Friday, November 3, 2023

Fading Light

"Gray November is the most beautiful of seasons"

The light is changing. I've noticed it for a few weeks  now. The sun sets earlier and rises later. But every morning, and again in the afternoon, there is a certain slant of light that glimmers all through the house, casting its magic upon everything it touches. Simple beauty at no cost.

We turn the clocks back this weekend, and darkness will come even earlier. There are some who do not care for daylight savings time. They draw up petitions and rally for support to appeal to the government to end it. I guess in some way I understand, and I'm certain that I could easily live without it. But personally, I rather prefer the curtain of darkness that is drawn earlier in the evening come mid-Autumn, just as winter takes its first strong grip. I'm tempted to slow down, gain a few pounds and hibernate, but inevitably, life calls us to rise and keep going, and we must find a way to trudge through the darkness and make our own light!

The Norwegians know how to brighten the darkening season, with a whimsical concept known as koselig, which is best described in images: curling up under a wool blanket in front of a fire, drinking wine by candlelight with friends, sharing a home cooked meal with family, enjoying a good book with a mug of steaming hot chocolate, and sweaters, LOTS of sweaters! It's basically "chestnuts roasting on an open fire", all season long.

You can always make it a point to rise early to catch the sun on a brisk walk before the busyness of the day begins, or perhaps during your lunch break. But inevitably the night comes and the cold descends. The change of light in this season is here to stay, so we might as well make the most of it.  And with some help of the cozy little concept of koselig, there are a few ways you can do just that.

This season sets the stage for the slow enjoyment of food and friends. In Norway friends and family gather in each other's homes during this time of year, enjoying simple, homemade dinners in the comfort and intimacy of a private, small space. Lights are low and candles are lit, as loved ones enjoy one another's company while wine bottles are passed and a wholesome meal is consumed. Perhaps you could borrow from this idea and organize a weekly dinner night, rotating between the homes of two or three friends, or open up your home once a week and invite friends and family to join you!

With temperatures dropping, once you are home for the evening, you most likely don't want to get out again. So here's a bit of inspiration to kindle some warmth and light into your evening. Heat up some water for a cup of tea, put on your warmest sweater, light a few candles and turn up some relaxing music. Then wrap your legs in a warm wool blanket and read a few chapters from a favorite book. It doesn't take much to create this cozy scene for yourself, and makes for a truly lovely evening at home.

It's easy to find plenty to do in the warmer months, when the outdoors beckon. But the darker, colder days of autumn and early winter is the perfect time for hobbies you can enjoy in the warmth and comfort of home. Why not learn to knit or crochet? Or perhaps you'd like to try out a few new recipes, or learn to bake bread from scratch? Puzzles are another fun activity to enjoy this time of year, a hobby I personally love. My husband even built me a puzzle tray so that I could keep the puzzle out as I am working on it without taking up table space. The tray can easily be moved from room to room, and shared together!

Stay warm, friends! 

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