Chris Nielsen - Apricity

Great Gifts – Small Miracles: Apricity

Or, since this miracle of a gift occurs over millions of miles with life giving power, is it really a small miracle? That is, the miracle of sunlight gently warming our skin on a cold winter day from afar. Seemingly infinite combustion of gasses powerful enough to give steady, benevolent heat and light from 90 million miles away (give or take a few millions of miles). Such a gift that without it, this could not be written or read, let alone anything else that we sometimes take for granted.

Apricity – “the warmth of the sun on a winter’s day. (first used in Henry Cockeram’s English Dictionary, 1623)”.

This has been one of my most treasured sensations on earth for many years. I never knew it had its own word until reading a word of the day post on Twitter by the author and word collector Robert Macfarlane. One of his books is “Lost Words” in which he reveals and writes about fairly common words which were dropped from the Oxford Junior Dictionary. Words such as acorn, heron, fern, starling and willow. He celebrates these words with poetry and with watercolors by artist Jackie Morris. It is a large beautiful book, one of my most prized.

Even now, spell-check is telling me apricity is not a word (trying to ‘correct’ to apricot), but I assure you, it is. A wonderful word. A wonderful feeling. Sitting in my not so quiet back yard with city noise and traffic, roosters crowing all day long, the feeling of the sun making my pale skin feel aglow took me away. Millions of miles away. Then a cool breeze gently blows across my hot skin bringing me back to earth. As near a perfect combination as can be found. Feel it for yourself. Apricity.

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Robert Macfarlane’s Twitter link to apricity:
Follow him to catch all his words of the day and other nuggets of interest, reading and learning.