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Sunday, February 01, 2015

Making Moments Momentous

In these gray, cold days of winter, after the holiday decorations have been put away, and before the first crocuses push through their blankets of dirt and snow, one has to seek light and color. Nordic and Scandinavian cultures do this brilliantly, and the more I learn about them, the more I appreciate how they find the bright moments in the long winter days. 

In Denmark, they embrace hygge, which can't be translated, but is embodied by the absence of anything unsettling or annoying. The dark is chased with candles, the cold is held off with soft blankets and cozy wraps.  

The Swedes have fika, both a verb and noun that means a coffee break with friends, coworkers or family. It's similar to the English tea, but with a social bent.

Working at home, as I do, I am often alone, so no one to fika with. It doesn't stop me from taking some time to brew a proper pot of tea (or make a cappuccino with my Italian stovetop moka pot) and savor the ritual. I have been burning more candles, even during the day, and I have a pile of chenille blankets, wraps, and handknit shawls on the sofa where I often sit working on paperwork or sample knits. These cold, wet, dark days need all the warmth and brightening I can muster. 


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