Several of my friends shared this very appropriate article today about how Norwegians in the far north of the country deal with the dark and cold of winter:
First, Norwegians celebrate the things one can only do in winter. “People couldn’t wait for the ski season to start,” says Leibowitz. Getting outside is a known mood booster, and so Norwegians keep going outside, whatever is happening out there. Notes Leibowitz: “There’s a saying that there’s no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing.”
Norwegians also have a word, koselig, that means a sense of coziness. It’s like the best parts of Christmas, without all the stress. People light candles, light fires, drink warm beverages, and sit under fuzzy blankets. There’s a community aspect to it too; it’s not just an excuse to sit on the couch watching Netflix. Leibowitz reports that Tromsø had plenty of festivals and community activities creating the sense that everyone was in it together.
And finally, people are enamored with the sheer beauty of the season. Leibowitz grew up near the Jersey shore, and “I just took it as a fact that everyone likes summer the best.” But deep in the winter in Norway, when the sun doesn’t rise above the horizon, multiple hours a day can still look like sunrise and sunset, and against the snow, “the colors are incredibly beautiful,” she says. “The light is very soft and indirect.”
Most likely you can’t cross-country ski straight out of your house, and while Norwegian sweaters may be catching on, restaurants and coffee shops in more temperate climates don’t all feature the fireplaces and candles common to the far north. Still, there are little things non-Norwegians can do. “One of the things we do a lot of in the States is we bond by complaining about the winter,” says Leibowitz. “It’s hard to have a positive wintertime mindset when we make small talk by being negative about the winter.”
Read on for more good advice on battling the winter blahs – I hope it’s helpful to you!
The photo was taken in Elizabeth Park in Trenton which I just learned is Michigan’s first county park!
This 162-acre family estate was bequeathed to the Wayne County Park Trustees in October of 1919 by the children of Elizabeth Slocum.
The acceptance of this special gift marks the beginning of the Wayne County Park System. Elizabeth Park sits like an emerald jewel along the banks of the Detroit River, and features over 1,300 feet of riverwalk for fishing and river watching. In addition Elizabeth Park also offers activities such as softball, cycling, in-line skating, hiking, cross-country skiing and ice skating.