Fall is coming here in NJ. Well, maybe... uh, its supposed to be. However, we are still having 80 degree days and humidity. But there have been a few chilly mornings that give me hope for “sweater weather.” Fall is snuggly to me. November especially. My Grammy, Mom's mom, was born in November and she was the host for Thanksgiving. She had a cozy home and a way of making me feel loved. Grammy also could cook! I was about to go on down this track but I think I'll save that for the feasting post, that is coming up soon. But she had a way of making things cozy. Do you have memories like this? Is there someone in your life that made you feel accepted and warm and cozy? If so I'll bet that you realize how important that was to you. It adds so much to who we are as people. Feeling loved and accepted and right and comfortable is so very vital. It helps us to grow, it nurtures our souls and opens us up to think of things bigger than ourselves. I have been on Pinterest lately and I looked at Hygge. What is this? Of course now my page is inundated with Hygge posts. Hygge for Fall...Hygge your home...Hygge yourself! What is it?
In the book “How to Hygge” Signe Johansen says this: “A Danish/Norwegian word that translates as a feeling of cosiness, hygge can also mean kinship and conviviality.”
This got me to thinking about our current topic of Sabbath Rest. Coziness is very restorative to me. My Grammy had hygge down! I felt cozy and the feeling of belonging or kinship there. Not every kin feels like kin. What creates this feeling of coziness? The first sense memory that comes to mind is the smell of her house. The cooking smells, her personal smell, even the smell of the blanket that I wrapped up in for a nap. I think smells are a very strong memory trigger for many of us. I wonder what smells my daughters will associate with home.
What else made me feel cozy and warm and loved at Grammy's? There was a calmness there that I did not experience elsewhere. An unhurried air. We had things to do and there were schedules at times but often it was just a time to play in the yard or basement with few toys. One of my great memories of that time was being about 5 or 6. They had a very old piano in the basement. I would go downstairs and play. Now my playing was as a 5 year old would. Probably a cat walking across the keyboard would make more appealing and listenable sounds than my banging, but I would play my “piece” and then go to the stairs and holler up, “was that good, GRAM?” She would sweetly reply, “Yeah, it was great, play some more.” Now, as a mom, I see that that was a great way to keep me out of her hair and a way to know exactly what I was doing in the basement, but as a child.....I felt heard, I felt accepted, I felt encouraged. I could affect the world positively and I was encouraged to do so. I could make someone happy even though I was little. How warm is that?! And how easy it was for her. I hope I am doing this in my own life as a mother. I hope I am making them feel loved and special and warm.
Physical touch also added to the hygge at Grammy's. We got a hug coming in and going out and any time in-between that we wanted. Our special blankets were in the hutch so they smelled clean and fresh and cedar-y. We curled up on the couch for quiet time and were surrounded with softness. I felt secure and able to rest after a busy day of play or school or a special holiday meal. Though she often had chores to do, she would stop occasionally and look at a photo album with us or play a game. I remember playing at being a waiter or chef many times. I also made it difficult because whatever she ordered, I would be out of. But she would pretend she was frustrated and order again. She made time to be close. As I write this I am thinking that I feel restored when I spend time reading with the girls or snuggling with a movie. I especially like to color or do a puzzle with them. I hope they do too. I want to be more intentional about making time for these things.
I encourage you to take a few minutes to remember what things made you feel cozy then and and what makes you feel that now. Practice some self-care in whatever phase of raising children you are in. Sit and snuggle. Read out-loud to your baby all the way up to your teen. Think of ways you can slow down the pace of life and restore coziness. Let me know what ways you feel hygge or Sabbath rest.
Paula is a wife and mother of 3. Follow along on her journeys of motherhood and her fulfilling work as a postpartum doula