Etymology: Middle English nurishen, from Anglo-French nuriss, stem of nurrir, norrir, from Latin nutrire to suckle, nourish; akin to Greek nan to flow, noteros damp, Sanskrit snauti it drips.
The etymology of words fascinates me–how the sound of a word evolves, what language tree it belongs to and then knowing the original meaning of the word, then saying those words and rolling them around in the mouth. Speaking can be a sensual experience.
It’s especially lovely to include the word nourish in a glossary of food-related words because it refers to our original nourishment–breast milk. Just saying the word puckers the mouth in just the way a baby must to suckle. The wonder of breast milk is every mother creates milk especially formulated for her baby, with just the right balance of fats, proteins and carbohydrates, as well as a host of immunizing ingredients and so much more–we barely understand this utterly nourishing, satisfying liquid. Breast milk is the perfect food, engineered by the mother’s body to nourish her baby in the most optimal way the moment s/he is born.
Sadly many of us were not breastfed, or we were fed on “schedules.” How this came about is a much longer post, but I want to touch on it because how we eat and what we’re drawn to eat is, I believe, imprinted on us in childhood. So too our mothers’ feelings-whether they were anxious, happy, depressed etc.–we “drank them in.” We could not choose how we were fed as infants, but we can choose what will nourish us as adults.
What do we need to feel nourished now? What are we nourishing/practicing in our life– anger, resentment, impatience etc. How can we nourish our heart?