thinking big

Winter Word: Apricity

Apricity: “the warmth of the sun in winter”

“This word provides us with evidence that even if you come up with a really great word, and tell all of your friends that they should start using it, there is a very small chance that it will catch on. Apricity appears to have entered our language in 1623, when Henry Cockeram recorded (or possibly invented) it for his dictionary The English Dictionary; or, An Interpreter of Hard English Words. Despite the fact that it is a delightful word for a delightful thing it never quite caught on, and will not be found in any modern dictionary aside from the Oxford English Dictionary.”

from Merriam-Webster’s Winter Words

On Saturday morning, I went for a tracking walk with OWA. It was -20 and change, but woodlot folk are hearty folk. A couple of dozen people went tramping around a beautiful property, looking for signs of other critters tramping around.

We were looking at the footprints of a fox skedaddling over a wood pile when the sun suddenly appeared. I don’t always notice the sun’s absence on a cloudy winter day, but I always notice when it re-appears. It doesn’t provide the same blazing heat of a summer sun, but whenever I am enveloped by its brilliant sparkling rays, I am warmed from the inside out.

The time for apricity is passing. I’m certain we’ll have a few more big blasts of snow this year, a lot more treacherous ice, some wintry mix, and at least a couple of surprise storms. But I saw my first robin today, and I’ve been told the sap is already running. Time to tap. I would prefer a longer colder winter, with more time to disrupt invasive cycles, more time for the hibernators to rest. But while we do what we can, it is what it is. For now, I’ll be savouring the last of this year’s winter, while waking my thoughts of the brighter bolder suns that are around the corner.