Wednesday, May 7, 2008

SUSURRUS: su-SUHR-uhs\, noun: A whispering or rustling sound; a murmur

Every now and then I like to pick a word out of the air and write an entry around it, just for the fun of it. I love words. I love language. I used to love to take a dictionary off a shelf when I was a kid and read pages of words and their definitions. Maybe it's something in my genetic pool. I had a great-grandfather who read a page of the Bible, a page of Shakespeare, and a page out of the dictionary every day. My grandmother was a published writer who'd had several articles printed in magazines when she was a young woman. I'm a published poet. And I'm a self-published blogger every time I hit the "Publish Post" button!

Dear Hubby is sitting here in the living room and I told him, "Say the first word that comes in to your head." He thought on it for a moment and looked at me. "Is this a test?" he asked. "No," I told him, "I'm just going to take whatever word you say and write about it." He sat and thought some more. "Hmmmmmm...can't think of anything," he finally stated. No help from that camp! So I typed in and went to Daily Words and clicked on one: susurrus. I like that word. I like it because its meaning is just the way it sounds...whispering...rustling...murmuring.

When I think of susurrus I think of the countless late afternoons and evenings when Dear Hubby and I were young-marrieds before the kids came along, when we'd take our Black Lab named Cindy and drive down along the Lower River Road in Vancouver. I think of how beautiful she was when we'd toss her training dummy out into the Columbia River and she'd launch out over the water and swim out to fetch it back to shore. How her coat would glisten in the sun as she'd shake off rainbow drops of water. And the quiet susurrus sound of the river's water as it would lap against the soft muddy sand along the shore. It was so peaceful there, watching the water birds and huge cargo ships coming upriver to Portland from the Pacific Ocean. I think of the many times we've camped on "our hill" in the national grasslands area near Madras, Oregon, of the wind blowing across the desert grass, ebbing and flowing like the surf, the sunlight casting sunbeams and shadow on the miles of unbroken golden blades. Of the twilights when we sat under the juniper tree in our lawn chairs and watched the sun set in the west, the Cascade Mountain peaks silhouetted in shades of mauve, lavendar, deep blue, and black. We'd go to sleep in our tent with the wind whispering thru the canvas, carrying the mournful cries of the coyotes yipping in the distance to sing us to sleep.

I have many favorite sussurus sounds: when my grandson was very little and would whisper soft "sssssssss's" in my ear, telling me secrets. The rustle of silk. Wind blowing high in a pine forest. The murmur of my parents voices talking in bed late at nite and the sense of security it gave me. The juicy sound of an orange as I open it to peel it. Far off surf. The murmur of a quiet stream. Train whistles far away on a clear nite. Animals rustling in the undergrowth when I'm out camping. An elk bugling from across a mountain canyon. Maybe these are not all susurrus, but each one affects me in the same way. They give me a sense of deep pleasure.

1 comment:

BS5 Blogger said...

Love words too - really clicked with you on the wordy bit of this post!