Thanks, Outside Online, for sharing another gem: a collection of 15 words from “Positive Lexicography”to help capture feelings of bliss related to adventure/outdoor activities. I can’t wait to drop one of these in a future conversation…
Að nenna (Icelandic, v.): The ability or willingness to persevere through tasks that are hard or boring
Ever run more than 10 miles on a treadmill? Or 3,100 miles on a one-block course (that’s 5,649 loops)? Enough said.
Chrysalism (English, new coinage, n.): The amniotic tranquility of being indoors
Like a bombproof bivy bag during an early-season mosquito hatch. Awesome Scrabble fodder.
Cynefin (Welsh, n.): A place where one feels one ought to live; the relationship one has to the place where one was born and/or feels at home
As you point your car back toward Los Angeles after a weekend in the Eastern Sierra you might say, “Dude, Bishop’s my cynefin. One day I’m gonna quit my job and dirtbag it in the Buttermilk. Definitely.”
Datsuzoku (脱俗) (Japanese, n.): Freedom from habit, escape from the routine and conventional
Like these unschoolers who believe in ditching classrooms and standardized tests for an outdoor, hands-on education.
Erlebnis (German, n.): Living fully, experiencing life deeply and intensely in the here and now
Wherever you go, there you are. Be here now. Rinse and repeat. We recommend immersion in a forest wilderness. As did John Muir…
Fjellvant (Norwegian, adj.): Being accustomed to walk in the mountains
Who was it who said something about climbing the mountains to get their good tidings? (See “erlebnis.”)
Friluftsliv (Norwegian, n.): Living in tune with nature
In a nutshell: get back to healthy, natural ecosystems whenever possible. It’s the easiest medicine we have.
Genki (元気) (Japanese, adj.): being healthy, energetic, and full of life
Joie de vivre, by any other name.
Gökotta (Swedish, n.): lit. ‘Early-morning cuckoo’, waking up early to hear the first birds sing
We’d like a word for crack-of-nooner. Nothing wrong with nursing that third cup of espresso while your dawn patrol pals are tagging the summit.
Peiskos (Norwegian, n.): lit. ‘Fireplace coziness,’ sitting in front of a crackling fireplace enjoying the warmth
Yeah, but first you’ve got to build the fire. Tinder, kindling, wood, spark, and enjoy.
Shinrin-yoku (森林浴) (Japanese, n.): ‘Bathing’ in the forest (literally and/or metaphorically)
Take this one literally, and you’ll accumulate wood chips where the sun don’t shine. It may be safer to take a long walk in the redwoods.
Sisu (Finnish, n.): Extraordinary determination in the face of adversity.
Two words: Aron Ralston.
Uitwaaien (Dutch, v.): lit. ‘To walk in the wind’; to go out into the countryside (e.g., clear one’s head)
Whether you live in the country or city, we recommend doing this at least twice a day. Here are some of our favorites for when you feel like going a little farther from home.
Wabi-sabi (侘寂) (Japanese, n.): imperfect and aged beauty, a ‘dark, desolate sublimity’
Sometimes beauty is in the flaws, like that dream cabin you built miles from electricity and next to the stream tainted with cow urine.
Zanshin (残心) (Japanese, n.): A state of relaxed mental alertness (especially in the face of danger or stress)
“If I have a combination of calm and fear, I access mental states way beyond normal consciousness,” said the late BASE-jumper Dean Potter. “That’s why I choose to do scary things.”