First three horticultural commissions of the year completed; mid-semester exams sat and passed; final parents' evening of my parental career; Gardasil sorted; Lent well under way; and the closer we move towards the Triduum, the heavier my heart becomes, filling with longing for the Holy Land and my home and my past and my future and everything in between. My kitchen turns eastwards and closer to my homeland as rice replaces tubers, and harissa enters centre stage, with cumin, saffron and green leafy coriander to rock my world. I hanker silently for rice and chestnuts and lamb, for kibbeh, for falafel crammed inside flatbreads, for musakan and always for mansaf. Homesickness always strikes hardest during Lent; longing and loneliness born with silence and courage and shreds of hope. I love what I do not have. You are so far.
But night comes and starts to sing to me.
The moon turns its clockwork dream.
The biggest stars look at me with your eyes.
And as I love you, the pines in the wind
want to sing your name with their leaves of wire.