The overwhelming downside to establishing relationships is the inevitable loss and grief that accompanies them. Sometimes, when we’re lucky, we can postpone that inevitability for decades. Other times…well, we take what we can get and are simply grateful for it.
So it is with Captain John Smith and we are, indeed, grateful.
Our friend, Kim Starr, suggested his name, told us of the Englishman’s role in delivering the word opossum, a close approximation of the Powhatan word aposoum, to the English language. We can only hope that the human Smith served as well as Captain John in the role of ambassador. It was with a gentle nature that he turned heads, changed opinions and opened eyes to new understandings.
Given that it’s an extinct language, there’s just a short list of some 550 words/phrases in Powhatan with which linguists are familiar. Goodbye isn’t among them. Thank you, on the other hand, is. So…