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January/February 2005


Hyggeligt

By Juliana Leslie

A romantic getaway for two. Though it almost sounds like a cliché, I’ve recently been struck by what a wonderful and almost necessary experience this can be. Nothing can offer a more powerful enhancement of an intimate relationship than the opportunity to nurture and be nurtured while removing all the routine distractions of everyday life. “Getaways” can be simple to plan and can actually be incorporated into ones’ lifestyle.

During a recent trip to Denmark where I was visiting my daughter (an exchange student there) I had the privilege of staying with her host family. I felt amazingly at home and comfortable immediately upon entering their home. When I commented on this to my daughter she smiled and said one word, hyggeligt (pronounced “hoogalie”). This Danish word means cozy and inviting and involves a variety of special touches that are incorporated into daily life. My favorite of these was the burning of candles throughout the day. There are candles lit in most stores, all homes and even the doctors office. There is something about the open flame of a candle that slows us down, allows us to sit and sip tea (from a teapot, not a bag) and even invites a more thoughtful conversation. It’s an instant stress release and encourages closeness. Hyggeligt also includes fresh flowers and plants everywhere (silk flowers are nonexistent). They are in every nook and cranny, not merely in the background but providing beautiful and artistic focal points throughout their living spaces.

Intimate relationships require quality alone time in order to thrive. We at Whispering Waters have always appreciated that and have done our best to provide the space for a romantic getaway. In actuality, the space has been provided by Mother Nature with some embellishments and attention to detail by us. We have created a quiet coziness that sets the stage for whatever our guests want to make of it. A roaring fire in our stone fireplace, a relaxing soak in the outdoor hot tub, a therapeutic massage, a walk in the woods, cuddling to a movie, reading a good book feet to feet in the library loft, a steamy hot sauna, snuggling under super soft sheets, gazing into the woods from your own heated porch set right on our bubbling brook or taking an aroma therapeutic bath in the Jacuzzi. Any or all of this can be part of your time alone together. Candles, aromatherapy, the paint colors we have chosen for the walls and a hearty breakfast for two, if you wish, are yet another dimension we have provided for your escape from the busyness of your everyday lives. I came home from Denmark appreciating the validation I felt for the hyggeligt I had already created at Whispering Waters and excited to augment a few new ideas as well.

I realize that it’s not just something for me to offer others at the bed and breakfast but to also incorporate into my own life and you can do this too. Force some flower bulbs in a shallow dish of stones and water, light some candles and add to this the subtle scent of amber or some other warm, seductive fragrance, and it has the power to transform your living space into a purely personal expression. Just set aside some time with the intention of connecting with your partner and the essence of an intimate getaway is yours in the midst of everyday life.

Juliana Leslie, M.A. Education, is certified in Holistic Health through WMU and completed a 2 year mentorship with Shakti Gawain in Hawaii. She offers retreats for women and children and is the proprietor of Whispering Waters Bed & Breakfast Retreat Center. You can reach her at 1-888-880-5557.

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