After travelling home for the holidays, I realized there is a word missing from the dictionary. That word should encompass the feelings of being surrounded by family, memories, making new memories, realizing shifts and changes, and being in an area that, year after year and in any season, is still magical and can cast a spell over me. Since there doesn’t seem to be a word describing all of the above, I will have to invent or borrow one.
I visited two family homes this Christmas season. I was in Etobicoke with my husband’s family and then we were in Annapolis Valley, Nova Scotia with mine. In both spots, we re-visited spots of the past. We ran, walked, hiked, and saw markers that are worn with time (West Deane Park) and views that have never changed (Minas Basin). We hung out with friends who have been our friends since early school days and university. We saw them in their homes (Etobicoke) or pubs where the server remembered my first name (Paddy’s). We ate favourite childhood treats (tourtière) and drank new adult beverages (Annapolis cider Company). We told stories about holidays long ago and stories about our daily life in Edmonton. We saw a niece be a mother to her new child and a nephew who is now taller than I am. We saw our parents and siblings age that little bit more and no doubt, they saw us age that little bit more, too. We met a potential addition to our Nova Scotia family, a brother-in-law perhaps, and know that there is a shift coming albeit, a happy one.
Change is always ahead of us. We understand this word and its definition. We grow up and move on and our experiences morph into memories that we share with each other through stories. There is a word for the telling of family history (like last year’s trip to the hospital on Christmas Day): memoirs. There is a word to describe yearning for the past (like remembering when a cardboard box was a great present for my youngest sister): nostalgia. There is a word for cozy contentment (like seeing the flames in the woodstove flicker and dance while the cold wind knocks at the door): hygge, (pronounced hoo-ga), a Danish word. There is a word for a blue and purple twilight that outlines the bare branches of a giant elm overhead: wizardry. What is the word that bundles these all together?
Since English borrows many words from Latin, I’ve looked at the following: change and memories: et mutatio memorias
shift and nostalgia: shift ovilis uniusque Pastorismagic, change, memories: magicae, mutare, memorias
How about magimutarmemorias? It’s a bit long though and sounds like a Harry Potter spell.
Nosmagichange? Memspellshift? Hygmemoric? I’ll keep working on it. Do you have something in mind?
Family Lines blogs. There’s a word missing from the dictionary. Maybe you know it?