I wrote about this phenomenon when I experienced it in Fernie. How significant it was when I recognized it: The saying of my name by a new person that has no agenda other than a willingness to spend some time with me.
Maria reached out and offered to take me on a ‘local’s’ hike. At some point near the top she said my name. ‘Sam’ Perhaps if you’ve never moved to a place that has little social connection, or anchors of an instant community (work, kids in school, family, etc), or come to a profound life experience that changes your close personal dynamics (divorce perhaps) this may seem insignificant.
I’ve often called Fernie a place of orphans. I think Squamish is a bit like that. Transience has its own pitfalls to be sure, but the desire to reach out and build community creates an environment that offers the experience of hearing your own name in a new and exciting way.
Today was my Naming Day. I didn’t know I was quietly waiting for it – but my heart certainly smiled in recognition of the name that carries it’s home.
There is a practice I do (Fr Joe calls it a ‘dis-possession’ prayer)
It’s not my name that I say goodby to, rather the ties that my ego binds to it. And that’s what makes hearing my name in this way so significant. It was untethered and recognized me without labels.