In the beginning there was the word,

and the first word was “mama”

followed by “dada”

And soon a litany of other words to convey meaning,

“up”, “down,” “water,” “no”, and “mine”

After the words came sentences,

and the discovery of words in books.

Dick and Jane. See Jane Go. Go Jane Go.

The Bobbsey Twins. My weekly reader.

The list of words each week in the Spelling Book.

Words to memorize. Words to Understand.

The wonder of an unabridged dictionary

and a Thesaurus.

Little Women/Little Men/Jo’s Boys/Eight Cousins/Rose in Bloom.

Robinson Crusoe/Nancy Drew/The Hardy Boys.

Grimm’s Fairy Tales/The Moffatts/Tom Sawyer/Huckleberry Finn.

The words that told stories and broadened a horizon.

The words that transported one to other countries, other worlds.

No longer enough to read the words but to own them as well.

More words.

Recipes on the back of the Hershey Cocoa can, the Calumet baking powder can.

Boxes and cans in the pantry.

Lists of “Ingredients”.

“Ma” you say to me.  “This soup contains ingredients”

You didn’t know if you liked “ingredients”. 

Learning the meaning of words. Words telling stories.

Words teaching recipes. Words to play games. Crossword puzzles. Scrabble. The Jumble. Words expanding your universe.

Enid Blyton’s words. British children on holidays. Eating “biscuits” (cookies) or pineapple from tins (cans). More words with the same meaning.

How fascinating to discover “a boot” is a “trunk” and some words have “U” added to them, such as favourite.

One wonders about these words.  Why do Brits and Canadians add a “U” and we don’t?

Poetry, shaping words, expressing thoughts. giving weight to hopes and dreams. Words taking you places

You have never been.

In the beginning there was the word

and the word was written or typed on a keyboard


From the keyboard came words.

From the brain to the fingertips.

Words giving imagery to islands, mountains, oceans, caves, deserts.


All words:  desserts for the mind.


Sandra Lee Smith

January 2009

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