“I guess we’ll just have to invent more ways to say it”

"What else do you love, Lily?"

No one had ever asked me this before. What did I love? …

I said, "Well, I love Rosaleen, and I love writing stories and poems– just give me something to write and I will love it." After that, I really had to think.

I said, "This may be silly, but after school I love Coca-Cola with salted peanuts poured in the bottle. And when I’m finished with it, I love turning up the bottle to see where it came from." Once I’d gotten a bottle from Massachusetts, which I kept as a tribute to how far something can go in life.

"And I love the color blue– the real bright blue like the hat May had on at the Daughters of Mary meeting. And since coming here, I’ve learned to love bees and honey." I wanted to add, And you, I love you, but I felt too awkward.

"Did you know there are thirty-two names for love in one of the Eskimo languages?" August said. "And we just have this one. We are so limited, you have to use the same word for loving Rosaleen as you do for loving a Coke with peanuts. Isn’t that a shame we don’t have more ways to say it?"

Sue Monk Kidd, "The Secret Life of Bees"

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