Monday, February 4, 2008
Waterfalls of Falling Waters
(A-ma Ga-lo-s-guh in Cherokee)
My mother was reluctant to give us Indian names as children. There had been a lot of trauma in her growing up days, and so some things of her past she kept at a distance. I was born Christmas eve 1955, so they named me Carol Joy. I liked my name as a small child, loathed it as a teen, and as an adult, rejoice in my name, since I like to sing so much. I thought it was the closest I would ever get to having a Indian name.
Native people put great weight in names, and names often signify a great attribute or a significant event in the life of an individual within the larger community. So, Carol Joy (literally, song of joy) seemed o.k. with me. I still yearned to be connected with my people in naming, but I didn't want to bother my mother with it. Fortunately for me, my younger sister suggested to her that it was not too late to name us. So, at Christmas this year my mother carefully offered me the name of waterfalls, or falling waters - Amagalosguh. I live for water, the ocean, the sounds and senses of water falling and moving. I am never more alive than when I am next to, or better yet, in water. My mother will be 85 this week. It is a perfect name, and a perfect time for naming. God's time is always right, even though I may have a different sense of time. As I move through a time of discernment, this new and ancient name, encourages me to touch deeply into my soul and into God's creation within me. It reminds me of the source of life and power in my life.
May you be reminded today that you are named, as God's own child, by whatever name you are called. We each have different manifestations and gifts that are the mark of God's activity in our lives. We are rock, and falling water and God's hands and servants in this world. May we all rejoice in our identity which is firmly planted in the heart of God, this day and always.