“If you get simple beauty, and nought else, you get about the best thing God invents.” – Robert Browning

For those of you who have been following along with my column this past year, you well know I love ‘home.’ I love everything connected with keeping a home. When we pay attention to our daily tasks and to our surroundings, we live well and beautifully. Additionally, when we live with a sense of reverence and passion for our gift of life, we become open to seeing the beauty which surrounds us. Thus, a requirement in my opinion, for living well.

Living well is a topic philosophers have been writing about, forever. But, as most often happens, a new spin comes along. Just last week, I opened my email, from a lovely design blog I follow, to see the word ‘Hygee.’ I thought, “What in the world is Hygee?” Hygee (pronounced hoo-guh) is a Danish word and means cozy, comfort and well-being. Truly, I don’t feel like I have been living under a rock – but this was definitely a new word to me. Furthermore, Hygee has become a global rage. Who knew? Anyway, the Danes, reportedly, are the worlds happiest people. I didn’t know that either but, apparently they are. I wasn’t thinking too much about this new word until I read a magic word which grabbed my attention – gratitude. When I read this word, I was “in.” You see, Hygee also means, “living in gratitude.”

When we go about our daily lives with a sense of gratitude for our gift of life, we notice all the tiny details. These tiny details make life special. For example: If we place a simple sprig of boxwood in a miniature vase on the kitchen window sill in the dead of winter, we create instant beauty. A small action, which shows gratitude for our gift of life and an appreciation for beauty. We are aware, we are grateful, we create beauty and we live well.

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It is my belief that we all have an innate desire to create beauty. And, I also believe that we all possess a love of beauty. The things we deem beautiful will be completely different for each of us. But, what matters is, we acknowledge the importance of beauty in our lives, and bring it to the front of our daily living.

Our homes are everything to us. Yes, they are. Because, they shelter what we treasure most, our families. Where they are located or their size matters not. What matters is we understand what shelters us and those we love cannot be anything – but our everything. Especially today, in our chaotic world, living well and creating a beautiful home has never been more important. We all desperately need a place of beauty and peace. A place we call home, and a place for us to enjoy a rich full life.

In closing I would like to share some thoughts from Alexandra Stoddard – her ten principles of a gracious life. “Kindness, elegance, openness, authenticity, generosity, ease, contentment, fairness, geniality and appreciation.” Personally, I believe these are principles we should all strive to incorporate in our lives. When we live life with gratitude, we are aware of beauty, the tiny details and thus, we live well. So, scatter joy, create beauty and enjoy “Hygee.”

See you soon,

Sandra

Authors Note: The 10 principles of a gracious life are from Alexandra Stoddard’s book Gracious Living in a New World.