January 2014



This is the best smelling plant in the world. I wish they had this mesquite (I think?) as a perfume. I’d wear it every day.

This weekend on a hike, watching an early morning  dawn spread across the Valley, I was full of comfort. The light shifted, bouncing off of sky scrapers on Central Avenue, through the few remaining orchards in Arcadia, over the rolling hills of South Mountain and up the steep face of the Superstitions, through the tangles of tall palm trees on 44th street, and glimmering off the Chihuly exhibit at the Desert Botanical Gardens.


It brought me back to the many, many childhood afternoons spent swimming with my brother in our backyard, watching the clock until my dad would return from work and cannon ball into the deep end to join us. My mom would sit outside, dangling her toes in the water as my dad cooked on a charcoal grill. The smell alone of charcoal or chlorine brings me back here. We would eat in swimming suits on a plastic patio set that would leave funny horizontal lines across the backs of our legs. Depending on the time of year, because of course in Phoenix swimming isn’t just a summer sport, my mom would then either pull out Rummikub or cards for gin rummy, meaning it was summer and we could just play games, or a set of homemade index cards. The flash cards signaled September and a return to school. We’d battle through them until we’d made her happy enough, far too young to realize how smart she was for constantly pushing us to be better.

A friend said to me last week, “Doesn’t it feel good to be back in your city?” Yes. This is my city. And yes, it does, finally.

Basically what I am saying is: Arizona, you are so easy to love in January. Keep it up.