f i v e

today, we celebrate five years of marriage.

we are home after spending the past week nestled in a secluded cabin in the high sierras. to say these days have been wholly replenishing would be a severe understatement. in a way of sorts, they allowed us to tap into ourselves, together.

i could easily wax poetic about my gratitude for being married to the kindest, most radiant man, but my written words would never be able to illustrate that kind of love. it’s so deep, so engrained in the inner workings of my soul that i will leave it at that. and cherish it nonetheless.

october 18, 2014.

five years later, and i can still feel the warmth of my blood flowing through my body the moment we exchanged vows. but interestingly enough, i feel it more now. i feel it every day i wake up next to him. i feel it through the joy and the sadness, the victories and the setbacks. i feel the beating, the pulsating of my heart – a heart that is so in love with the man i get to call my husband – that i feel stronger for it. he builds me. delights in me.

i celebrate this day and every following day for the opportunity to live in this union. it is far from perfect, but it is absolutely genuine, as true to us as could ever be.

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xoxo

 

song for autumn

officially fall, here is mary oliver’s song for autumn…

don’t you imagine the leaves dream now

how comfortable it will be to touch

the earth instead of the

nothingness of the air and the endless

freshets of wind? and don’t you think

the tress, especially those with 

mossy hollows, are beginning to look for

the birds that will come — six, a dozen — to sleep

inside their bodies? and don’t you hear

the goldenrod whispering goodbye,

the everlasting being crowned with the first

tuffets of snow? the pond

stiffens and the white field over which 

the fox runs so quickly brings out

its long blue shadows. the wind wags

its many tails. and in the evening 

the piled firewood shifts a little,

longing to be on its way.

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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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