With winter solstice approaching fast, I am truly enjoying the quiet, restful beauty of this season…
when candlelight is as lovely for breakfast as it is for supper,
when the night frosts restore beauty to every dying leaf,
when we can read a book to the cozy crackle of the woodstove warming the house,
and I can watch the sunset while I’m making supper.
Some of my ancestors came from Norway, a place very similar in latitude to where I live now. Over there, they have a word for what I’m trying to describe, a word that’s gotten a bit trendy in the United States in recent years. But trendy or not, I do think those words in other languages that we don’t have an exact equivalent to in English are so interesting and rather delightful. If you’ve lived anywhere where the winter nights are long, or the winter is harsh, you should appreciate the word “hygge”, a single word coined by fellow people of the north to describe the way we not only cope with but find true pleasure in this dark, cold season.
One article I read described it this way: “Hygge has been called everything from “the art of creating intimacy”, “coziness of the soul”, and “the absence of annoyance”, to “taking pleasure from the presence of soothing things”, “cozy togetherness” and “cocoa by candlelight”.”
I hope that, not matter where you are, you are enjoying your own version of hygge as we enter this winter season—or that you will take this as inspiration to make the time to cultivate some in the months ahead!
“God has given riches and wealth to every man, and He has enabled him to enjoy them, to accept his lot, and to rejoice in his labor. This is a gift from God.” (Ecclesiastes 5:19)