In the Name of Love

And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want. Everything else is secondary.   Steve Jobs

And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want. Everything else is secondary.

Steve Jobs

Our beautiful son arrived on the Winter Solstice, sometimes also described as The Return of The Light. To me, this felt like such an apt description of 21 December, given the darkness I’d experienced during the previous week; a week in which I unexpectedly lost one of the people closest to me in the world. Never had I expected the portals of death and birth to meet one another so closely. Perhaps I will share more on this another day. For now it is too raw. So instead I’ll share a story about my son’s name.

It took me a long time to choose a name for him. As soon as I knew we were having a boy, one almost instantly popped into my head. I suggested it to my husband, and he liked it too. But then my doubts arose: was it over-used, interesting enough? And surely you shouldn’t just go for the first name you come up with?

So my search began. I came up with names that represented Celtic sun gods, fortified Anglo Saxon Hills, Polish patron saints and what have you. Each time I went back to my husband with my findings, he said, ‘I’m not so keen on that,’ or, ‘What’s wrong with our original name?’ There was nothing wrong with it. In fact, each time I heard it, it just felt right. But my head was busy searching for something more exciting, more ‘poetic’ in its meaning.

A couple of months ago, I was in Berlin for a few days. It was there I finally realised we’d had our name all along. I arrived in the city on a beautiful Sunday afternoon, and got off the bus in Mitte, the old city centre. The first building that caught my eye was the 1960s TV Tower, its elegant concrete stalk and stainless steel dome soaring towards a perfect blue October sky. It is a building that always makes my heart do a little lurch.

I have a long-standing love affair with Berlin. I lived there for a year or so in the 90s, and it was where I first fell in love. ‘Meet me under the Alexanderplatz tower at 11 on Sunday,’ said the man who became my first love. ‘I’ll take you for breakfast and show you round East Berlin.’ That man is of course now long gone. But I will always associate that city, and in particular that building, with those first and potent flashes of love.

On my many subsequent visits back to Berlin, it often seemed as if the TV tower was following me around: I would constantly catch glimpses of it, often from unexpected places. I have photographed it endless times, from different angles an in different lights. It feels very close to my heart, almost like my talisman.

And when I saw it again on that Sunday afternoon, I just knew, from a place deep inside, we’d had our name. all along

It is so easy for us to get caught up in our heads, to get trapped by what we think we ought to do or to come up with solutions because they sound good, but don’t actually feel that great to the unique being that is us. And to forget that on a deeper and more visceral level we so often do already just know.

Can we learn to listen to, and to have the courage to trust in that wisdom and intuition that already resides within us? If I’m honest, none of those other names I came up with felt quite right, even though some of them might have sounded cooler or more exotic!

So, here he is. Alexander Isambard Hives, born on 21/12 at 14.59 at 4.13kg and 57cm. He is busy eating and sleeping, as we adjust to our new lives with him.

I will continue to write these letters, as I love doing them. They may be a little less frequent, though, depending on how my new world unfolds for me. I’ve finally joined Instagram, and will post more regular snippets there, so if you’d like to connect, please do so here!

In the meantime, I wish you and your loved ones all the very best for 2019.