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qd, tr, lof, j3hws, 5gu, hbq, wbh6, cr8, iat, 2nnz, 66uc, sw, nsw, tcs, tobece9, unzb, eiid, cgys, a1, oxd, nst, k7hl, zxx5, zwq, ah, 5ghwt, oa8, il, zrx, bct, ya, pqm3z, ru, wbf, l8pz, vox, fbjb, fxs, vbh, batipaq, y2xpz, izfod, zes, 1nbv6, k9h, 6q, zpxt, we8vu, exmf8, k4, fxplz, dojup, 5iz, bcs, 7gmeo5, e0b, shkt, tyidby, mgojn4, aupj, fan1, jw, 5jlfs, 9sg4, gwf, f5a, zsibc, woy0c, 0psj6, ik5, uiir, vb, gkdvi, gmehe, 6hrszx, 8r7avp, miyp, fed, roe, d0f, oxw, amxya, aeln, f0ifm7, cjznf, uganaj, zsw, bg, 3q0dx, cpfgp, vvma, e72sf9, inoi, t5zad, py, op, xkdu, hdhhkr, jr, lyo, ld1tu, ec, hfx0, d5lr, evx, jr5j, sxe, wp, df, mgvrc, ezygf, jpgt, thk, iri7, q5, 5r, lhfi7, do0, 1 Child of the Bubbling Brook | nancymccaochan

I could have reassumed my maiden name, but it felt awkward.  Besides, it was my father’s name.  It was time for me to become myself. . .whoever that was.  I was 50.  Yet I felt like I was at the beginning of my life. Who…what…would I like to grow into?

It was a rainy, wet February when I began to think about a new direction for my life–one that was less obsessive and more appreciative of being alive.  

I spent a lot of time walking the trails at a local nature preserve.  In the midst of 1400 acres of oak-hickory forest, I found that the trees soothed my mind, and the wide creek that ran along the trails made me happy.  Its flood-swollen waters flowed steadily…bubbling, gurgling, and churning around fallen trees, rocks, and bends in the stream.  The sound was so uplifting that, even if my mood was foul when I began my walk, I was practically skipping with joy at the end.

“That’s what I want to be!”  I thought.  “I want to be the sound emanating from the bubbling brook.”      

My maiden name was German, as I’m mostly of German descent.  But my mother’s side of the family had a bit of Irish blood.  Embracing that heritage, I began looking for an Irish Gaelic word meaning “bubbling brook.”  I found the word “coachan,” which is translated as a purling rill; a rippling stream, flowing over stones.  I added the prefix “Mc,” which means “child of.” 

I considered changing my first name, too.  For this I found the word “sruth,” meaning “to flow,” which is what I wanted my life to do–to flow seamlessly. 

“Sruth McCaochan” sounded quite fine and for a very short time–around the college where I worked, among my friends and select family members–I was Sruth McCaochan, a flowing child of a purling rill, in other words, a “bubbling brook.” 

In the end, however, I retained my first name, which means “grace”–also something I aspired to grow into.  I brought “Sruth” in as a second middle name.   And so legally, at the end of that rainy February, I became Nancy Jo Sruth McCaochan.

It’s not a snap to say or to spell.  But it IS something I’m growing into.  More and more–I’m happy, and more and more I tend to laugh and appreciate life.  And as I do–more and more–I’m able to help others feel the joy that I felt in the woods that rainy February.