Dappled sunlight pours down on you through the branches of an old oak tree. Today will be a simple day. You’ll curl up with a novel, then head inside to bake a batch of banana bread.
Before bed, you’ll share a picture of your lovely loaf online with #CottageCore – a new aesthetic trend that’s gaining popularity every day. And it’s easy to see why. As we become consumed by Zoom and mild panic, #CottageCore grants us a window into a happier life.
A life where we can lose ourselves in pure and simple tasks – making jam, foraging for mushrooms, whittling wood. Of course, it’s all massively romanticised. Any real farmer would scoff at #CottageCore as they scrape the mud off their wellies.
But this hankering for a purer life is a very real part of our psyche that can’t be ignored. In the late 1800s, it drove the Arts and Crafts movement to counter the damaging effects of mass production with true craftsmanship.
Today, these small acts of rural rebellion help us resist the demands of our digital age. We don’t want to be “always on”. Many of us hope to emerge out of lockdown with more time for fresh air, natural beauty, and the simple things in life.
In this way, #CottageCore is more than a pleasing aesthetic. It’s the return to nature that our subconscious has been waiting for. In the chaos caused by Covid, many of us have found real comfort in the rhythm of our natural world. We don’t take it for granted anymore.
But will this appreciation last once lockdown has been lifted? Perhaps we’ll be lured back by boozy nights out and the undeniable joy of new trainers. But something has shifted significantly. We won’t enslave ourselves to the churn and burn of modern life so mindlessly.
So when ‘normality’ eventually returns, keep carving out time to bask beneath trees and bake banana bread. After all, “time is the most valuable thing a man can spend” – said those wise ancient Greeks. And they didn’t even share it on Instagram.