Have you watched the movie Amélie? It’s one of my all-time favorites and something I must watch before any trip to Paris. If you haven’t seen it, watch it and allow yourself to be immersed in a world of senses. That movie taught me to use mine a whole lot more than I used to. Recently I went to our food market area in Copenhagen, Torvehallerne, and decided to let my senses guide me around.
I dug my hand into the crate of hazelnuts, closed my eyes and let my fingers feel the shiny smooth surfaces of the nuts, and a few cracked shells sharp against my fingertips. I listened to the sound of them crackling together as my hands dug deeper and felt them sliding down the sides of the crate as I slowly removed my hand. It was lovely and for that moment I was truly present.
I went to the different stalls and let myself feel the fruit, smell the flowers, touch their delicate leaves. I used my camera to get really close and get a sense of their texture and softness. I filled a few bags with fresh fruit and enjoyed a sample of sweet juicy orange. I bought a few of those too and rejoiced in the fact that they still had their leaves as if they had just now been plucked from their branches, right there in rainy Copenhagen.
Allowing myself to use my senses is a wonderful way to really ground myself and appreciate all of nature’s beauty around me. Bringing a lovely bouquet of flowers home with me to cheer up the apartment makes me really happy, and right now is a season with beautiful winter blooms and the blossoming of some of my spring favorites.
Being at the market also inspired me to try and cook some new things, and since then I’ve been looking up recipes to use seasonal vegetables and make hearty stews and soups — meals that can make our home fragrant with the smell of herbs and spices. I’m planning to bake some mixed root vegetables and make sweet potato mash soon, which are two dishes I’ve never made before. Using the cold season as a way of experimenting and using the darker days to actually learn new things and make our home cozy, is one of the best things I feel I can do for myself. That, and rewatch Amélie when I need a little reminder to look for the beautiful and simple things in life that make it all so magical.
Originally published at Wild Northern.