Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Exuberant: abandonedly joyous!

Today I'll be making one of my frequent visits to my ninety-year-old mother, who lives about an hour away. As I drive along I often find myself thinking of things to write, stories to tell, and sometimes I just find interesting words arising in my thoughts. (And I do talk to myself out loud as I drive, just so you know.)

A month or so ago on one of my drives the word "exuberant" came to mind, and of course I began to wonder about its origins, roots, and so on. So when I got home, I looked it up and learned some cool stuff that only makes it all the more rich a word.

First of all, the root word at its core is uber, which means "fertile" in Latin. So exuberance comes from fertility, one's own and that of the universe, I imagine. Tap into your creative powers of all sorts and you're likely to feel exuberant and to live more exuberantly.

As to definitions, here are a few (and I think they're all wonderfully rich and inspiring):

1. Full of unrestrained high spirits; abandonedly joyous. (The spell check doesn't like that word, abandonedly, but I do!)

2. Lavish; effusive; overflowing

3. Growing or producing abundantly; luxuriant

What's not to love about exuberant?! It just may be my current favorite word. I intend to let it call to me on a regular basis: "Over here! Over here! Come this way!"

Image: "Clouds over Mackworth Island", 2008, 8" x 12"