I mentioned earlier that I met a young woman named April, and in writing, also referred to a woman I met named Willow. I saw Willow today. I see her on occasion because she works in the community. When I first noticed her name-tag, oh say, three years ago, I thought, “how unique!” I notice names, and inevitably pry into why a person got his or her name, but didn’t ask Willow the first time I met her, nor the second, nor the third. The name took time to settle into my psyche, and finally, today, when I saw her, I wanted to know the story behind her name, so I asked, “Why is your name ‘Willow?’
This is what she said: “My parents were hippie types who lived in the Woodstock Valley. Tree huggers that lived off of the land, a custom my dad still practices today, in the same place. They did everything the natural way, when I was growing up; kept a large garden, split their own wood, and canned all the vegetables.” Willow continued; “When I was born my parents deferred to my grandmother for help in naming me. Grandma was an Algonquin Indian born on a reservation, not full blooded herself, but married a full-blooded. (Willow has blond hair and blue eyes so the story of the Native American background was a bit surprising.) When I was born grandmother said, ‘you shall name her “Willow” after the beautiful willow trees whose branches reach for water in the stream, and so “Willow” I was named. Along came my other sisters, and they were also named with respect for Mother Nature. One is “Rainy,” and other “Dawn.””
And so the story goes. It’s almost a fairy tale. I loved the story. I hope you did too.
By Tiffany Creek