The master and student sat in meditation beneath an aged oak tree hidden miles deep within an open field of waving grass. The young student marveled at the great length of sky, seeing it for the first time from edge to further edge, and turned to his teacher.
“We are so far from home. It took weeks to come here, and will take days just to reach the nearest village…”
“Is that a question?” the master calmly spoke, as if remarking about the number of leaves on the closest branch.
“…I was only wondering, sir, do you not miss home? The comforts of your own bed, your family, looking forward to a warm meal? I’m afraid to admit I long for it so much.” The student nearly dropped his eyes at this last, and the master took notice. He sighed.
“Continue your meditations, so you may learn to let go of what was and what could be.” The student nodded in compliance and shifted his back against the tree, the tiniest of grimaces not escaping the master, who lay a hand on the wrinkled bark. “Does this ancient skin repulse you? Don’t be fooled to look only for comforts in the obvious. Consider how the shade protects you from the sun. Consider how the branches nest homes for the birds, and nurture our fires in the night. Focus on the comforts of what is now, and you will learn that home is as migrant as ourselves.” He let his words sink into the accepting pools gazing his way. “Now build a fire, as the sun has begun to set.”
The student did as he was told, pondering over his master’s words, not noticing the small parcel the elder had begun to warm in the flames. He broke from his reverie only when the waft of warm olive bread tickled his nose, much like it did at home the mornings his mother would bake. The master handed him a slice and said with a smile, “There is no harm in carrying home with you sometimes as well. Or recreating it when needed.”
I endeavored to cook Loki (zucchini) a few days ago because it is one of my ultimate favorite dishes that my mom makes. Continue reading