My earliest memories of Philadelphia happened in a Buddhist temple called, Quan Am, located on Ridge Ave. north of Vine Street. Every Sunday morning, religiously, my very dedicated mother would wake my sister and I up at 7 AM to get ready to go to temple. We’d whine every Sunday and ask why we had to go. The explanation went along the lines of, “Because I’m your mother and I will guilt you into doing things I believe is important for you and you have to do as I say,” or maybe it was just a scary look of impatience if we didn’t get ready immediately. Growing up, I never thought I’d admit that so many of the things my mother said or wanted us to do was so right (she’ll never see this, right?). Although I don’t practice Buddhism as consistently as my mother, the ideals are covered by me in my thoughts and decisions every day. The necklace is not my very first that I received from my temple, but it’s the one I’ve kept for the longest and it reminds me of the great memories I shared with my sister, friends, and family—of when the times were simpler and the hardest thing I needed to do was wake up at 7 AM on Sunday mornings.