the indescribable reunion of two friends, or the love between them that can never quite be framed. the way your heart sings when you see someone again, who you love dearly but have long missed. although the song of one's heart is cliché, retrouvailles cannot be described otherwise - the singing of a single note, beating in your blood, the feeling that was there all along. the longing, missing, breaking for someone that is at last healed.
retrouvailles. as a french speaker, this word makes sense to me but is clumsy in english - clumsy, but somehow perfectly descriptive. sufficient. retrouvailles. a hug where a hug is breaking the law. a smile that takes over your whole face and swallows you up and smashes the metal mask you had fused, all in the exquisite missing. always of someone, never of something - the craving for their laugh and their puzzle-piece perfection.
retrouvailles. if picked apart, if pored over, this word is not quite lost in translation -
not lost at all, perhaps simply indescribable in french and in english.
but it is my favourite french word, for the closest english translation i can give you -