The opportunity to embrace coziness doesn’t just give being cold a silver-lining - it makes me yearn for it.
What is it about being cozy? It’s a word with no synonym that fully captures the same essence. Being cozy sparks so much joy in me. No wonder my favorite things are inherently cozy (or cozy adjacent) - tea, beautiful old children’s books, warm chocolate chip cookies and moleskine journals. In this context, crocheting (or some sort of yarn craft) seems like an inevitable hobby for me. Yet, as much as I adore being cozy, it makes me wonder - is it possible to be cozy without having first been cold?
As a kid, Winter was always my favorite season. This worked well since I grew up in a place known for our interminable winters. I love the magic and wonder of snow, but the thing that solidified its “favorite season” status were the cozy perks: open fires, hot chocolate, snuggly slippers and all the wonderful things that would flop if you tried to replicate them in Summer. I love being cozy, but if you don’t start as cold, you just get uncomfortable. It is the process of warming, of moving from discomfort to comfort, that makes coziness bliss. (I’ll note that I don’t share my husband’s love of going from being hot to cool.)
In my early 20s, I encountered a strange change in my relationship with cold and warmth. I developed an idiosyncratic allergic reaction to contact with the cold. If I held a cold can of Coke, my hand would swell up. If my skin was exposed to the cold, I would get hives. When I sat on a freezing bench for my sister’s Homecoming game - yup - not fun. These hives would always make my skin get a rush of warmth. With the Raynaud’s I’m dealing with at the moment, if my hands get cold (which is often) my hands turn red and get a rush of warmth when the circulation corrects itself. These sensations are all unpleasant, but it seems like the cold -> warm progression is never far from my mind.
Living in Sydney - as stunningly wonderful as the weather is - I am always missing the four distinct seasons. Whenever I get the chance, I love going up to enjoy the crisp cool weather in the Blue Mountains. I got to go there this weekend and it was pretty darn close to being magical. Facebook will probably tell the story that we were at 110% awesomeness, but there were a few detractors. We had some cranky kid issues, DH couldn’t come and I got a massive headache as soon as I got home. Aside from the not-so-great things, I was able to relish many cozy things. We drank hot chocolate, we had fires and we even spotted a bit of snow. This meant we could bust out some of our lovely crocheted cozy-makers that we rarely get to use. Mr. 6 sported his beanie, complete with a hedgehog family of four. Miss 8 had her stripey scarf and I donned my Gstaad Messy Bun Beanie. Each item, stemming from our interests and personalities, being worn like a proud hug. It was perfectly pleasant and reminded me of my youthful love of Winter. If e. e. cummings thinks that Spring is when the world is “puddle-wonderful” then Winter is when the world is “cozy-wonderful.” The opportunity to embrace coziness doesn’t just give being cold a silver-lining - it makes me yearn for it. Crocheting turns my cozy-wonderful whims into lasting memories. Both for times of actual cold or in our emotional winters, something handmade packs an extra cozy punch. Long after my hands can’t crochet anymore, I hope the things I make will bring coziness to the lives of others.