Writers spend much of their time searching for the right words to convey meaning. If I had to grade the English language on its ability to provide adequate descriptions I would give it a D. I recently learned that some languages have single words that beautifully describe life's unique moments.
In her 2014 book, Lost in Translation: An Illustrated Compendium of Untranslatable Words from Around the World, Ella Frances Sanders educates readers on single words I wish existed in the English language.
For example, there's a Hawaiian word for listening to a bunch of directions from someone and then walking off and promptly forgetting them. Isn't that brilliant?
There's a single Welsh word that describes the homesickness and grief for the lost places of your past.
The Japanese have a word for gazing vacantly into the distance without really thinking about anything specific. One word instead of, "Marina stared vacantly into space without really focusing on anything."
The Norwegians describe the euphoria when you first begin to fall in love with just one word.
Here is Arizona, Phoenicians only use one word to describe what happens between June and September - HOT. And that one little word is sorely lacking. It doesn't begin to describe what we experience. Here are five examples of different kinds of hot:
- The swimming pool is the temperature of chicken soup hot
- My skin burns when I step outside hot
- I can't think of cooking supper hot
- Everything stinks hot
- I have cabin fever due to being stuck in air conditioning hot
Why am I telling you this? Because the last two years I escaped to cooler Central Wisconsin to visit my father. (By the way if you are interested in buying a lake house email me.) But this year we stayed home and, like many other Phoenix residents, we seek refuge. Some go to San Diego, some to the Midwest, but many travel the 2.5 hours north to Flagstaff. With its tall pines and high elevations it is the perfect escape from the triple digits in the Valley of the Sun.
So we've escaped the heat for a few days here and there in Flag, as they call it. Now the one word I am looking for describes how I feel when I actually can think about cooking supper again.
Thank you for taking the time to read this letter. I am thrilled to be able to share my news with you.
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