I love finding new words, especially ones that are
difficult to describe. Take schadenfreude, which means to take pleasure in someone else’s misfortune–there is no single English word that conveys that feeling. Today I saw another one, this one Danish in origin: “hygge” (pronounced hue-gah). It’s meaning? It is the feeling from taking genuine pleasure in making ordinary, everyday moments more meaningful, special or beautiful. I love that!
It apparently comes from having long, dark, cold winters and the feeling of sadness or depression that can sometimes come from them. So there are rituals, to banish the dark, to warm the cold and bring comfort in lieu of sadness.
What rituals do I suggest?
Things that create warmth and light–both internal and external. Simple things. I know that I am a candle hoarder. I buy them, but I tend to never light them. So I have made an effort in the evenings to light the candles, to not only enjoy the flicker of the flame, but to pick a scent that is evocative to me. In nearby Findley Lake NY, there is a candle company that has an incredible selection of scents, sizes and colors. In fact, it is one of the few candles that I have found that has a true and realistic scent of lilac, which is one of my favorites. (http://www.ourowncandlecompany.com/our-stores )
So I light a candle, and make myself a warm drink. I am not normally a tea drinker, but when I am chilly, I find that tea is warming, especially if it smells wonderful. I recently found a tea company that makes the most wonderful teas. My favorite? It’s called
“Better Than Sex.” It smells of chocolate and mint…and has both in it. I also like “Dream” which combines chamomile, lemon balm and spearmint. Find them here: (http://www.taytea.com/)
Now what? Stare out the window for a few moments at the snowflakes drifting down. Pull a comforter over my lap. Invite the cats to snuggle on the couch. And take an hour to read a good book, one of the pile I always have beside my bed, but never seem to get to. Most recent favorite? “Our Souls at Night” by Kent Haruf.
You know, I really do like winter!