Tuesday, October 12, 2021

the wind in the trees


Young Pines and Sky, c. 1935
oil on paper
88.8 cm x 58.2 cm
Collection of the Vancouver Art Gallery, Emily Carr Trust

Dear Nature-Lover,

Maybe I should have addressed this to the "word-lover?" because my letter today is to give you this fine word, psithurism.  I got it from a young man that I met at my job, and I have been saving it for you for nearly two years now.*  

It means the sound of the wind soughing through the branches- sounds like sawing, but also sighing, so a kind of back and forth movement seems to be indicated in thinking of this word.  Psithurism also sounds when spoken like the wind in the branches.  It reminded me of another favorite of mine, petrichor, which refers to the smell of the rain.  Here is a very fine list of words, including petrichor and psithurism.  

And so to your song of the day, In the Pines.

That might seem funny, folding up a beautiful word like this one in a little scrap of paper, like a saved slice of cake from a party, and then waiting so long to give it to you; and it is funny, and even a little odd, but I am big saver of things, a hoarder, even, if you like, and I was saving it for The Right Time.  The time when I might add another little something to this offering, in this case, it's the song of the day.