I signed up for the One Little Word class, and have completed the first assignment, have found some few quotations I like, and written about poems that give me comfort, just as writing poems do, too. I have read others’ posts that talk about their word, and have been interested in what they have invited into their lives because of that word. The posts have been heartfelt, full of feeling and purpose and inspiration.
My word is COMFORT, and the quote I chose is: LIfe is made up, not of great sacrifices or duties, but of little things in which smiles, and kindnesses, and small obligations, given habitually, are what win and preserve the heart and secure comfort, by Humphrey Davy. I have since discovered that Davy was a British chemist who is known for discovering the anesthetic effect of laughing gas (nitrous oxide), among other things. It gives me a laugh, not kidding, that the quote I chose was spoken by the guy that discovered the properties of laughing gas. Terrific, quite an invention.
And so I begin thinking of all the things, like this quirky fact, that means COMFORT to me. I have chosen to tie some things in my life to the synonyms of COMFORT in Webster’s Online Dictionary.
Assurance – That the coffee will be made when I arise in the am, that the water in the shower will be hot and that the sun will rise. There is a Mescalero Apache Song I used to read on campouts with my students when we rose with the sun to set off on our adventures:
The sunbeams stream forward, dawn boys,
with shimmering shoes of yellow.
Cheer – Two people sent me poems this week, knowing how much I love poetry. A student stopped in to have a talk.
Consolation – One usually thinks of this as ‘second prize’, not so good, yet I see it as the tiny events that happen when big things don’t: a coupon for something I never get to save money on, a joke that both my husband and I laugh over at the same time, a few words or lines in a book I’m reading that touch me especially.
Reassurance – Going to the neighborhood Italian restaurant and being greeted as an old friend is better than the meal, which is very good.
Solace – In times of distress, there are a number of people who are there, and will be there, always.
So, that is ‘comforting’ contemplation for my One Little Word this time. It was a good thing to do, to bring the word forward more deliberately into my life. The word COMFORT derives from the Latin confortare, to strengthen, and those things listed above do that for me. Two parts of the word COMFORT make the whole. This time I concentrated on myself, the kinds of comfort that are meaningful in my life. Next time, it’s time to venture outward, to find the COMFORT I can give others.