Yesterday was our naming ceremony – nimenanto- for our little raven-haired boy:
Sumu Ananda Kamau Räisänen
In a room slightly too small for the number of people overflowing out from it, quickly getting a touch too warm from the proximity of bodies gently squished next to each other, dear Vijayaji of the Yoga Gurukula of Pandeshwar, Karnataka, conducted a Vedic blessing ceremony for the beautiful and pure soul who’s arrived, not even three weeks ago.
That he may have his 100 years of life to eat his karma and navigate his destiny.
Incidentally, the day started out very badly for me. My first real taste of sleep-deprived burn out from trying to reshuffle family life and dynamics with a toddler and a newborn infant. The kind of burn-out where you are too tired and on edge to sleep, you know? To wit, I had written a short speech on the way to the ceremony and promptly lost it upon arrival. So, I had to scribble a nutshell version of what I could remember on a scrap of an old bill, explaining the significance of the names we chose…his first name, Sumu, in particular. It went something to this effect:
Sumu is a Finnish nature word for mist or fog. We had thought to give it to Sesam, but when he was born, he came out looking like such the little sesame seed that this nickname we had called him during my pregnancy, had asserted itself on his round little identity. Then when the second boy arrived and we tried Sumu on for size, out of all the other contending names, this one had nestled itself into our hearts and wouldn’t let up.
Now, I’m not sure about you, but when I think of fog or mist, it doesn’t exactly conjure up an atmosphere that is outwardly uplifting at first glance. However, we find that the mystery and existence of precious, hidden things which don’t easily and entirely reveal themselves to you at first to be a powerful metaphor for our yoga lives we are attempting to lead. We often encounter much fog and mist as we navigate along the spiritual path and from my experience, there is a great deal of clarity to be accessed within the cloak of haze, made that much more uplifting and rewarding, once the mist lifts.
We tend to valorize light and such beacons and symbols of optimism and positivity, as we should. And yet, I am drawn towards the spiritual gifts to be found when one has to work to gain the trust of the darker, more subtle, shape-shifting and shadow side of Light.
And I’ve noticed that Finland and the country’s people often wait in misty reticence, only to slowly reveal an incredible amount of warmth and to establish true, deep and genuine bonds, for those willing to allow the Northern people some time to understand their mysterious ways.
To take a deeper look, indeed even to take a second look. To remain gently alert in the stillness…and to wait. Quietly. For through and within the mist, the treasure of a kind, generous and utterly loyal people are waiting to share themselves with you.
I’m so grateful to all our friends and family for coming together and creating this joyous occasion with us. Which certainly breathed new life into me and cleared the mist I had treacherously been stumbling through just hours before. Truly, I can say that I am richly blessed in the most valuable “currency” there is: all the people I’ve gotten to know and the relationships we’ve formed together. Here in this Suomen Maa.
P.S Ananda is the Sanskrit word for the joy, happiness, bliss that this little soul brings us and Kamau is a Kikuyu name. Kamau was my father’s brother and it follows to name new family members after other family members, living or deceased. In this way, the new addition to the group will have his or her place within the lineage and the long line of ancestral connections. The Kikuyu parampara.