There’s this thing that started happening when I was younger. I associate it most clearly with my early teens. This thing happened after I had learned the meaning of a new word especially, it seemed, with words that were fun to say like serendipitous or nuance or naiveté. It would happen when I was absolutely sure that I had never heard the new word before. You see, after I had been introduced to the word it would suddenly start popping up all over the place, and I mean all over the place. I would hear it in conversation, on TV, in stories, on the radio. People whom I was absolutely sure had never used the word before would casually drop it into their speech. The word would appear in ordinary places, places that it had just never been before. Then after it had appeared in about six or seven different locations it would seem to disappear as quickly and wonderfully as it had come, but ready for me to pull it out should I need it in the future. I remember this satisfying sense that there was some kind of cosmic language arts teacher just making sure I really understood what this new word meant before we moved on. It thrilled me as a child. It was this secret thing, just for me I believed. It made me smile and let me think that I was being taken care of by the universe.
Chuck Sigars is currently an elder at St. Andrew and a newspaper columnist and author.