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Sense of Home

Written by: Francisca Alho

From: Maputo, Mozambique

Edited by: Carla Turbides

I can sense it from miles away: 

the combination of sweet, spicy, salty, and sour. 

The symphony of tastes creating the perfect ‘yum’ of my grandmother’s inventive homemade dishes.

I can sense it from miles away:

the smooth wooden surface of the kitchen table,

handcrafted by my grandfather. 

I can feel the sweat and dedication put into every detailed carve of its border 

as I run my fingers through every bump and crater of the intricate floral pattern.

I can sense it from miles away:

the horizon of the lot across the street where I often gaze off into and grass grows tall, 

filling the inside of the abandoned house where its remaining pieces hold onto each other with all their will to stay intact.

I can sense it from miles away: 

the chirping of birds milling around in the garden. 

The same garden that is later invaded by crickets that pull all-nighters whilst I try to sleep over the enjoyably deafening stridulating.

I can sense it from miles away:

the smell; an indescribable one that I identify as home. 

I get a whiff of it the moment I land on Portuguese land, 

and right before I leave, as I know no other place smells so distinct and familiar as this one. 

This is the place where nostalgia constantly tells me the story behind every delicious meal, the skillfully carved artwork,

of beautifully crumbling horizons 

and orchestras of nature.

This is the sense of Home.

Sense of Home: Feature Story
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