Thankful Thursday: Words Bloom

Vocabulary of Dearness

How a single word
may shimmer and rise
off the page, a wafer of
syllabic light, a bulb
of glowing meaning,
whatever the word,
try "temperature" or "suffer,"
any word you have held
or traded so it lives a new life
the size of two worlds.
Say you carried it
up a hill and it helped you
move. Without this
the days would be thin sticks
thrown down in a clutter of leaves,
and where is the rake?

Naomi Shihab Nye
from Fuel *


At Seashore Family Literacy this week, the young writers and I took an unexpected journey, gathering words like flowers for a bouquet that grew fuller with each new bloom.  

What's another word for rusty, I asked? One youngster jumped for the thesaurus, another for the dictionary, and our word hunt began. Rusty led to strident, to tempersome, to drowsy, to frazzled, to daft, and finally to lackadaisical, a word completely unrelated to rusty but the jackpot word nonetheless. (We then spent 10 minutes on spelling and pronunciation).

The next day, a young writer burst into the Writing Room:  I used the word today, she said. I used lackadaisical!

On this Thankful Thursday, I am grateful for shimmering words, and minds eager to use them.

It's Thankful Thursday.
Gratitude. Appreciation. Praise.
Please join me in a weekly pause
to appreciate people, places & things.

What are you thankful for today?

* You could win this book in the Big Poetry Giveaway.