I am missing the open window, which lets in the warm crisp air. The sudden breeze, that visits occasionally to cut the stationary heat hanging below the concrete slab. I miss seeing trees dance as they are tickled by the whimsical wind.
As I wade through the snow covered ground, I notice the absence of smell and remember the sweet aroma of rain on the parched earth and scalding tar, the pitter and patter of rain drops on the zinc roofing sheets. I miss putting the flowers out to catch the first drop and then watching them lift their leaf heads, allowing every cell to absorb the precipitation. I replay on ice, the feeling of stepping into the saturated earth and the act of trying to keep a balance or risk being overthrown by the firm and slippery ground. I miss seeing the rainbow and reminiscing on the promise.
As the clothes are rumbling and tumbling in the public machines used to get that artificial clean, I remember the plastic wash tub and the smell of Sudsil, Dettol and bleach. I miss holding the wooden washing brush, to scrub out the sweat stained dirt, captured by the collars and arms of shirts. I miss the act of soaping the white clothes with BLU, then tying them in a bag and putting it in the sun. Using a clean cloth, I wipe the line before hanging the fresh clothes to air dry. I imagine myself plucking the pins from my waist soaked shirt, wooden pins for colored clothes and plastic ones for whites. I can hear clearly, the sound of wet sheets fluttering like plastic kites between the winds’ lips, hoping they will dry before the afternoon rain.
I miss the blossoming of the ackee tree and the sound of bees busy, buzzing away to get their duties done. The falling blossoms and yellow leaves create an enticing bedding, fooling the sinus sufferers, triggering that persistent sneeze and deep ear scratching. I miss the marks created by the rake as I gather the dried leaves to be burnt.
Some Fridays, I miss seeing a real jerk pan, with the coal burnt chicken being chopped up on the old wooden board and picked up with the worn butcher’s knife, then dropped on the shiny foil paper, only to be plastered with pepper and Grace ketchup, then crowned with a slice of National hardough bread.
Some mornings, I miss the market, all the smells and the sounds; ’20 a pound onion’, ‘skellian an tyme’, the blood watermelons and the sugary jackfruit. I can see the old women ‘making change’, publicly hiding as they take their purses from their hefty breasts.
I am missing the life I loved to live and longing to go home.