The air is cooler now. Mercifully so. The cool breeze has me in a trance.
I'm thinking about Flagstaff right now. The crisp mountain air that even in summer was refreshing. The scent of the ponderosa pines that I often cursed for their height blocking my view. The calm neighborhoods.
Driving on I-17 toward Phoenix, the natural beauty of Sedona's red rocks and the Verde Valley's lush trees. Climbing the hill out of the valley toward Sunset Point. The open skies and arid plains, the mountains, the solitude of the Interstate highway. Music. Escape.
Familiar groceries in familiar stores. Weekday coffee runs at Starbucks on campus. Refried beans. Nachos. A glass (or two) of wine after work. My windowless office in the Liberal Arts building. The health club behind the apartment where all the body builders hoisted huge weights and drank protein shakes.
The group mailboxes. Junk mail for previous tenants. Peanut butter, soy milk, and cereal.
My car. Autonomy. The neighbors' dog Skyy with the blue eyes and docile presence.
Walking through Ross, hating the cheap fabrics. Finding a pair of shoes in a "comfort" brand for $24. Shopping at Target and Sprouts. Studying or applying for jobs at Campus Coffee Bean. Having a second expresso drink for free.
Always wanting to go to World Market, but never finding much I actually wanted.
Running into friends and acquaintences everywhere because its a small town.
Calling my grandparents while waiting for the bus.
Playing volleyball twice a week with people who shared my love of hip hop.
Deep tissue massages.
Letters from my grandma.
Hiking (even if only for a few minutes).
Master bedrooms with the bathroom connected to them.
I think I would call this homesickness. Not necessarily wanting to go home, but the trance-like reminiscent feeling of being in a familiar place where the details go unnoticed. In memory, the sun is brighter, the days less mundane, the food more delicious.
Right now, the echoing call to prayer brings me back to my reality. Life in Turkey. My new home, where the details catch my attention and help me appreciate Turkey and other places I've called home.