Mornings in Arizona:
From the high-rise where my parents live—at 6:45a it appears there are two suns rising. The mountains break the skyline in half, and the light pops up over the Earth in two balls of fire. The clouds are like brush strokes. There are beautiful places in the world where the sun rises particularly pretty—but from what I've seen, I like to believe it prefers to rise in Arizona best.
My parents have been joking about how they told our siblings not to buy us Hanukkah presents this year—because we will likely just sell them away...They have no space! My mother says... But truthfully, it's not so bad at all—filling our lives up with experiences rather than things.
We went to dinner at Cafe Monarch two nights ago—a house-turned-restaurant off of Goldwater. The family of the owner, Christian, has been in Arizona for a lifetime; his father has a Southwestern leather shop just across the street. His mother, who my mom is so fond of for her Lebanese roots, helped him decorate the space when he took it over from the previous owner.
With the idea to make all guests feel as if they've been invited to eat in a home, I sat there two nights ago thinking: yes this is the way to do it. I'm in this mindset where, if I'm going to have a house and fill it with a bunch of stuff—how wonderful to maximize the treasures inside by sharing them with the world over food every single day.
We spent the night admiring all the decor while at the same time, talking about the tiny home movement. Oxymoronic conversations tend to happen when you drink too much of The Prisoner and scarf down a 4 course meal plus dessert. :)
After returning home, by the end of the night my mother was on the piano—reciting her new lessons over and over as Leila and I watched. She broke out in laughter each time she missed a key and had to start over. My sister and I were in tears laughing too, watching how Aviv has embraced this type of woman that we are—totally giggle happy. This is what happens when you're home. Thanks, Momma—you're getting so good at the piano!
And this is home—this is family.
I realize that as we continue to talk about world travel and going "out there" to see what there is to see and to find a new places to call home—I must ask myself if in the end it's going to be just right here, waiting for us to return the whole time...
Then again, we met a new friend my mother made, a yoga instructor from NYC who came to our house to do a private yoga practice.
Giselle moved to Scottsdale 4 months ago with her husband. They had been in NY for a while (she used to teach at Yoga Vida on University Place), and then they picked up and decided to plant roots elsewhere—somewhere warmer and more zen. They picked this place; not having lived here before or visited at all.
A risk? Yes. A wonderful story + experience? Absolutely. I like their guts—and I like how we learn from each other. There's no better time to get out into the world and take a risk. With good fortune, family will always be there to welcome us home...
So today I am thankful for all these things. My brother + sisters; my mother and father(s) :)—this Arizona sun and these Arizona homes and people and their stories that make them what they are.
These things are wonderful, and wonderful things mean nothing without gratitude.