Onamonapia

This afternoon, my 11-year-old daughter walked around the house saying 0namonapia,  over and over, desperately trying to drive her sister nuts, by repeating this beautiful word, richly rolling off her tongue.

Years ago I used to nurse this child at the farmers market where my then-husband and I sold maple syrup. One afternoon, I nursed my baby on the grass behind our tent, leaning up against a pole. A couple sat down somewhat near me, in the shade beneath a poplar tree. Eating, they casually spoke in a slavic language I didn’t recognize. I generally knew they were talking about the day, but I couldn’t really piece together much more than that.

My baby fell sleep, and I pulled a blanket over her soft little limbs, then leaned my head back against the pole and closed my eyes. While the couple kept eating and talking, I listened to their words, this beautiful language I couldn’t precisely understand, but I knew the language tied them together.

Surely, 0namonapia relays much more than cluck or moo. This is a word whose meaning can stretch to entire languages: an audible beauty that makes us human.

 

The Bells

Hear the sledges with the bells—
Silver bells!
What a world of merriment their melody foretells!
How they tinkle, tinkle, tinkle,
In the icy air of night!

– Edgar Allen Poe

FullSizeRender

sweater weather in June Vermont

 

About Brett Ann Stanciu

A writer and sugarmaker, Brett Ann lives with her two daughters in stony soil Vermont. Her novel HIDDEN VIEW was published by Green Writers Press in the fall of 2015. Let my writing speak for itself.
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