Thursday, April 7, 2011


“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet.”
Romeo and Juliet (II, ii, 1-2)

I have been thinking about names quite a bit of late.  You see, on July 16th I will ever after be called “Victoria Perry”.  Perhaps it sounds a bit dramatic, but I have been “Victoria Wade” my entire life.  I always liked the sound of my name, and the way the “W” flowed from my pen when signing an official document.  I thought it sounded so regal, and I could not imagine wanting to change it.  I am the historian in the family, after all, and was always interested in our genealogy.  By taking another’s name, I am in effect abandoning my heritage.  For anyone, but my dear Clint, I could not imagine doing so.

Well, I am a researcher, so I naturally desired to see what I could find in the wonderful world of the internet.  Google “Perry” and you will find all sorts of ponderings on its origin and meaning.  Here is a sampling:
Welsh shortening of “ap Herry” or “son of Harry or Henry”.
Middle English “perrie” denoting a dweller by the pear-tree.
Norman French “perrieur” referring to a quarryman.
Latin from the word “peregrine” meaning “wanderer/ traveler” or “foreigner/ stranger”.

Now I think the Welsh hypothesis seems the most likely, as it would fall into line with the “Anderson”, “Swanson”, and “Johnson” pattern, although, I suppose there are a “Cook”, “Baker”, and “Weaver” among us today, if in name only.  However, I find the Latin proposition is perhaps the most intriguing.  What does it mean to be defined as a “wanderer or traveler”, a “foreigner or stranger”?  The first translation seems to imply movement, either haphazardly or in a particular direction.  The latter focuses more on the “otherness”.

I am reminded of Hebrews 11:13-16:
“These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth…But now they desire a better country, that is an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city.”

Much of life seems to be composed of wandering.  There is so much uncertainty in our future, so much to look forward to its fruition, but this leads to some concern and fear in the short-term.  Suffice it to say that waiting is never easy.  Unfortunately, this unknown does not appear to have an end after the wedding.  Instead, I am coming to learn that waiting and the unknown are a part of life.  I always seem to be waiting for something or other--waiting for the right guy to come along, waiting for my car to be fixed, waiting for the debt to be paid off, waiting for…Once I reach resolution on one front, I discover uncertainty encroaching from the rear.  Nevertheless, I am seeking to find rest and contentment amidst the grey, to find joy each day in the journey. 

What a tragedy it would be to jump in the car to travel across the country to move to the East Coast, for example, and fail to recognize the beautiful landscape, blindly pressing forward, complaining about the distance still to go, and simply praying that the car will not breakdown along the way!  What a waste!  Instead, I seek to notice the little beauties around me, from the lovely arranging of strawberry slices on my salad to the sweet good night text from my fiancĂ©.

It is my hope to capture some of that beauty in this humble blog, to contemplate the truth, and to seek to do good.  Will you join me on the journey? 

Reflection - In what way, large or small, have you observed beauty in your life recently?