Ideas that add up #199

Werifesteria: Leonie Bell wrote to ask about this word, which is circulating in social media. It’s said to be Old English, meaning “to wander longingly through the forest in search of mystery”. Its popularity suggests that it meets an inchoate spiritual desire for a term to sum up a concept that hasn’t previously been possible to articulate briefly. To be mundane about it, however, the evidence suggests it was created in late 2014 by an unknown person out of thin air. No record of it exists before then and there’s no root in Old English for forests or longing or wandering that matches anything in the word. It’s an intriguing neologism, a minor mystery of its own, and I would love to uncover the process of thought that led the anonymous author to create it.

Michael Quinion in World Wide Words newsletter, October 3rd, 2015

And these: 

nemophilist, (rare) One who is fond of forests or forest scenery; a haunter of the woods. (As defined a century ago in Webster’s.)

shinrin-yoku (森林浴), (n.) a visit to the forest for relaxation – a chance to stroll through nature and take in the atmosphere for one’s well-being; lit. “forest bathing“. (From Wordstuck.)

File:Jomon Sugi 03.jpg

Jōmon Sugi in Yakushima, Kagoshima Pref., Japan. Photo by Σ64; Source: Wikipedia Commons

Longing…haunting…wandering…searching. And bathing…. It seems that many of us miss the woods. Sounds, sights and scents to awake in us a way of sensing that feels profoundly right. Heartening, that terms for this are being revived and coined. How about we spend more time out there on foot among our allies, the trees?

Advertisements
This entry was posted in Good health, Green planet, Language and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s