One Word: Reunion

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Reunion strikes me as possibly the most sublime of all English words.

I love its sound. Even more, I love its meaning.


Phonetically, reunion is a word that could be classified as “euphonious” or “mellifluous”. These are neat words, too: The first refers to sounds that please the ear; the second, to sounds that flow like honey.

But forget sound. There are lots of words just as euphonious and mellifluous as reunion. What I cannot think of, at this moment, is any word that rivals it for beauty of meaning.

Reunion refers to the act (or simply the fact) of getting back together after a separation. Typically it refers to living individuals, though it can also mean places or things. For example, we might speak of the reunion of East and West Germany after the dismantling of the Berlin Wall.

Is there any sweeter feeling than being reunited with a loved one? Especially if the absence has been prolonged or painful? When reunion sweeps away sensations of loneliness or homesickness, replacing them with bliss and contentment?

During our Peace Corps stint in Grenada, Cheri and I left every morning for our respective jobs. How we loved returning to one another at the workday’s end.

Normally I walked (perhaps two miles) from my office, meeting her at the St. Georges’ market square where we’d catch a mini-bus to our village home. When I topped the hill overlooking the market, she usually was waiting. We would spot each other and wave. The elation was indescribable — and it never got old. (It still doesn’t.)

Some reunions are once-in-a-lifetime. Imagine how I felt hugging my sister after missing her, without knowing her whereabouts, for 27 years! (Long story — maybe for some other time.)

Whether daily or rare, there are no words or pictures to describe such experiences. But there is one word: reunion!

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