I didn't always recognize that the ambiance -- or atmosphere -- of a certain place or experience plays a key role in how well I enjoy it. If it evokes the sense of beauty, festivity, adventure, creativity, coziness, or camaraderie, I feel my emotional and energy levels rising. If it's dismal, dingy, and dreary, I can feel my energy and interest draining away. I can get the same emotional triggers from reading a book or watching a movie.
Perhaps that's why, when I woke this morning to find it rainy and overcast, I got the urge to watch the wonderful Meg Ryan/Tom Hanks 1998 movie You've Got Mail. Especially that scene where Meg's character, Kathleen, is decorating her bookshop with lights and seasonal decorations. It's autumn, and you can feel the contrast of the blustery weather on the outside with the warm cozy ambiance inside. The scene draws you to come in out of the elements.
I've also come to recognize another interesting aspect -- ambiance is also a frame of mind and I have the ability to create my own ambiance if I need to. One way I do that is by envisioning in my mind's eye what I want. For years I called it 'getting into my pretty world'. From that frame of reference, it has coloured how I feel and how I see what's around me.
For instance, having coffee in a paper cup, sitting on a hard plastic seat in the local mall does not evoke the same ambiance as when I go to a cozy cafe, where people, relaxing in big slouchy chairs, are enjoying their conversations as they drinking lattes from nicely-shaped mugs. But even on those occasions, when I find myself in a less amiable setting, I can still choose to create an ambiance through my imagination that's fun and a little adventurous.
For many people, rainy, blustery days evoke the emotional 'blahs'. For me? I choose to find the 'romance' in the day. I think of misty days in England and lots of green grass. I think of lamps that cast golden glows in gloomy corners. I think of freshly baked cinnamon buns and homemade soup simmering on the back burner.
And, I think of movies like You've Got Mail! Somehow its ambiance reaches past the TV screen and permeates my own environment. A warm contentment washes over me. Maybe that seems strange, but different things stir the imagination for each of us. I wonder what stirs you and creates an ambiance that makes you say, "Ah, this is the life."
PS. Here's an interesting article I just found on-line.
It's entitled How to Create An Ambiance in an Apartment.