Fine china has long symbolized the 20th anniversary, a milestone the great city of Maricopa celebrates this month. Brimming with captivating intricacies, the gift of fine china demands our careful attention — much like the city itself.

It cannot be tossed casually into a dishwasher; instead, it requires deliberate handwashing and tender drying. Just as it has taken steadfast leadership to nurture Maricopa’s profound growth by hand, as exemplified by Arizona state Rep. Teresa Martinez’s tireless efforts to make our roads safe and accessible as recounted by Justin Griffin in this edition of InMaricopa.

Traditionally exchanged among royalty, U.S. presidents and married couples, fine china is a timeless symbol of wealth. A fitting analogy for Maricopa, whose wealth soared like a phoenix from the ashes of the Great Recession, an epic comeback story awaiting your discovery in this magazine.

Chinese porcelain also symbolizes respect and mutual understanding. Likewise, Maricopa has grown to accept those of all ilks, like the city’s burgeoning gothic community and their curious collections of eerie porcelain dolls. I’ve stepped out of the sunlight and into this dark and mysterious world in this issue.

Remember your parents’ fine china cabinet growing up? Those delicate porcelain treasures rarely left their wooden confines, only gracing the table during special occasions, signaling the arrival of guests. In much the same way, Maricopa has welcomed countless newcomers since 2003, often from worlds away. Come with me as I follow one such adventurous soul on her Viking pilgrimage from the Arctic to the desert as you navigate these glossy pages.

When we dare to break out the fine china, people get uptight, agonizing over whether it’ll break or not, and that can overshadow the togetherness and celebration it’s meant to represent. With Maricopa’s exponential growth comes anxiety for some over shattering the city’s quiet retreat from cosmopolitan sprawl. Prosperity has no concerns with such trepidations.

Sure, the fine china makes an appearance during special occasions, namely a 20th anniversary. But what it misses, holed up in that dusty kitchen cabinet, are all the moments in between. The memories, triumphs and accomplishments that we as Maricopans achieve each and every day in our bustling little city.

I invite you to celebrate this milestone in whichever way you feel most appropriate, be it with familiar loved ones or newfound neighbors. Let us usher in this era of growth with a touch of elegance, raising a toast in fine china vessels.

Oh, and when you see the goths out hunting for ghosts in Maricopa later this month, remember our city’s rural tradition isn’t a specter but the heart of an ever-evolving place. I, for one, can’t wait to see what the next evolution brings.

And as always, thank you for reading InMaricopa.

The October edition of InMaricopa Magazine is in Maricopa mailboxes and available online.