The need to name part II

The second of two blog posts about naming ceremonies, the first is about Ewan’s naming ceremony ‘The need to name’.

The need to name part II

Tessa on the day of her naming ceremony, six months old


The second time around

On the birth of our second child, Tessa, I was very keen to hold another naming ceremony, to celebrate her arrival into the world. It was far easier the second time around as we were already familiar with naming ceremonies, having held a very successful one for Ewan three years previously. Life felt a lot busier with a three year old and a new-born, so I was grateful the planning didn’t take quite as long! Still, the week before the ceremony was dominated with preparations for the big day, with my mum helping look after Ewan as much as possible. I spent a lot of time carrying Tessa in the sling, as she fed or slept or watched what I was doing, which made the preparations more special and worthwhile. I was excited that we had enough time, resources and help to be able to welcome Tessa into the world in a similar way to how we had once welcomed her big brother. Continue reading The need to name part II

Donation giving to Tibetan Refugee Camps

This blog post to about travelling in Nepal with my children and the donation giving we were involved in when we were there. 

Tessa and Dolma

My one-year-old daughter squeals with happiness as she is thrown high up into the air by an equally delighted Tibetan woman, who bounces her ceaselessly into the bright blue sky and down into her open arms. Overwhelmed and humbled, I fight back tears as I observe this beautiful interaction between Tessa and Dolma. I have returned to Tashi Palkheil Tibetan Refugee Camp, sixteen years after I lived here as a gap year student, this time with a different purpose and with my young family. Continue reading Donation giving to Tibetan Refugee Camps

The need to name

This article was first published in JUNO magazine, edition 31, Spring 2013 

The need to name: holding a baby naming ceremony 

The need to name

On the birth of our son we were keen to celebrate his arrival in a formal but non-religious ceremony, shared amongst family and friends. My husband and I are spiritual people, who believe our son should be provided DSCF8378the opportunity to develop his own spiritual or secular ideas about life as he grows. A naming ceremony was therefore ideal. It enabled us to welcome Ewan into his community in a unique way whilst including all our guests, regardless of their own belief system. Having made this decision, we began planning the practicalities of the day and exploring its deeper meaning.

Communities seek to name and announce their newest members in a huge variety of ways. A child’s name is significant in many societies. The image of a parent holding its newborn to the sky, sun or moon and repeating his name transcends time, place and culture. It can be that simple, or it can be an elaborate affair, involving the whole community. In the UK it is traditional to hold a Christening, but as we become a more secular society naming ceremonies are growing in popularity. For our family it was a deep spiritual need to present Ewan to the earth, for the world to recognise him. Continue reading The need to name