When the days curled over each other in the long summer, their edges frayed so that I could no longer pick them apart; when I could not meet another human's eyes without weeping; when the body wanted to walk and walk but was made to sit instead; then homesickness would descend, thick as oil. When the predawn fullmoon light sang sycamore shadows on the trail; when the kaisando filled with creekwhispers and the sweet smell of tatami; when the bell came clear through the center of me; then the homesickness would rise, soft as new bread.
I was not homesick for the home of my childhood, nor for the house I'd just left in the mountains. I was not homesick even for the roll of ocean or the burr of desert hills. It took me weeks to find the core of it: I was homesick for your kitchen. I was homesick for the smell of yeast and the light through your kitchen window. I was homesick for your yellow pots and the hum of the kettle and our easy mealtime dance. I was homesick, really, for you. I was homesick for you. I was homesick for you.