October 29, 2010

Deutsche Gemütlichkeit. German cosiness is the closest translation I can think of for this phrase, but it really doesn't do its meaning justice. Even Germans themselves have trouble explaining what "Gemütlichkeit" means and I've come to realize that it's its lack of explanation that makes it so unique to Germany. I've simply decided that it can't be explained, it has to be experienced. The winter is probably the best time to do just this, sipping on a cup of tea, eating sweet treats, feeling your cheeks get rosy warm as you start thawing out, getting all "gemütlich". This is one of the things that has saved me as the days in Germany get shorter and colder; it is one of the things that I love most about my office and the home it's in. My office is on the ground floor of an amazing home a hopskipandajump away from my humble abode. Every winter, as I trudge around in my big boots, all ghost-white and freezing my tush off, I find myself smiling and my cheeks turning rosy warm when I cross over the threshhold of this little slice of cinnamon-spiced heaven. My housemates that are officially my officemates because I don't live in their house I just work there are usually gathered 'round the kitchen table in the mornings when I arrive, sipping on coffee, candles burning, sauntering through the breakfast spread, deciding what to eat next. Walking into their home after shutting out the cold behind me does what "gemütliche" things do, it makes my insides feel like I've just drunk warm wine with chocolate chip cookies while sitting on a wonderfully comfy sofa with cushiony pillows under my elbows and toasty blankets wrapped around me as I lay in front of a log-burning fire watching a movie. See, these housemates of mine have a way of warming up corners. They have a way of paying special attention to those places that often go unnoticed. There are little vases with single flowers, brightly colored tea cups, and corners adorned with treasures. Things get changed around and find new places as the winter progresses and I always take delight in finding out where they've gone. I love where I work and this here post is to honor the "gemütliche" magic that my dear housemates spread with their turquiose terrace, pink kitchen, purple bath, teal hallway, and mint green kitchen, with their flea market treasures and tea breaks. This post is my thank-you to them for keeping me sane in the winter.

In celebration of extreme winter cosiness...

No comments: