Two brown envelopes arrived from Portland, Maine.  Each with a bright, round sticker.  Issues five and six of 3191 Quarterly from Stephanie and Mav of 3191 Miles Apart. I’ve loved the tender photographs, vision, creativity and quiet generosity of these two women since they began their Year of Mornings project in 2007.  Last year, we savoured the first four issues based on the seasons and reminding us of the simple pleasures of a cherished domestic life.

Stephanie and Mav tend and observe their daily lives with the eye of an artist and the mindful attention of a modern day sage.  They offer us the possibility of stillness and balance without loosing touch with the lovely mess, vitality and creative energy of every day existence.

Visit them HERE . You’ll be inspired. They’ve got hygge waxed.

3191 Miles Apart
Posted by Louisa Thomsen Brits on 24 February 2012

Every other Tuesday Pleasant bakery stays open for us into the night.  We arrive with wool, needles, thread and ideas to share.  The small café is warm with bodies and hot soup.  It smells of freshly made cake. We hygge and craft. Conversation is easy when you make beside each other. There’s a particular intimacy that comes from that incidental sharing.  We laugh, inspire, praise and comfort each other, weaving the small, important details of our everyday lives into the work in our hands and the lives of the women sitting close to us.

Posted by Louisa Thomsen Brits on 23 February 2012

On the way home from school our five year old daughter suggested we, “make the best of the last bit of sunshine and go into the garden in our boots to pick up sticks for the fire”.  Of course, I had planned to cram three ‘phone calls, a blog post, a bath and a bit of work in to that hour. It was good for me to be drawn outside to the oak trees at the end of our day.  We came back kissed by the cold and wealthy with dry kindling and the promise of a fire.

Half the pleasure of hygge is in the anticipation of it – collecting wood for a fire together, finding treasures to decorate a table, even hoovering up dog hair and putting the kettle on before a friend arrives for tea.

Gathering hygge
Posted by Louisa Thomsen Brits on 19 February 2012

I’ve been thinking about how we edit our lives for blogs, Facebook, Twitter, even emails. The best of our life does seem to surface in the kind of moments I show you here but let’s not pretend it’s all perfect.

Hygge is the red thread that runs through my life. I have used it to keep myself afloat. Hygge, poetry, chocolate, trees, red peppers, walking, open fires and cow parsley have lifted my spirits through some pretty grim times.

This is what I have distilled it all to – celebrating moments of awareness, connection and love in the middle of our messy, demanding lives.

So here’s some Mary Oliver.  I think I might paint it on a wall.



Wild Geese

You do not have to be good.

You do not have to walk on your knees

for a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.

You only have to let the soft animal of your body

love what it loves.

Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.

Meanwhile the world goes on.

Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain

are moving across the landscapes,

over the prairies and the deep trees,

the mountains and the rivers.

Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,

are heading home again.

Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,

the world offers itself to your imagination,

calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting–

over and over announcing your place

in the family of things.

© Mary Oliver


The red thread
Posted by Louisa Thomsen Brits on 19 February 2012