It is almost December... And like every other December, for so many years, my soul calls for what there is no more, for the paths that are lost in time, for the memories of long ago, for the ones that only my heart still knows.
December should kick in with my grandmother's birthday on the national day of my far away country.
My country is old, lost in the mists of time. Millennium after millennium, it lived in the hearts of my people, through wars and celebrations, through plagues and rejoicing, the same mountains holding us close. The Geto-Dacians and the Celts were neighbors once and stories are similar from one world to another. Even before the Celts, before Sumer, my people invented writing. Not that anyone talks about it. In rare history books, there is only a tiny notation about the writing found at Tartaraia that is at least one millennium older then Sumer. And yet, in the hearts of my people, hidden in the middle of tiny villages, the Dacians live still, in practices as old as time.
And in the same way, every time my gifts call to open yet another deck of cards, I see my grandmother's eyes, black as night, teaching me to read them. And other times, I look into my daughter's eyes, black as the Mother and shining like the sun, and I see her, the one that should still be around to rejoice into the children of the child of her child. But she is gone, leaving behind a pair of eyes black as jet, pouting lips and memories of readings. And now, as December approaches, her memory still lives in my soul, sometimes like a dream or illusion, other times as a teacher. Most times, however, I remember the faults of the woman and the total love of the grandmother that would have stole the sun from the skies to give it to me, had I wished it.
In my so new country, new in history and new in my soul, December is always wrong. Because December should start with military parades and birthday cakes for my grandmother. It should start with snow falling in a dance to cover all in a blanket of white. It should start with orange skies in the night, tiny ballerinas in the air and fir-trees forever green braking up the world of white. Out of old chimneys, smoke should dance up and up towards the sky until is lost in the blanket of clouds.
In the evenings, with families close, whine should be boiled with sugar and spices, wine that heats the blood and mellows the heart. And, as after the harvest the veggies were pickled for winter, sausages and bacon would sit in smoke to last over the long months of cold.
The nights would fall early, bringing wit them storms of snow and music playing. And children would rehearse carols to sing from gate to gate for cookies and money, for apples and nuts.
But here, in my so new country, December is summer with lazy days at the beach, with days without end and plastic fir trees that tell no story. And my soul cries for the smell of the ever green trees, lost in the fresh smell of snow, lost in the perfume of spiced wine, wood fires in the stoves, food being prepared for days without end, all lost in the pure voices of the children singing carols, all lost in the heated and happy voices of my family.