I am in love with words.Â The thrill of finding that one, idyllic word is not onlyÂ addicting, but sets an obsession in my heart. I tirelessly hunt the corners of my mind- old SAT prep vocabulary? Merriam-Webster’s Word of The Day from last week? That one obscure descriptor my dad insisted I knew in fifth grade? When that word is discovered, my brain rejoices! “I’ve found it! It’s perfect!” Like a lost piece in a puzzle; an unearthed treasure.
I try my hardest not to play favorites- how can you assign worth or disvalue to a word that in one sentence could be more ideal than others? No, all words are valuable- big or small; short or long; one syllable or 10. ButÂ one day I discovered zeitgeber.
ZEITGEBERÂ :Â Â nounÂ \Â tsÄ«t -Â gÄ – bÉ™rÂ \
: An environmental agent or event (as the occurrence of light or dark) that provides the stimulus setting or resetting a biological clock of an organism
:Â German, fromÂ Zeit,Â meaningÂ “time” andÂ Geber,Â meaning “giver.”
Time giver. Giver of time. That one thing we cannot change, alter, transfer, purchase, return, exchange, steal, gift, or take back- and yet there is a word that offersÂ it freely. Resets everything, makes for a do-over. That, in my little brain, is a perfect word.
All this was racing through my head just a few days ago as I began my morning outside Spring Bay, Virgin Gorda in the British Virgin Islands. As soon as we had dropped our anchor, I was ogling the beach just a few kicks away, unable to find the time to visit it just yet. So I waited.Â I made a plan. That gorgeous sunsetÂ that happens every evening as our earth rotates itself out of the sun’s reach (one zeitgeber) set off my internal countdown clock for a welcoming sunrise (another zeitgeber)Â would begin a new day. I slept; I woke. I swam in; stretched; and intentionally greeted the day. All the while, that word that providesÂ me the gift of momentsÂ was dancing on the tip of my tongue. How perfect to have a new start everyday.
And a word to describe it.