I’m sorry I never really noticed you in the corner of the world. It was always Austin who wanted to be with you. I’ve spent the better part of my life oblivious to your charms. I’ll just come out and say it—after our latest get together I think I love you.
I hope that doesn’t sound scary. I’m not a stalker, but I did enjoy walking under your snow-dusted trees and ice skating on your translucent frozen lakes. I might have peeked into your windows framed in cross-stitched curtains to see your ljusstake Christmas candles illuminating the long nights. Maybe I stared too long at your slow motion sunsets and red sunrises. I admit I did catch a glimpse of your jul magic when I bit into a Christmas ham wrapped in homemade flat bread and your pink skumtomte fudge—tasted it in your rhubarb glögg and bubbly julmust soda. I fell in love a little more when I waddled through snow to ride a dog sled for the first time and later during your Christmas market which sold knitted mittens, reindeer meat, and moose hotdogs. But can you blame me?
Sweden, I am smitten. I love the way you alternate men and women on your money bills and give five weeks of paid vacation a year. I’m crazy about your northern lights in the middle of the massive forest and your golden cloudberry jam you handpick in the summer time. I hope you can look past the fact that I wore a bright purple ski coat when everyone else was wearing black in the Stockholm subway, and I’m sorry I asked if I had to pay to do laundry and you laughed at me. I saw the look you gave me when the news talked about the latest gun massacre in my country, but I promise I’m better than that. My intentions are pure, and I can learn. I can practice saying the Swedish advent poems again and again if it would make you happy.
With 480 days of maternity leave, I will even have your babies. No doubt they would be beautiful like you. Austin will understand in the end.
Rachel[Shout to to Letters to Anywhere for this stellar prompt. Write your own letter to a place here).