For the last three afternoons, and yes, I keep count, the sun has stayed golden and warm. It has arrived like a stranger who does not know the language but is kind enough to stop and help regardless. All three days, the sun has come out, and all three days, I have thought, “winter is finally here”, for it is not just about the cold; it is about the respite from it, which comes in a variety of ways—a warm blanket, a scalding cup of coffee, and the afternoon sun. It is what makes the cold nights feel worthwhile. The desperation of going for a walk on a cold day and stopping near a little urban campfire some strangers sit around makes you realise how cold things are, but as you stand and warm your hands, making small talk with them, you learn nothing brings out the humanity in us like a winter evening. “Get your warmth now,” the world says, “you won’t get another chance till tomorrow.”
This winter has suddenly started to feel colder than I remembered winter to be. At first, I wondered what had happened. Was it that most people I knew and loved were either too long ago or too far away, that the gaping hole of lost touch was getting larger and soon, I would simply call it what most people call it: getting older? Or was it the paperwork on the table that I had delayed without trying and the art I had yet to put on the wall? Should I worry for my life, or should I make a cup of coffee and clean this apartment, or prune the dying leaves of several plants, all of which seem to have had a varied reaction to the shift of seasons, my dwindling mood and tardiness?
Perhaps, this was it. When I should have lived my days like they were mere specks in the grand scheme of things, I asked “why” once again, and before I knew it, nothing here made sense. Now, the damage is done, and a week has been lost, but nothing is truly out of our hands. The sun will be out soon, and I must read this afternoon. I must do it for no other reason except that nothing in this world has any meaning; that is why we must choose continually. I must make a choice. When I choose, I look fate in the face, and I ask it to move aside, for I have a floor to mop and a shelf to clean.