Memories from the Past Beckon Us to Rediscover Simple Comforts

We all reminisce.

It’s a part of humanness, to look back and remember good times, special things, memorable people, or significant events in our lives.

The cottagecore movement has recently drawn attention to this longing for the past, brought on by the upheaval that the pandemic caused in our daily lives. Suddenly our cherished, hectic routines were uprooted, and we were left with a space – a void in our lives.

It was uncomfortable.

Facing a future that looked too painful and uncertain, we instead looked to the past – perhaps seeking a steady rudder to guide us in our oh-so-uncertain future.

Hence the popularity of cottagecore…

Sure, it’s an idyllic movement, where we are at peace in nature – all of it – birds, flowers, frogs and trees. And it was romanticized by the long, flowing, flowery dresses, adorned with lace, corsets, ribbons, buttons and bows that the cottagecore movement typifies. Iconic fashion labels of the past have found new life again.

Gunne Sax, Laura Ashley and even homespun prairie dresses have become sought-after, their calico patterns with frilly lace trims were emerging from storage chests and tiny closets, long since tucked away by those who couldn’t bear to part with such a cherished part of their youthful past.

But this looking to the past isn’t just about what clothes we wore.

While cottagecore as an Internet aesthetic is having a major moment in the spotlight, we need only to look further into the past to discover that related aesthetics and ideals have an extensive cultural history.

For us – and for many of our customers, it’s not about a trendy aesthetic. It’s much deeper than that – a way of connecting to something from the past to bring joy and comfort to the present moment.

 It’s about who we were, who we loved, what we did– and perhaps most intriguing of all – things that we suddenly remember that we once loved and cherished – but had forgotten over the years.

Whether it’s recalling a favorite outfit we wore, recollecting on visits to grandma’s house when we rummaged through her storage chests full of old clothes and memories – all the while listening to grandma’s captivating stories – or we merely reflect on the simpler times in our lives, when things seemed a whole lot less burdensome than they do now, we cherish those joyous memories.

Remember when you had such fun days in your youth that you never, ever wanted the day to end?  When you dreamed of bottling up the time and never uncorking it, just looking fondly at the frozen moments of love, joy and comfort?

Cottagecore helps us find comfort in uncertain times.

What we sell here at The Cottage Divine offers glimpses into the past; each item has a unique story to tell and its own special energy just waiting to connect with the person who needs it the most.

We’ve discovered that so many people are reminiscing and remembering things that once brought them comfort – and that’s what they’re looking for in these unprecedented times. Interestingly, it’s not about the item itself – but rather what it uniquely represents to the person.

After searching for years, one customer found the same style curtains her late grandmother had – quaint, sheer priscillas with delicate floral sprays. She was thrilled to have discovered them and sent a photo of the curtains now hanging in her room, a nostalgic background for her cozy round table and chairs – placed just as she once remembered them. She rekindled a happy memory long since forgotten.

And in today’s uncomfortable stressful times, renewing pleasant memories can soothe worn out souls.

Maybe we all need a break from 24/7 stimulation

In the midst of all the upheaval and uncertainties of the pandemic, people are rediscovering non-tech hobbies as well.

It’s as if our minds are craving a break from the 24-7 stimulation of cell phones and computers.

Train collecting, working on puzzles (which has been proven to stimulate both sides of the brain at the same time), embroidery projects, sewing, gardening, baking and a host of other pastimes have seen a tremendous resurgence in popularity.

Hobbies ask us to step back for a bit, to cultivate hands-on skill as we hone our focus – and our craft. I can remember watching my mom stitch her Paragon Needlecraft winter scene, a giant peaceful depiction of days gone by, full of whimsical figures, old houses, sleds, horses, and trees.

She embroidered for months; each stitching motion became a relaxing rhythm as she focused her attention on her work – and not on her troubles.

The many facets of a special memory that beckon us to the past…

The desire for comfort is universal. Our memories have so many facets that beckon us to the past. One man was thrilled to discover his beloved Alvin the Chipmunk drapes in our shop – he bought all five pair – and is eagerly searching for the matching comforter. He wrote us what so many do: “I had this when I was a kid…and I just want it again!”

Time and again, customers pen heartfelt thanks, grateful for being able to obtain a piece of the past.

Good memories are forever, they can never be taken away. Fond remembrances give us strength on difficult days and sustain us when our hours are painful.

Will life return to a so-called normal? Depends who you ask. Most agree life will never be what it once was. But that’s where nostalgia comes in. It’s like a tonic, a pain reliever, during these all-too-stressful times.

Sure, the good old days had bad times, too.

The history books are full of wars, plagues, famines, and plenty of other calamities. But as writer Doug Larson aptly stated, “Nostalgia is a file that removes the rough edges from the good old days.”

And isn’t that what we need?

Pleasant memories can be a tonic that can bolster us when we’ve hit overwhelm, when we’re feeling worn and broken. Women have been tested time and again throughout history, and their inner strength – oftentimes a tenacity and power that they did not even realize they possessed – gives them the fortitude to carry on in life – whether it’s working from home, homeschooling or learning new ways of adapting in a pandemic-changed world.

For many, knowing that others throughout the centuries have endured a myriad of difficulties in daily life – but found strength to take steps, even baby steps, one at a time, to move forward and thrive – is a comfort. It’s an “If they did it, I can do it, too” attitude.

And for sure, many a tear was wiped away by grandma’s apron. Many more tears fell into her cherished chenille bedspreads. Maybe you can see those gently worn spots on her old accent rug, soft indents left as she knelt in prayer over the years.

Why is Cottagecore so popular today?

Maybe it isn’t so much about a yearning for the past, but the sense of empowerment that comes from recreating it in our own imaginative ways that we find fulfilling.

Cottagecore – or grandmacore or farmcore – those are just labels. Look beyond it and you’ll find that virtually every soul is simply seeking their own version of peace, contentment, fulfillment.

Some are simply drawn to a particular aesthetic and enjoy the satisfaction that comes from imaginatively reinventing the past – or drawing upon it to create a beautiful present moment.

Others crave the tangible comfort and joy that comes from a cherished memory of long ago. Maybe it’s Grandma’s calico apron she used to bake in…a beloved fluffy chenille bedspread like the one auntie had on her bed.

Whatever the case, there is so much energy in treasures from the past. Loving memories are brought to life. It’s as if you can feel the comfort again, all these years later.

And those romantic Gunne Sax or Laura Ashley dresses? Oh, how many can remember their first dates or first dance wearing those long, flowing lace trimmed, flowery gowns?

Just seeing an old prairie dress for me evokes memories of a first love – a love that was born in the 70s, a time when the flower children longed for love…simplicity…peace.

Those long-ago moments are soft rocks of comfort for us in these tumultuous times.

Life has brought us many uncertainties. Yet, what is, has been before.

Those before us made it through wars, depressions, and plagues. Hundreds of years from now, people will read about what we are enduring now and wonder, how did they do it?

Strength. Resilience.

And maybe…discovering the unspoken power – of comfort.

Come see what treasures we have for you in the Cottage today – whether you’re looking for the comfort of a chenille bedspread or robe, a hard-to-find embroidery kit, or a cottagecore dress – we’re always adding new gems.