Sunday, 27 January 2019

The Treasure of Hygge

Being a human being doesn't feel very marvellous for many of us, much of the time. There are so many who carry sadness, trauma, grief, pain; who wrestle with depression, suicidality or even just misfitment- we've been abandoned, cast aside or we just don't belong where we got deposited in to life...& it hurts. Perhaps for no apparent reason at all, there are those who just haven't figured out who they're meant to be- a disconnection from true self occurs and there's just no spark or colour. As a by-product of such states- addictions, ocds and personality, eating and social disorders can arise. In the past we've locked such people in asylums- away from the "normal" world, casting them off as worthless to society or branding them unsolvable.
Of recent times, new theories have suggested that the remedy for the spectrum of addiction is simply- connection. Simplistically, that's not a bad concept- after all, the higher self hook-up (a primal form of connection) has been the basis for the AA programme from it's inception. But...we've come to discover, through our long healing journey, that there's a whole realm of something quite else- something so deep and wide and profoundly restorative that it way surpasses mere connection and truly begins to resolve the melancholy many of us experience. The essence of this something else is called Hygge. Hygge has been popularised through social media and the internet over recent years and it's certainly a very happy concept and lovely of Norway and Denmark to let the rest of world in on their secret, but here in New Zealand some of the Hygge characteristics just don't quite fit our climate or our style. If you look up "what is Hygge?" you'll find it described as "cosiness" most of all, along with lots of nice lists about woolie jumpers, hot chocolate, blazing fires and socks. More recently there's been a leaning towards the inclusion of decluttering and even a touch of minimalism. 
(Of course you don't have to be bruised or squashed to live a Hygge life you can just be a perfectly regular human being!)

Then one day we woke up and realised that our whole lives are Hygge (Hoo-gah) in the most wonderful and charming sense of the word and concept.
We began to realise that connection alone had healed very little for us, but as we began to settle in to the feel and space of the authentic people we have finally unearthed and become, we also began to find and live in the rhythms of of our kind of Hygge- and it is, in fact, Sunshine Vintage life.
Sunshine Vintage Hygge means coming to everyday life with the eyes of a child. 
And simply paying attention.
To see and notice the tiny blue forget-me-nots in spring and remember the sweetheart rose Cecile Brunner of my wedding bouquet- now nearly 40 years a memory.
In fact, Hygge is brimming over with nostalgia.
It means allowing ourselves to hold, value, create the tiny darling things that mean nothing to the consumeristic world, but speak to our tender hearts of peace, comfort, safety and innocence.
 It means rustic, homemade nourishing food so that even date slice (caramel square, cheese scones- doesn't matter what it is) is not just a "treat" but a happily included, heart- warming part of the day, the tea party, the picnic or the- "I think I'll make myself a cuppa & have a slice of that".
 Fruit juice made in to jellies and stored in jam jars in the fridge speak to our child hearts and make us feel nurtured and happy, yet truly nourish our guts too,
 The seasons and the gifts that pour forth from them, lift our spirits and amaze us with their faithful provision. Every October and November we keep our eyes peeled for elderflowers. The inhalation of the scent of an elderflower immediately reminds our ragged souls that life is good, help is at hand, and that just as before- all will be well.
 Queen Anne's Lace is a wild flower that is a special flowery friend to me and I am always so excited when I spot her unique little signature gift- the red heart at her centre "No reason", she says, "just because I love you".
 Blankets and rugs- vintage, hand knitted or crocheted, op-shopped, gifted or handed down they are one of our favourite Sunshine Vintage Hygge treasures. We have piles and piles of them- all in different shades and colours.
 They often have dear label stories like this Robinwul.
Even cemeteries can be quaint Hygeely places where peace is found and homemade elderflower champagne is welcome.
 There we may also find Heartsease, Johnny-Jump-Ups, Heart's Delight, Jack-Jump-Up-and-Kiss-Me.
 A good farmer's market is a Hyggery kind of place where we might find connection, good conversation and Granny's Secret lettuces.

 Light- all of it- sunrise, sunset, moon rise, "that certain kind of light" are all part of Hygge and how we see the world.
 Garden rooms, small spaces, garden furniture, quirky toadstools, bouquets of wildflowers, vintage tablecloths and more old blankets- just in case it gets chilly, also warm our little hearts.
 One of the artists that we loved the most out at the Wildflowers and Sculpture exhibition was Katie Whitcombe. Her work embodied a certain kind of Hygge. It was described in the brochure this way:
 "Katie's work encompasses the old and sometimes forgotten. Here she has worked on the tools of the trade- saws that cut down trees and help build homes, wheelbarrows that carried heavy loads, spades that helped dig holes for foundations or to plant life. These items now have a new purpose, to remind us of the history and the beauty that can still be held in forgotten objects."

 Fabulous, delicious, colour-full, beautifully crafted food from Hapi at the Farmer's Market made us feel special and it was delicious shared at Christmas.
 Picnics in the landscape where we find ourselves perennially warmly welcome...
 and we are offered gifts of food and medicine wherever we go.
Gloriously scented rugosa roses are just exquisite and dry beautifully too.
 Fragrance and over-the-topness is a quintessential part of a Hygge life.
 Bothering to be so intricate and well formed- just because that's what you're here for- to be a rosebud pelargonium is quite astonishing. Even better that they each have such lovely provenance.
 Touch- especially the hand of a grandchild- suspended in time as precious.
 Learn to sniff and savour like a child.
And delight in water- a sprinkler found for $2 that brings us squealing joy with it's rhythms as it waters the lawn. 
 And delight in hearts made for human joy.
 Shepherd's Purses whom most see as a weed, but can staunch bleeding and save a life.
Cats know how to do Hygge perfectly- you just make yourself right at home, even in someone else's house.
 The warmth of Hygge can envelope us at any moment- it's often wrapped in beauty.
 Be-bothered to make butter curls for a picnic in the park, is a Hyggery thing to do.
 Especially when that picnic is in the middle of a park garden, under the indulgent eye of the just emerging magnolias.
 Of course Hygge is also found in books, illustrations and beautiful art.
 There's something about the quirky, the unusual that offers itself as a joke but it delicious and makes us smile. Their grandiose name is Rampicante.
 That something can be repaired or mended is also comforting and offers the gift of reassurance.
 Wandering in the landscape we find ourselves continually welcome.
 And look there too is Hygge!
 The Hygge cafe at Clifton describe Hygge this way:
Hygge is a Danish term pronounced "Hue Guh".
It means the essence of what is good in this life.
WARMTH HAPPINESS ENJOYMENT COMFORT PEACE
Whether warmed by the fire or warmed by the heart.
~
The loving acceptance and enjoyment of the moment
alone or together, away or at home
ordinary or extraordinary
with family or friends.
~
We believe in creating a sense of comfort.
​ The place you are in, the people you are with, is important to us, so we aim to create you a sanctuary.
We believe in celebrating and appreciating the seasons and look to making space to warm the heart.
~
Our food is sourced ethically and as much as we possibly can, organically.
Our decor is chosen with the feeling of home in mind and we hope it sparks joy with you.
~
Immerse yourself in the gift of the moment.


 Hygge is slow, nourishing comfort food
 like roasted fig icecreeam
And a walk in the woods in early spring to gather wild violets
to make into this glorious violet honey syrup that heals a sore throat so beautifully and tastes amazing and is kept in the freezer!
Hygge is peering in the window of home and knowing that the lights are on just for you.
 For as Brigitt Anna O'Neill urges us:

"....Find the emptiness inside and fill it with love, rest, plans, inspiration and adventure.
Fill it with life!"

Go!...


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