We watched as she threw her arms into the air and jumped with joy. I was all in and I did my best to follow her lead. Rip-a straight? Did I hear her right? I could tell by her body language what it meant but I had never heard the word before. I asked others what they heard. No one knew how to say it or how to spell it. I was intrigued. I looked it up. Dead end.
I googled it. Dead end.
Finally, I e-mailed her and asked. It wasn't a word in the dictionary. She had made it up with a friend. It expressed the deepest show of joy she could muster; full body involvement. I needed that sort of joy in my life. Ribbistrate would become my word in 2015. Projects such as making my own definition, photographing others expressing that kind of joy, and writing about my own adoption of that feeling kept my word alive throughout the year. Colleen Atara made the word in black plastic for me. It appeared in many pictures and had a prominent place on my mantle.
A few days before the end of the year I went to visit my friend. We sat together in her magically decorated house and had lunch. Between the pear sandwiches and the gingerbread I presented her with my black plastic word. She had given it to me and I had used it well and I believe wisely. There is another word coming in 2016. Already it hangs on my mantle. It will require a different focus.
" You gifted me a special word and I lived it for one year."