“Isn’t it lovely to receive a surprise note in the mail?” read the random note, and I couldn’t have agreed more, nodding even as I was puzzling the source of this unexpected little joy-bomb in my mail box. Who sends snail mail? Who even knows people’s postal addresses these days? I have been coasting on the joy of this unexpected gift for weeks.
How do you find joy in the winter? It’s a wonderful question that I’ve been pondering since it was posed by artist Molly Costello on instagram, and generated almost 100 lovely responses. I went through them and felt the hygge rising…
cross-country skiing, running, sleepovers and dinners with friends, landscape planning and reading seed catalogues, being okay with not being totally okay, soup-making, sauna, drinking warm juice, extra gratitude practice, crafting, making art and cooking for friends, burning candles, forest walks, cold water swimming, making broth, hot baths, taking a cup of coffee outside cloaked in a huge coat, writing letters to long-distance friends and taking extra good care of the houseplants.
It inspired me to rethink my old-lady hobby of jigsaw puzzling (*she sighs at the onset of dark and begins sorting pieces) and my “chore” of growing micro greens and sprouts, (*she shakes her fist at the industrial food complex) as not so much an act of defiance or rage or surrender, but an act of joy-bringing.
And what of this suggestion and practice from one of the respondents, and this initiative from my mysterious friend? What if the depths of winter inspired you to pull out a favourite pen, and scribble a short note, to someone. It’s like lighting candles not just all around you, but in places far from you too.