On the way back to San Francisco after spending a lovely weekend with close friends in Guerneville (about 75 miles north of San Francisco in the Russian River area), I came across an article about “hygge” — a popular Danish concept, which has many translations, but can be basically be defined as a ritual of enjoying friends, family and graciousness.
A longer definition I found on hygge.co defines hygge as:
“The art of building sanctuary and community, of inviting closeness and paying attention to what makes us feel open hearted and alive. To create well-being, connection and warmth. A feeling of belonging to the moment and to each other. Celebrating the everyday. Hygge happens when we commit to the pleasure of the present moment in its simplicity. It”s there in the small rituals and gestures we undertake to give everyday life value and meaning, that comfort us, make us feel at home, rooted and generous.”
I didn’t realize it until we were on our way home, and came across the article that I had just had a very hygge-like experience with my friends. Tallulah’s Shack, the cabin where some of us stayed was cozy, charming and spaciousness enough to have a large group in the backyard area. There was plenty of food available, from the delicious homemade biscuits from Big Bottom Market to a large pot of jambalaya. And of course, there was plenty of wine to go around.
We didn’t do much over the weekend, and in fact, I didn’t even leave the cabin from Friday night until Sunday morning. For me, everything I needed was right at my fingertips. I really couldn’t have asked for more than to be holed up in a lovely cabin with a group of my closest friends and to be surrounded by majestic redwood trees.
It was a truly a weekend of closeness, of appreciation, of warmth, and a time to getaway from the pressures of city living and the stress of work to simple enjoy the company and good cheer of close friends.
However, I don’t think a weekend escape is necessary to have more hygge-like moments in one’s life. One of my goals until the end of the year is to find ways to incorporate more hygge into my daily life. I think this could involve simple routines like taking time to have coffee in the morning, calling a friend I haven’t spoken to in a long time, and even lighting a candle at the end of the long day. I hope to write more about my hygge lessons soon.