October 27, 2011
I had time this week to do some fall cleaning. Unlike spring cleaning, which is all about opening things up to let in new air and light, fall cleaning is about making a space to settle into. I organized our closets and made some needed changes in our the apartment. I'll be spending more time here each week and I want our home to be comfortable and cozy. It's amazing how little things (like moving the recycling bin out of the kitchen, or bringing a colorful quilt out of the closet) bring newness to the space.
I realized sometime this year how important coziness is to me. Unfortunately I think the word itself evokes silly decorative pillows and oppressively scented candles when what I actually want is more like wool sweaters, down quilts, and loving hugs. Of course, there is more to it than just physical warmth and comfort. I've recently come across a concept of coziness in some European countries, called hygge in Denmark and gemutlichkeit in Germany. I love that this idea of creating a warm space for the spirit is something that other cultures value highly. There is no equivalent term in English, but I think we all understand the feeling. It's not just about being warm or having a comfortable spot to sit. It's the idea of quality time with people you care about, making new connections, sharing meals and intimate conversation.
I definitely hope to find and create a lot of this coziness as we head into winter. As I filled all those jars this summer, I was thinking about the bread I would bake and the friends who would join us to share some cozy meals. I also hope to find time to knit (maybe a sweater? or pillows?), drink homemade chai, practice my fiddle, and take more walks. How are you creating coziness this time of year?