He came down the stairs and curled himself into my lap tucking the blanket up around his ears. This is his favorite way to wake up, slowly with lots of snuggles.
The burst of sound was unrecognizable and offsetting at first. It was rain. Loud, sudden and unexpected. We both, Tyler and I, jumped into action. Me heading for the backdoor to grab the clothes off the line and he, to the pantry for popcorn kernels.
Through college I was a nanny and whenever it rained I had hot chocolate and popcorn with the girls in celebration. I live in the Silicon Valley where rain is rare and sacred. People from all over the world live here and openly tease about how excitable us Californians get about a change in weather; how we don't even know what real weather is.
It's true. 'Weather' is a relative term. But that sudden burst of rain became a topic at our dinner table that evening. We take note. We even celebrate. Tyler and I had our popcorn and hot chocolate even as the rain drops were nearly all dry by the time we finished making our snack.
I think about my nanny girls who have both since graduated from college now. (How is that even possible?) I wonder if they ever think of popcorn and hot chocolate when the scent of rain is in the air.
The rain drops were huge but short lived. I smiled that Tyler's first response was to celebrate, mark the moment. I'm proud in a way. There is a rhythm there that he recognizes. We set aside bowls of popcorn and mugs of chocolate powder aside for the kids returning from school. They never even realized it 'rained' today as they were in their classrooms, they were happy to be ushered into our celebrating anyway.
It's important to me, these moments, this taking note of small and simple, creating memorable, special in the all around, ordinary. There is a word that I love: Hygee (pronounced hoo-gah). It is a Danish/Norwegian word for which there is no true English translation. The closest word might be cozy or hug, but neither quite capture it. It's tangible and not at the same time. Ambiance shared in company and a thick heavy blanket wrapped all around in the same breath. It's authentic and happening around and in you. It's cozy for sure, but more. Hygge. You know it. You see it and feel it but you can't describe it accurately. It happens in cafes and living rooms. It's found at kitchen counters and on a park bench.
I've come to realize that my love for camper trailers and hygge are related. Tightly knit, really. Hygge is around a campfire's glow. In fuzzy hats that aren't at all for fashion but for bracing against a true morning chill. In the coffee and cuddles. In twinkly lights that trim the camper awning. The grilling of dinner and rinsing of dishes. It's in the slow down. The game to pass the time. The laughing and noticing.
Some have said that for hygge to happen there has to be less space around you. There is an intentional closeness in camping. A need to stick together. Our home on the road is small and our materials are few and purposefully chosen. Although some tasks may seem less convenient, there is more simple.
Hygge is somehow easier to capture in our camper but it is what I want in my home as well. I haven't always had the word for it but now I know it. It explains my affinity for tiny homes; the purposeful and connected use of space, the smallness, simpleness, cozy, intimate.
Maybe hygge means home in it's truest sense. Home that's not connected to a plot of land, but the one that travels with you. Home, the feeling, the deep breath and sinking in, the safe place.
I cheer on Tyler as he places the popcorn kernels on the counter. Yes, we will experience this. We will make time for this small moment enjoyed together. Allow meaning to live right in the simple and unremarkable ordinary. Hygge.
For more on Hygge, I love the description on www.hyggehouse.com here.
The best way to stay connected is to join the email list. Do not worry, I'll never get spam-y on you and unsubscribing is super easy if you need to. My e-mail subscribers receive content not available anywhere else.
Feel free to follow my Facebook Page (Amie Santiago) and on Instagram (@amiesanti). Instagram is my favorite!!