Poetry Reading: Wendell Berry
Join us on Saturday, March 16, at 10:30 a.m., for a casual poetry reading of the works of Wendell Berry. Bring your favorite poem or essay to read. If you’re not familiar with Wendell Berry or his poetry, feel free to come anyway to enjoy the reading.
Book Review: The Little Book of Hygge: Danish Secrets of Happy Living by Meik Wiking (William Morrow, 2017)
The Danish concept of “hygge” found its way across the Atlantic a few years ago, taking wing on social media and popping up in American books and magazines. Hygge, pronounced “hoo-ga,” is one of the things that author Meik Wiking, CEO of the Happiness Research Institute in Copenhagen, credits with making Denmark one of the happiest countries on earth.
Yes, cold, dark, highly taxed Denmark. People love it there because of, well, hygge. According to Wiking, “Hygge is about an atmosphere and an experience, rather than about things. It is about being with the people we love. A feeling of home. A feeling that we are safe, that we are shielded from the world and allow ourselves to let our guard down.”
Candles, hot chocolate, wooly sweaters, fireplaces, and fuzzy throws may come into play but what makes a moment hyggeligt (the adjective form of the word) is the presence of friends in this comfortable and cozy atmosphere. This element of sociability elevates hygge from a superficial lifestyle choice to a cultural construct that strengthens the fabric of society. Wiking guides the reader through the Danish experience of community during hyggeligt, while also describing foods (cake, bread, coffee), clothes (sweaters, scarves), and activities (casual dinners, barbecues, family movie nights) that add to those experiences.
Does any of this feel a bit familiar? It might. Since moving to Mentone, I’ve experienced hygge on a regular basis:
Experiences like these are why life here feels so right to me. Mentone is hyggeligt, a saving grace when the sun sets early and the wind is cold. That these experiences take place in an area with extraordinary natural beauty adds to the charm. Because life will always throw down some challenges, some of which will inevitably shake us to our core, hygge allows us to recognize and appreciate the moments that sustain us in good times and bad and to consciously recreate them when we can.
The Little Book of Hygge explains how to enjoy hygge year-round, and Wiking goes into some detail about how to sustain the mood during warmer months, but right now in North Alabama we have a few more weeks of winter to get through. So, channel your inner Dane, throw another log on the fire, and get hyggeligt with friends and family.
The Little Book of Hygge is available for checkout from the Moon Lake Community Library.
– Anne McLeod is the librarian at Moon Lake Elementary School.
Book Club: The Alice Network
Join fellow book lovers on for a discussion of The Alice Network, a best-selling historical novel by Kate Quinn. The book club will meet on Saturday, March 23, at 10:30 a.m. at Moon Lake Community Library in Mentone (where the book is available for check-out). Everyone is welcome to join the discussion. Organic coffee and hot tea will be served.
Dot Mandala Rock Painting
Saturday, March 30
Painting dot mandalas on rocks is a very relaxing activity that produces a beautiful piece of art at the same time. Kerry Breithaupt has offered to donate smooth river rocks and she’ll teach us how to paint on them using tools that provide perfect circles. All supplies will be be provided. There is no charge for this workshop, but a donation to the library will be appreciated.
Moon Lake Library has become a vibrant community center, thanks to our patrons and those who attend events, come for the writer's group, the book club, and the knitting circle, and to browse our sale books.
Over the course of 11 “open” days in February, 86 books and 70 DVDs were checked out. We issued library cards to 10 new patrons. We have deleted 85 books from our stacks and added 45 that are fresh and relevant to our community’s interests.
See you at the library!
— Kelly Leavitt
Our Community Game Nights in February have continued to be so popular that folks have asked for two more evenings to be scheduled in March. So! Join us on March 8 and/or March 22 at 6 p.m. for a good ‘ol family-friendly time. We’ll share in a finger-food pot-luck. We have plenty of board games, but you’re welcome to bring your own!
Author Talk: Edwene Gaines
Monday, March 18 @ 6:30pm
Rev. Edwene Gaines is the author of The Four Spiritual Laws of Prosperity: A Simple Guide to Unlimited Abundance and I Choose Forgiveness. A resident of Valley Head, Edwene has extensively traveled the world as a presenter of workshops and seminars. She will discuss her books as well as her process as an author. Light refreshments will be served, as well as coffee and hot tea. This event is free of charge.
"The Rough Side of War"
In the August 2018 issue of The Groundhog, Judge David Raines wrote an article, "The Road to Chickamauga," which heavily quoted the Civil War journal of Chesley A. Mosman, a Union soldier who wrote about his time spent in the Mentone area while the troops rested before proceeding to Chickamauga. Mayor Rob Hammond generously donated $85 so we could acquire The Rough Side of War, which contains Mosman's prolific journal entries. It is a book which is sure to please anyone interested in Civil War or local history. Thank you, Mayor Hammond!