Clocks were turned back last night, announcing the entry into Wintertime. Meanwhile the cold returned after a short spell of Indian summer. I do not miss this brief interlude of warmth. I am a child of the North and my genes are coded for cold. As the world outside melts into an even earlier darkness and a chill fills the air, my world shrinks into a room filled with light. Somewhere inside me a piece of my soul mirrors the darkness behind the window. That is the Northern centre of my being, which longs for the silent purity of ice and the emptiness of frozen air. I light candles and drink hot tea and no longer have to bother with the busy reality on the other side of the blinds.

Winter is the time for hibernation. No need to feel guilty for staying in bed with a book all day. Nothing but cold awaits us outside. Winter is the time to lose ourselves in ourselves, and so learn to know ourselves. Gone are the summer rays that bind us together as we sit on terraces and park benches. Smiles do not pass between strangers as we rejoice together at the light and warmth. Instead we hurry through mute streets with our heads bent down from the cold. Strangers are but fleeting shadows that pass us by on our way home. Because home is where we want to be during these months, when temperatures fall and minutes of daylight are stolen on a daily basis, pulled towards the black hole of midwinter.