After a three month hiatus, I am back. I was cruising along, writing my cutesy blog posts about blankets and coziness, and it was fun, but something admittedly felt a bit…off. I took pause to consider what I really wanted this blog to be about and discovered that my real passion is to write pieces with slightly more depth.
Don’t get me wrong, I love lists of things to make my home more cozy just as much as the next girl, but after thinking about it, I decided I want to my writing to contribute to well-being and human flourishing. I want to focus on what is good for our souls; what gives us rest; what life is all about. And I want to combine that desire with my love of hygge.
The plan at this point is to write some in-depth series exploring specific facets of hygge – why they contribute to our well-being and feelings of happiness, contentment, and rest. This all starts with my series of posts about being in the great outdoors.
Why nature, you ask?
Well, it all started last April.
It had been eight long, emotional, beautiful, exhausting months. I had a gorgeous new baby girl whom I love with every ounce of my being, but as a stay at home mom, I was antsy for just one moment of alone time to think and rest. After sharing this with my husband (aka breaking down in tears because there had been a tiny person attached to me 24/7 for eight months), one Saturday morning I packed a bag with my journal and water bottle, stopped to get a steaming hot vanilla latte at Thatcher’s, and headed to the Vancouver Community Library, home to a magnificent balcony overlooking the splendor of the Columbia River.
I had three blissful hours to spend with my thoughts and with God, and it began a practice that has saved my sanity, balanced my emotions, brought me closer to God, and renewed my strength. I spent those three hours in silence, aside from the sound of rustling wind and my own singing voice. I can’t give you a minute-by-minute on what I did with my time, all I know was that by the end of it, I was refreshed mentally, emotionally, spiritually. My journal entry from that day began “Keith is at home with [our daughter] letting me have some alone time and I feel like a whole new person…I am renewed.” Since then, I have spent much of my alone time in nature, as I find it is the place that recharges me more than anywhere else can seem to.
This experience made me wonder – what is it about gazing at natural beauty that revives us? What is it about being outdoors that gives us a new perspective, inspires appreciation, and makes us feel rested?
In her simple yet profound work, The Book of Hygge, Louisa Thomsen Brits observes that “An experience of hygge is linked to our awareness of the scale of our existence in contrast to the immensity of life. It is our sense of intimacy and encounter with each other and with the creaturely world around us. It is the presence of nature calling us back to the present moment, calling us home.” (147). In the digital age, is it true that there is still something humanity can gain by being in nature?
In this blog series, I’ll explore why taking the time to be in nature is so important for our well-being, some practical ideas on how to cultivate our connection to nature (even in the months where the weather is less than ideal for being outside), and finally, I’ll share some books and other resources for those of you interested in diving in deeper to this topic (this is a book blog after all!).
I have enjoyed researching this topic; I hope you enjoy reading.