Our guest blogger this week is a Mom, childcare advocate and travel guide. She's a frequent visitor to the market booth and The Abbey. It was easy asking her to share her story with us as it's been evident that she can add story-telling to her list of accomplishments!
Thank you, Jennifer Moss!
Tea and Hygge
I bumped into one of my old friends recently. We had connected with each other once or twice in the years since high school (I won’t say how many years), but it had been a considerable time since we had the opportunity to sit down and have a proper conversation.
As we chatted, our memories turned to Denmark, a place where we both had the opportunity to live for extended periods since our school days. We had many fond memories of the country, culture and its people.
While in the depths of reminiscing, we discovered most of our conversation revolved around the food we experienced in Denmark. We also realized just how much we missed it! Memories of the variations and the tastes of Frikadeller (danish meatballs), rødgrød med fløde (red porridge with cream), open faced sandwiches on dark rye bread…..mmm....made us hungrier by the minute!
While sharing time together, we also talked about Hygge, an inherent part of Danish life. It became more apparent to us that Hygge is something so many here are striving for.
Hygge (pronounced hoo-guh), or in its adjective form, hyggelig (hoo-guh-lee) has no direct translation to English. The closest we could come to is the word cozy, but even then that definition doesn’t truly capture the essence of the feeling behind the word.
I have seen so many books that purport to be able to teach you how to embrace hygge. I haven’t read any cover to cover, but I have glanced through enough and they all seem to be filled with ideas like ‘have dinner with friends’ and ‘light candles in the evening.’
Personally, as I look back over the years, what I realize is that every time I have felt hygge, or had a hyggelig time, the heart of that moment was a slowing down and an embracing of my environment. Whether I was by myself or with family and friends, that was the key - to be fully in the moment, without distractions.
In Denmark I was introduced to tea. In my time exploring this different culture I don’t recall ever seeing teabags though they may have been available. Every home I visited brewed loose leaf teas. The aromas and flavours were enticing. Special blends were brewed at different times of the year, like julthe (Christmas tea). Denmark is where my lifelong love of tea began!
When I returned to PEI, I continued to drink tea, but the variety was very limited. Imagine my delight when, several years later, I wandered into the Farmer’s Market to see Lady Baker’s Tea! I thought I may have been experiencing heaven! Right there before me was a plethora of unique blends of loose leaf teas! I think I may have sampled every variety Katherine has to offer. I definitely have my favourites though. Harmony Holiday Spice is a seasonal favourite. I freely admit to stocking up so I can experience a taste of Christmas in July! Cha Cha Chai or London Fog are my lattes of choice on a Saturday visit to the Market. And now I couldn't be happier to see my love for tea passed on to my teenage daughter who rarely experiments beyond her choice of Lady Baker's English Breakfast because it's just so good!
Today, as I sit enjoying some winter sunshine streaming through the window, my steaming cup of Cream Earl Grey (my personal go-to) is warming my hands and releasing beautiful aromas. I close my eyes and let the warm rays touch my being and I take a sip. I stop. I embrace hygge. I am fully in the moment without distractions - and I am thankful for the gifts of my time in Denmark.