I was blessed to spend a year in Brasil as foreign exchange student in my youth. By the way, note that I prefer to use the native spelling not the Americanized spelling for Brasil.
I love the people, the culture, the beauty, all that envelopes Brasil.
While there, I learned a powerful and highly poetic word, “Saudades”. There is no singular word in the English language that adequately defines Saudades. It’s a state of mind, a feeling, a sense of love, a sense of loss, a memory, a hope, and a sense of longing.
You already know what it is, yet you were never blessed with a singular word to describe it.
Close your eyes for a moment..
- You walk into a bakery and smell a fresh baked apple pie and suddenly remember your Grandmother… Saudades
- A song plays on the radio and you remember you’re long lost High School Sweet Heart…Saudades
- For no explicable reason your remember your first kiss..Saudades
- You see a favorite vacation spot from you youth..Saudades
It’s a memory, an emotion, a longing, a desire. It can NEVER be duplicated, copied, repeated. Yet it is there as if it were yesterday.
Movies have been scripted around the emotion:
“Casablanca”..”We’ll always, have Paris”
“Dr Zhivago” ..Never connecting with Lara again
“The Bridges of Madison County”….Robert and Fiona lived a lifetime in a week or so.
The story never written, the story never told…
Two teenage kids from opposite sides of America met in New York City in 1973. For years they stayed in touch, phone, and letter, all pre social media days.
Finally in their 20’s they reunited and spent a week together. It was magical!!!
Departure day came….in the concourse of Logan Airport, they embraced and shared a long and passionate kiss. He said, “I don’t know what happened, but I fell in Love this week.”
Her reply, “You too!!”
Fast forward 40 years. They remain friends, stay in touch, and have a strong LOVE for one another. They still live on opposite sides of the country. They have families of their own. Alas, SAUDADES is alive and well in their lives.
Undoubtedly they will never share a warm embrace again, nor a passionate kiss. They will be fortunate and blessed to share a personal moment in each other’s company before their passing. None of that is important.
Saudades is alive and well in their lives.
That’s the way I see it.