Tickled pink, moths, girls, and snakes

The tiny red-haired girl with the plaid shorts and pink shoes was dancing around the Fibonacci curve. She was in ecstasy. She was surrounded by tiny flying butterflies that were also ecstatic about the globe amaranth flowers. It was pure nectar and ambrosia euphoria, and seriously contagious if it hadn't been for the simultaneous snake sighting two hedges away. Both events had Arthur Murray moments! One had dancing up on a garden bench.

The flowers are always a favorite of the little folded- and spread-winged skippers, hairstreak butterflies, honeybees, and tiny moths I dubbed "Fibonacci moths" until I find a better identification. Sunday they were joined by very wee sulphurs in several white and yellow varieties, all swirling about the garden with the tiny girl, all dancing to their own inner music.

Not sure which Greek root word applies to this situation.

ecstasy (n.) Look up ecstasy at Dictionary.com
late 14c., extasie "elation," from Old French estaise "ecstasy, rapture," from Late Latin extasis, from Greek ekstasis "entrancement, astonishment, insanity; any displacement or removal from the proper place," in New Testament "a trance," from existanai "displace, put out of place," also "drive out of one's mind" (existanai phrenon), from ek "out" (see ex-) + histanai "to place, cause to stand," from PIE root *sta- "to stand" (see stet).

Used by 17c. mystical writers for "a state of rapture that stupefied the body while the soul contemplated divine things," which probably helped the meaning shift to "exalted state of good feeling" (1610s). 

euphoria (n.) Look up euphoria at Dictionary.com
1727, a physician's term for "condition of feeling healthy and comfortable (especially when sick)," medical Latin, from Greek euphoria "power of enduring easily," from euphoros, literally "bearing well," from eu"well" (see eu-) + pherein "to carry" (see infer). Non-technical use, now the main one, dates to 1882 and is perhaps a reintroduction.

enthusiasm (n.) Look up enthusiasm at Dictionary.com
c.1600, from Middle French enthousiasme (16c.) and directly from Late Latin enthusiasmus, from Greek enthousiasmos "divine inspiration, enthusiasm (produced by certain kinds of music, etc.)," fromenthousiazein "be inspired or possessed by a god, be rapt, be in ecstasy," from entheos "divinely inspired, possessed by a god," from en "in" (see en- (2)) + theos "god" (see theo-). 

© 2014 Nancy L. Ruder

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