I miss winter.

I miss the silence of my steps on a snow covered pavement. I miss the hard lumps of snow on my mittens, and the way they turn into pearls of water on the radiator. I miss the biting chill on my cheeks and the hurried steps through the cold. I miss the warmth of reaching home.

Here I latch on to the smallest indications of winter; a spreading darkness, the falling leaves, my breath white in the still morning air. A cold clear day, when the wind blows from the north-east and brings the scent of snow from inland, with images of evergreens coated in white and the sound of fresh snow under my feet.

I despise the wet excuse for a winter here. The endless drizzle that penetrates all my defenses. The moist shivery cold that makes my teeth clatter. The all-encompassing grayness of the world. My pathetic squeals of delight when some sleet descends mercifully from the sky, to give the world some magic for an hour or two before melting into grayness.

I wish I was in Helsinki, with electric candelabras in every window and the anticipation of Christmas tangible in the air. We would sit down for some tea and maybe a Christmas pastry or a pipakarkku. My hair floating with static electricity as I pull off my woolen cap and my fingers aching as they close around the heat of the tea mug. My sister’s cheeks red from the cold and her face shining with pleasure as she bites into a ginger snap.

And I miss my mother. I miss the simple things, like coming home in the evening after Christmas shopping, making tea in the coffee percolator while mother smokes on the balcony. I miss the smell of her cooking and her humming as she does the dishes. More than anything I wish that I was back home and that she was there.

I tend to get exited about winter. But there is always some falseness to the expectation. I cover up the fact that nothing is as it should be. There is no real winter, no snow, no proper Christmas. My mother is not here and without her there is an emptiness that cannot be filled, even if I have all the other things I wish for.