My sister was named for her grandmothers: Kathryn Anne came from grandma Kate Clark and grandma Anna Burrell. My brothers each had a string of names, Gerald Roy, Neal and John Douglas Lorne. They were named for my parents’ brothers and best friends. My name was chosen romantically.
This is the story that I would ask to have retold again and again. I was born in a small hospital, sixty miles away from our village. My dad couldn’t be present for my birth due to Saskatchewan snow storms and a case of the mumps (both he and my sister had the mumps.) Because dad couldn’t be present, he sent special flowers. The story I was told and retold was that in the flowers dad sent there was a sprig of heather and the flowers came at dawn. Hence I was named Heather Dawn. I loved that story. I loved my name.
I had never seen heather but I had seen pictures. It was really unimpressive. In those days Heather was an unusual name and felt quite exotic to a child growing up in the prairies.
Now the name Heather is much more common, but any Heathers I know, like their names! I still like mine but gradually did not treasure its origin as I had once. Later I traveled to Scotland and found out that heather was actually a weed, growing wild all over the heavenly place. It was usually quite scruffy. I felt I had an okay name but it wasn’t special.
Today I had a shift in perspective. Our administrator had a new plant on her desk, given to her by her daughter for Mother’s Day. It is unusual. It is exquisite. It is exotic. It is heather.
|Me and My Namesake|
As soon as I heard that it was heather, I turned to it and affirmed :
“How beautiful you are! How lovely! You are unique and exquisite. The individual blossoms look like tiny fairy trumpets!You are complex and forever unfolding. Your colors are bold and pleasing and yet the shape is quite soft. You are not at all what I thought you were. Please forgive me for judging you so harshly.”
Wow! Then it hit me. The inner me needed to hear those words about myself. I needed to be reminded to forgive myself for judging and not measuring up to my self-imposed expectations. I needed to go back to the wisdom of my inner child, the one who loved romance and felt quite special.