50 words for snow
We’ve all heard that the Inuit people of Alaska have more than 5o words for snow. Since snow plays such an integral role in their existence they’ve developed a deeper vocabulary for it than most languages. My brother once asked me what concepts I wish I had more words for and I told him love. I wish there were more words for me to express the different kinds of love I feel.
After that conversation I started a list describing the types of love I feel. I’d like a succinct word for the love I feel in the mornings when I first wake up. I’m cozy in my bed and I feel benevolence for the world and all the people around me. The feeling is close to contentedness but I want a word that really fits it.
I want a word for the love I feel for my sister when I read her thoughtful text. It’s like an old love. I’ve loved her for my whole life; this love is like the love of an old couple. It’s comfortable and familiar and I feel safe in it. This feeling of love is like playing in a tide pool near the ocean because the reason it’s nice to play in tide pools is because the ocean is nearby. I like to hear from her when she’s thinking about me because I know it’s part of a much deeper relationship that we have. If a tide pool was just in the middle of a field it wouldn’t be the same because you wouldn’t have the ocean nearby refreshing it all the time. These texts are meaningful because they are a sign that so much more exists beyond this.
I want a word to describe the love I feel for my friend Chris. It’s easy to love Chris because he sees who I am. He sees my strengths and my abilities. He sees my potential and my humor. He sees my fears and I love him for that. Sometimes I feel like he’s the first person who has wanted to see me in a long time. The love I feel for Chris is pretty unique. I love him in the way that I want him to be successful in all his endeavors and that I want to help him accomplish anything he wants in life. I love Chris because he’s a good person. He’s kind, thoughtful, and he’s concerned about the people around him. Also, he’s endlessly materialistic, which just makes me laugh so hard. I don’t think there’s a unique word for all this. I want a new word for it but until then I would definitely call it love.
I continued the list and explored about 14 more types of love in my life. When I finish my brother makes the case that the more vocabulary we have for an emotion the more we can recognize it and experience it with all its nuance. I think he’s right and if there’s one thing I learned from identifying different types of love in my life it’s that my life is brimming with all sorts of love and that’s something I’m very grateful for.