My favorite month of the year is October.
Pumpkin pie, orange surrounding me, and crisp air flowing around me. Fall is not found here under the sun. No leaves fall but instead dry up as October is the hottest month in the year. So hot that stepping on the ground was enough for one to dash inside under shade.
I miss you, October. The October of my home when the wind would turn on us and push us with force. I would only rejoice feeling my bones waken when it came by. But no breezes exist here. Not for the Zambian October. In these differences, I miss home the most.
Homesickness came by once in a while and especially when it came to food. But I have never seen much longing until this month. To see so much of home. To see so much of the people I miss too dearly. To sleep in my own bed and walk to the fridge and open it only to realize I don’t know what I wanted to get in the first place. To hear Lovely bark when she saw me. To drive down Mallory Road and speed up a bit when I felt no one was looking. To walk by a Cinnabon and contemplate how special that day was to deserve a splurge of that cavity filled magnitude. To see my mother laugh non stop on something not at all funny only to see my brothers shaking their heads with me, still bewildered at the fact that this dork was our mother. To watch my lavender plants grow and my rose bloom. To sit outside and wish to be somewhere as magnificent as Zambia.
How I crave to be home…My first birthday and I am to be alone, far away from the huge Costco cake my mom would buy for me even though it was only for 5 of us. And my brothers and my cousins and I would finish that thing in a week. To see my cousins come around to see me but especially for the food…I miss it too greatly.
How I crave packages now. I crave pictures and little things of home so much this month. For I need to be reminded of how home feels and to be strong as my new place is not so lonesome. I am blessed for my family with eight children all older than me and grandchildren a plenty, three quarters of them are born in October. Every day will be celebration with Zambian frosted cake and fried dough. My youngest host sister’s daughter Asha was born on the 23rd and the Zambian 50th Year Independence Day is on the 24th and the day after I become 23.
I miss you home. Pumpkin pie and chocolate. Halloween parties and the movie Hocus Pocus. I miss you too much and it makes me cry to know I will be far from the orange and gold leaves flying about on the winds. But for the rest of my life, I can say I was 23 when Zambia turned 50 in its freedom, or My family here celebrated their new daughter’s birthday with the rest of their October babies. For the rest of my life, the years 23 and 24 of my life will always belong to the golden, heat-drenched, shade-sought after October months of Zambia.