and i’m making way. this passage by Willa Cather from My Antonia certainly helps:

“it was as if Winter was

saying to us:

‘This is reality, whether you

like it or not.

All those frivolities of

summer,

the light and shadow, the

living mask of green that

trembled over everything,

they were lies.

This is what is underneath,

this is the truth.'”

if anything, i am discovering how grateful i am for the sun – what it does, how it feels, the energy it brings. before now, i don’t think i ever gave it that kind of respect. its presence was always expected. even at 32, i’m still growing, and sometimes i think even more so now – what fills me, what depletes me, what ultimately sets my soul on fire.

i don’t know how much longer these wet days will continue, but one thing this child of the sun can guarantee is that it’s going to be one lush spring ahead.

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