REVIVE US AGAIN # 6 Sunday 1 January 2017 Happy means feeling or causing joy.
Late this afternoon of 1 January we took a walk of almost four miles. The sun was setting as we returned home. Winter happy. New Year’s Eve with friends happy. New Year happy. Just happy.
Willard and Alice Roth hosted our NY eve gathering of six, that included Dean and Gwen Preheim-Bartel. Willard introduced one of the top 10 words of 2016 as selected by the Collins Dictionary. It’s a Danish word, meaning cozy, The word is hygge (pronounced HOO-gah).
Denmark frequently tops lists of the happiest countries in the world, according to a feature in The New York Times (25 December), The writer noted, “what distinguishes Denmark is its quest for hygge.” One way you’ll find hygge is by curling up in a blanket in a cozy nook, a coffee at hand, reading a book or doing some other leisure activity as the snow piles up outside. That’s happy, or in Danish, HOO-gah.
Louisa Thomsen Brits, author of The Book of Hygge, wrote, “Hygge is a fragile bloom that can’t be forced.”
This was a week where we felt the bittersweet elements of joy. On Wednesday we celebrated the life of brother-in-law Bill Mast at Marion Mennonite Church. On Saturday we were at College Mennonite Church in Goshen for the memorial service for Ivan Kauffmann. Ivan was a pastor for 50 years in Illinois and Indiana, including executive secretary of Mennonite Church General Board. In the 1970s Ivan was my boss for a year at Mennonite Board of Missions when Boyd Nelson had a sabbatical.
At both services, the remembrances, meditation and hymns affirmed our faith, trust and hope in God “I know that my Redeemer liveth.” Rest in peace, dear friends.
Ring in the new year
A friend in Cornwall sent us a link to hear the bells at Truro Cathedral being rung. All across Cornwall bell ringers produce the mellow lin-lan-lone sounds of church bells. Lin-lan-lone is how Tennyson characterized the sound of distant bells in his poem Far-Far-Away.
Margaret also alerted us to the walks planned by the West Cornwall Footpaths Preservation Society. The first walk of 2017 will start at Woon Gumpas Common. Wouldn’t you just love to start a walk at Woon Gumpus? Unfortunately, we won’t yet be there. The walk will traverse the remains of an Iron Age Hill fort and paths from the 17th and 18th mining industry. At home, In our cozy corner under blankets we’ll be burning candles as we hygge.
Happy? Marty has a T-shirt from her days of serving as the liaison between Native-American and First Nations Mennonite groups and Mennonite Mission Network. It says, “Don’t Worry, Be Hopi.” Indeed, may joy bubble all about, above all worry, in this new year.
Christmas meal at our house
Other scenes of the week
Happy New Year.