“Nina really loved wet and cold . . . days; she liked to sit with her back to the radiator, listening to the rain hurl itself against the windowpanes as if it could breach them; she liked knowing she had nothing to do that afternoon, that there was bread to toast and cream cheese to spread and gentle music playing, and she could curl up cozy and warm and lose herself in Victorian London, or a zombie-laden future, or wherever else she felt like. For most of her life, the outdoors had simply been something to shelter from while she got on with her reading.” (from The Bookshop on the Corner, p. 36)
We are a mere second day into September – Labor Day Weekend, in fact. Summer still has 20 days until it is officially off the calendar. But today the sun has hidden itself behind rain clouds and isn’t warming up the world around me. The temperatures haven’t climbed out of the fifties all day, and WTForecast says, “It’s fifty shades of grey outside, but not in the sexy-time way. It’s in the friggin’ depressing way.” But that isn’t quite the way I’m viewing this day.
This morning my granddaughter Alyanna, who had spent the night, pulled on a pair of jeans, a denim jacket, and her favorite boots. I copied her in the first two and followed up with my favorite scarf and a pair of knit Toms that are so comfortable they feel like slippers. We had oatmeal and hot drinks for breakfast and headed out. Did we go to the outdoor activity originally planned? Nah. That plan got cancelled – not the day for it. We went and played with my granddaughter Lily for a while and then hit a book store.
We are back at home now and have no one pressuring us to do anything or go anywhere. Alyanna is curled up under a blanket in front of the fire place that I switched on to take the dampness out (yeah, I know that is cheating but it sure is convenient). We have our books and comfy warm places. Like Nina in the passage above from The Bookshop on the Corner, we are fully content right now.
We are comfortable and enjoying the simple pleasures of the day. We are appreciating each other, well-written words, some things that make us giggle, hot chocolate and pumpkin latte. We are practicing the Danish art of “hygee.”
Hygee is a new word to me, but not a new concept. Finding this word has given me the way to describe what I have always wanted my home to be. What I have always aspired to have my life be.
Autumn is my favorite season and I think that is because fall invites hygee – outside and inside. I will love this time as the weeks go on and we have more color in our trees, as we walk through a wooded path to the crunch of leaves, as we take a hay ride, or watch a football game. I will sigh and relax wearing the sweatshirts and jeans that I love, tossing a blanket over me, and grabbing a cup of tea and a book. And the best part of the season will be when I put on that big pot of soup and call my friends to gather around my table together. Not much makes me happier and more content. Not much leaves me more comfortable and filled with gratitude. Hygee. My wish for you, for me, for us all.