Time for a hygge

with thanks to Kim Johnson, who recently reminded me of the word

It really is a hug
that you give yourself
perhaps on darkest days
in the dead of winter

when forecasts of snow and ice
fill the news
or maybe you already hear
tiny frozen pellets
striking the windows

but inside
you have a little crackling fire
jars of dancing candlelight
wafting balsam and spice
a bunch of fleecy blankets
a few brand-new books
and bookmarks
and maybe soft new slippers
(mine say “Sleeps with Dogs”
with fancy scrollwork. They are
blissfully snug)

maybe your Christmas tree
is still up (like mine)
or at least your strings of lights
outside, sparkling
in the bitter cold
where the faint sound
of windchimes drifts in
from a distance

with your favorite brew brewing
knowing you don’t have to be going
anywhere
or doing anything
except savoring the now
with a slothful-as-you-please
slowness

go ahead now,
give yourself
a hygge.

Dennis the dachshund is a master at hygge (pronounced hue-gah).

Originating (or at least perfected) in Denmark, hygge is the act of intentionally creating an atmosphere of warmth, coziness, and well-being, however it works for you, regardless of whatever is raging beyond your own walls.

We are getting reports here that the ice may cometh soon. Dennis clearly has his hygge on. I am preparing for it…got my new books and and my slippers ready.

27 thoughts on “Time for a hygge

  1. Fran,
    Starting the day reading your blog post is a Hygge hug! I am thankful that we share comments through our writing – it certainly makes my own reading and writing richer to have read yours! The entire piece today warmed my heart – the jars of dancing candlelight, the new books and dog slippers, and of course the very Hygge-snoozing Dennis, there sleeping like a human.

    I hope you don’t get ice and snow bound, but glad you are prepared to stay warm and cozy if you do!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kim…Dennis is surely the hygge-iest dog there is! He burrows or wraps himself like a burrito at every opportunity. Thank you for your thoughtful and gracious words; they mean much to me, always. I feel I am richer for reading you as well – truly. We had a smattering of snow and ice yesterday but it’s all gone already. I hygged to the hilt, though!! It was marvelous!

      Like

  2. Ohhhh this poem makes me want to jump under my own fuzzy blanket, chai tea and book at the ready, with my doggo flopped on the floor right next to me. (Dennis has the right idea!) What I love about this post is how you bring in all of my senses, from the wind chimes to the sparkling lights to the tree. And that list, tucked in the middle? Beautiful.

    For what it’s worth, I’ve shared this post with my students, who will also be commenting on your words. From what I overhear, it’s going to be some good stuff. =)))

    Liked by 1 person

    • Lainie, what a joy you and your students are! Your comments are gifts; I treasure them all. We did have a bit of snow and ice yesterday morning (it’s all gone now) and I savored every moment of my state of hygge. As did Dennis!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Oh, so wonderful to hear! The kids (and there are a few more comments coming) LOVED your post, and LOVED having the chance to offer you their feedback. I can’t wait until they have the chance to offer it to one ANOTHER!

        Like

  3. From P: Wow! The third paragraph gives that comfortable feeling of being home and warm. It reminds me of Christmas night. You do a great job of giving the reader the feeling / scene you are telling.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. From Y. You really put a lot of work into this, Fran! This reminds me of a family feast with the snow falling down in crazy formations! It sounds like a perfect day for a snowstorm! I love your slippers!!! This is a beautiful, poetic, and detailed piece of art and story, Fran! This sounds like a paradise for a snowy, teeth-clattering winter day!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. From E. It sounds very cozy in your home! Where I am, the snow is slowly leaving, I remember last year when the snow covered our backyard door! Though global warming has changed that, It still seems amazing out there! Did you know, that unless we do something global warming will melt the glaciers and flood the earth in only a few decades. Other than that, where did you find Dennis? He seems really nice! I loved hearing about your cozy winter day indoors! I also liked your detailed description and portrayed feelings.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Dear E.: Thank you for this very insightful response! I was just watching a documentary recently on glaciers melting; in addition to eventual flooding, it concerns me for animals which are adapted to live in Arctic regions…what will become of them as ice melts? Much to think about. As for Dennis: We got him from a family that raises dachshund puppies. My son picked him out because of his unusual cream color. Dennis would never make it in icy regions – he likes to be super warm all the time!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. From ML. I think you really gave me that humble feeling that gives me peace of mind. It reminds me about camping! It shows me all of the things you FEEL and SEE. It has that urban feeling of warm fire and comfy slippers. How outside has snow and ice while inside you have a fireplace and many cozy blankets. You show the holiday spirit. It makes me want to grab a nice warm blanket. I LOVE the way you used the word Hygge! It really shows the effort you put into this masterpiece. It’s like I’m really there! I LOVE all the description you made.

    Liked by 2 people

    • What a lovely response, ML! I am delighted that you felt you were in this hygge-moment with me (and Dennis). Sensory detail brings scenes and poems to life – so I try to capture them in my images as much as possible.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. From E and L. We love how you put your thoughts and feelings into your piece. You inspired us so much. We really want to encourage you to write more. Your poem made us think of the song “Let it Snow” because of the “crackling fire” and the “snow outside.” We know you got your inspiration from your dog Dennis. But how did Dennis inspire your words and your poem?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear E. and L.: I hadn’t thought of “Let It Snow,” but you are right, there’s much similarity! I liked the sound of “crackling” and wanted to use it here for effect. How did Dennis inspire this poem? Mostly because he really does live in constant hygge, seeking to stay cozy under blankets, without a care in the world! Thanks for your thoughts!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. From I. Good job with the use of self-connection like where you said your Christmas tree is still up. I love how you used personification to express comfort, warmth and joy.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. From G. and H. G. and H. We like how you were very descriptive. For example, when you have “a little crackling fire.” “Jars of dancing candle lights.” We like the way you introduced a new word to us. We hope you write more descriptive poems.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, G., H.G., and H.! I had candles burning as I wrote and I wanted to capture the flickering movement – a big part of the cozy atmosphere. I have a secret: the little fire was actually in my husband’s electric fireplace BUT I have always loved the popping and crackling of a real fire in the fireplace, and so I wove it in. So glad you enjoyed. I hope I write more descriptive poems, too!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. C. and G. We like the way you introduced interesting vocabulary such as hygge, wafting, blissful and slothful. When you wrote “maybe your Christmas tree is still up” (like ours) it reminded us of G.’s neighbor who have their Christmas tree up too. What are you thinking of next that relates to Dennis, your dog?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear C. and G.: “Hygge” really is a fascinating word with so many layers to it. My tree is STILL up because it makes me happy to have it lit when it’s snowing outside, which usually doesn’t happen here in my part of NC in December. It snowed today! It is snowing here right now as I write. I have written a few posts about Dennis. Not sure what he will inspire next but maybe he should have his own category on my blog. Right now my posts about him are under “On Dogs.” I could write about how he races over the snow as fast as he can when he has to go out; he does NOT like the cold! Thank you so much for your thoughts.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. N. and L. When we read this we felt cozy. When you wrote “forecasts of snow and ice fill the news” we imagined snowflakes falling down from the sky. Keep up the good work! You did a nice job of connecting with the reader, where it says “Maybe your Christmas tree is still up” (like mine). Our Christmas trees are still up.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear N. and L.: Thank you for letting me know the poem made you feel cozy. I was hoping that it would do so for readers. I am also happy to know I am not the only one who still has a Christmas tree up! It’s part of the coziness for me, especially since it is now snowing, right this minute, which it almost never does in December, and there’s just something so peaceful about the tree lights and the snow. Sparkling winter moments, for sure!

      Liked by 1 person

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