As a displaced New Englander, I often suffer from homesickness. I miss the fall and I can’t wait for snow. I miss my family and maple walnut ice cream. I miss the wet smell of the earth and the cold, cold October nights. I can’t wait to go home for Christmas.
Because of this, I will find myself dialing my grandmother’s phone number, usually on Thursdays, and let her soothe me into relaxing. Usually I try not to cry on the phone with her but sometimes the tears track down my cheeks before or during. By the time our conversations is finished, I feel strong enough to go on with the next week or two.
Other nights when the day has been particularly long or stressful and I’m feeling homesick but want to keep to myself, I will make a cup of tea. I have a variety of about 8-10 teas that I keep handy including 3 kinds of Sleepytime tea (one of my favorites). I will change into my pajamas as night falls, pull on my moccasins and walk out into the dimly lit kitchen.
It’s usually pretty dark outside after dinner and by the time I want to make my tea. But I don’t mind, sometimes I only need a little light to feel cocooned in the darkness but not in a frightening way. So I’ll pull out a mug, select the tea, and heat it up in the microwave. I never let the microwave beep as I can’t stand the sound and after I let the tea steep, just listening to the other quieter sounds of the house after dark.
The TV volume on low, the steady breathing coming from the bedrooms, the gentle hum of the fridge (often interrupted by the terrifying sound of the ice machine kicking on that scared me for the first month I lived here), and sometimes even the wind rustling the trees.
When the tea is ready, I pull out the bag, give it a tablespoon of honey and a splash of milk and take my first tentative sip. If it is deemed well enough to drink, I discard the tea bag and take the mug back to my room where I relax and drink my tea in peace. The calming effects begin to take place almost immediately and soon my level of homesickness begins to decrease making my diaspora easier to accept.
At least until the next day.