The Wonder of Words

Words have a way of touching your heart. Moving you to tears or laughter. We speak them, hear them, struggle with them, write them, use them and choose them. Recently I attended the retirement farewell of two of my teaching colleagues including my own. There were speeches that celebrated the achievements and passions of these people; words that were uplifting and kind.

As I thought about words, I realised the power and beauty of them to heal, console and affirm. My colleague Jeannine Beaufoy delivered her heartfelt, farewell, thank you speech to a clapping audience. Her commitment and dedication to teaching is awesome and so with humility and pride she offered a beautiful speech to the staff. Several hugs, gifts and smiles later, it was my turn to stand up and be farewelled.

Jeannine’s speech

My friend and teaching partner spoke beautiful words to me – about my connectedness to others, my enthusiasm for my students, my passions and interests. It was a touching moment for me.

Words written on cards are special. Enjoy the time with family. Wishing you every happiness. Many thanks for your care and support. Your grace and kindness will be missed. All the very best for 2018 and beyond.

What words describe you? What are your 5 favourite words? Because I love children’s books, I wonder if you have read any of Glenda Millard’s most magical books like ‘Plum Puddings and Paper Moons’? The title of the book is a good example of alliteration; she uses words with punch and vigour. ‘tiger’s teeth and tails and toes’. Playful made up language like ‘ finny, scaly, gilly, salty sea sardines’. And her metaphor, ‘The sun was a hot yellow peach in a sea of strawberry sauce and the moon was a paper doily tossed up high.”

I have seen words on walls in rooms that stop you and make you wonder. Like these.

Words on tea towels that amuse and delight.

Surprising words that reflect mood and emotion. Words in magazines like ‘ GET GRAPHIC’

‘Make your beauty kit a little edgier with geometric razzmatazz and bold shades.’

There are scribbled words and autographs on uniforms.

Christmas messages.

And then images of natural beauty that words are sometimes unable to describe. Take a closer look at this plant and tell me what words you would use to describe it.

I love that words can make you sing, cry and remember. My grand children play with words like favourite toys. They are word weavers, word changers, word architects. Even sharp quick words like ‘ No! Why? ‘Where’s lamby? roll off their tongues.

Did you know that emoji keyboard is on more mobile phones then any language keyboard worldwide? Future emoji candidates include a Hindu temple, oil lamp and snorkel mask. What does it take to get your attention folks? ‘The giraffe is the one people request the most,’ Jeremy Burge, world authority on the popular characters, said. ‘For some reason, people are wild about the giraffe.’

This Christmas, I hope that we can forget the words that hurt, disappoint and are cruel in favour of the words that bring love, peace and hope. Words that bless, empower and reach others. God’s words that say, rest in Me. Be still so that you can hear My voice.

Words to read in books, words in coffee shops and words that you hold dear to your heart like a cuddly teddy bear. Until next time, make a list of your favourite words and share them with me.


Little Fig cafe in Buderim


Aleesah Darlinson reading from Fox and Moonbeam

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December 15, 2017 at 9:11 am

I like quotes, sometimes funny, sometimes serious. The right quote at the right time is priceless!

December 15, 2017 at 9:19 am

Great idea to write about words. Many, many years ago I wrote a few children stories and a couple of novels. I sent them away with hopeful anticipation but none were ever published. I love words…words that make poems too. I am very interested in poetry and i have poetry books by Walt Whitman and the like. I still have a book of ‘words and quotes’ that you gave me so many, many years ago called Love Is to Share. It was a birthday gift with a handwritten friendship rhyme – Good friend of mine, I have one wish this year, this only would it be, I’d like to be the sort of friend that you have been to me! My favourite words from this book are written by Frederick S. Perls: You are you…and I am I…And if by chance we find each other…its beautiful. And we did find each other and have been friends for 58 years.

I can remember writing in autograph books silly word rhymes. I think you told me this rhyme as well and I have written it a few times: I went to the pictures tomorrow, I took a front seat at the back, I fell from the floor to the ceiling, hurting the front part of my back.

I hope you enjoy your retirement, you deserve it after all the years you have given to others. I remember your book club Booknook Blue? was it…and I am sure many a child learned and enjoyed the words from the books you spoke of.

What words describe me…not sure I can only go by words described of me by others – kind, patient,
funny, caring and generous. There are few others like hand-fisted; meaning a bit of a rough nut when I touch things; forgetful – but memorable; persistent – because I ‘urge too much’ and one or two others I won’t mention. LOL – Loud out loud. My favourite internet words.

M.J. Gibbs
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