What does warm mean to you? The word probably conjures up visions of tropical beaches and sunshine.

In this cold winter, I am certainly thinking about the warmth of my Queensland home – it’s a warm, late summer, there right now.

When we read the word ‘warm’ we immediately have a visual or sensory image of what that word means. But do we consider the letters ‘w’ ‘a’ ‘r’ and ‘m’? Probably not, unless we are a first-grader, or someone just learning the English language.

In Chinese, the word for warmth looks like this


It is composed of two ‘radicals’ – smaller symbols which added together make a written word or Chinese ‘character’.

暖 nuǎn ,   is made of




meaning love.

 Warmth is the sun’s love.

 The word  暖    is one of my favourite characters – it encapsulates the beauty and poetry of the Chinese written language.


Warmth is the sun’s love.

The calligraphy from the header image of 暖 is taken from a Chinese dictionary. the calligraphy is written by Hong Liang Ji, a famous Qing dynasty scholar.