There's something poetic about the timing of the drop in temperatures and the middle months of a year. If you look down a row of trees in the streets, their leaves have fallen off and they're just standing there, stripped down and bare. Winter is my least favourite month, not only because I don't like the cold, but because I tend to stop actively taking part in my day. At times, it's as if the cold has seeped into my mode of living: very input-output like. Robotic and bare.
A saying that's always being tossed around in South Africa is that "your salary is the bribe they give you to forget your dreams". It's used to get us to become entrepreneurial and to take more ownership of the outcomes of our lives in general. In this instance, I'd like to use it to raise the alarm. This time of year can force us to go into autopilot. It's too cold to do anything more than what's necessary. To do anything more than the bare minimum. But please, don't make the mistake of equating 'surviving' with 'living'.
As each of us settles into our respective winter hibernation pods, we must make genuine attempts at finding joy in the seemingly mundane. Trying new recipes for soups and stews or reading a book next to the fire are small ways to remind ourselves of the magic that is being alive. So, when your environment and circumstances force you to operate in survival mode, know that life does not have to be devoid of soul. Don't forget your dreams.
By Nande Nodada