Some of my greatest memories of my childhood happened in a little house in a small town in Northwestern North Dakota. That little house was home to my great grandmother, Mabel, who was the most calm and beautiful soul. She had a laugh like no other and while she tended to be fairly quiet, I loved spending time with her. I don't know how else to explain it, but to say that I felt like our souls connected.
Grandma Holten was of Norwegian decent and while she never spoke Norwegian to us, I learned later in life that many of her pronunciations of words, that I thought she just said differently from me, were actually the Norwegian pronunciation. She gifted us with her heritage by making us lefse and lutefisk. Her idea of kaffetime was sitting with us in her tiny kitchen around her 1950s table with cups and saucers. She would pour a little bit of coffee into the saucer so that we could dip sugar lumps into the coffee. Nothing like starting kiddos off on the right foot with coffee and sugar as young as possible!
When we were at her house, time stood still and there was never a rush to get on to the next thing. We would watch her knit while we told her stories and played. She never pushed us to get on with our story, but laughed her infectious laugh at our silly, little girl tales. I would give anything to sit in that house with her again drinking in the koselig lifestyle that she exuded without ever knowing it.
When I learned about the Norwegian term of Koselig, I was instantly transported back to Grandma Holten's house. You see, her life was not easy. She suffered with much loss over her lifetime and while some people could have turned bitter, she had an unwavering faith and a deep sense of peace that passed all understanding. That is what koselig is to me. Life is hard and times can be rough, but when we take time to enjoy the little things, pause and reflect, and remember that dawn will come even at the darkest moment, we can live Koselig.