All photos today courtesy of Nancy's gardens

All photos today courtesy of Nancy's gardens

People wonder:  “Who is Centria?” 

“Why are you calling yourself Centria?”

“Why aren’t you calling yourself Kathy in your blog?”

Sigh… It’s time to tell the whole story.  The truth and nothing but the truth.  (Except the truth is always a strange thing.  It kind of shifts shape in our memory, doesn’t it?  You think you’re telling the truth, but what you’re often telling is simply the memory of a memory of a memory, which may or may not resemble the actual happening.)

Why is the author of this blog calling herself a strange name like “Centria”?

Black Eyed Susan, methinks

Black Eyed Susan, methinks

It goes back at least ten years ago, to my wild and crazy youth.  (ha, ha, a story already!)  It wasn’t my youth and I wasn’t that wild and crazy.  Umm, was I?

I was camping out in Montana with a tent beneath the stars in a meadow filled with women on a spiritual quest.  We were given an assignment:  choose a name to represent the qualities we were attempting to bring into our lives in the next year.  Everyone was happily getting into the assignment and picking names which symbolized their deepest desires and yearnings. 

Except I was being stubborn again.  Refusing to come up with a name off the top of my head.  Instead, I decided, a name would have to drop out of the Montana skies and announce itself.  The Spirit of the Land or Sky or whatever would have to choose my name.  (Told you it was a wild and crazy youth.)

The trip happened to coincide with my birthday and I had a strange dream in which some dream-character of a voice announced very clearly:  “Your name is Centria.”

When I woke up, almost gasping at the strange synchronicity, I remember thinking:  “That had better not be the name of a car!”

So Centria it was for that retreat.  Everyone wanted to know what it meant, but I could only mumble something like perhaps being centered, the new century, the female version of the trinity.  Everyone was invited to guess as I had no idea.

Friends from that Montana visit would send cards and packages to the house for years after addressed to “Centria.”  The kids would look askance at the letters and at least one child was known to inquire, “Is that suppose to be YOU, Mom?”

Well, Yes.

The inner world of a hibiscus

The inner world of a hibiscus

Years later (when the Centria era was almost, almost, forgotten) I discovered an on-line world of blogging.  And you needed a name to describe you.  So what name popped up from the recesses of the brain?  Of course…Centria.  She could be resurrected.

Because, of course, at that time, I had heard horror stories about writing your full name in Internet Print.  You weren’t suppose to tell your name.  People could track you down and…well, it wasn’t safe.  So we were told.  (And maybe that is still the case.  I don’t know.  But I see lots of people sharing their full names and contact information on blogs everywhere.  And on Facebook my name now stands out in black and white to 100 friends, three quarters of whom I’ve never met.)  The fear of those early days has abated.

Yet the name Centria remains.  When it came time to write this wordpress blog for 365 days of outdoor commitment it seemed more natural than breathing to type in “Centria”.  The name from that dream, all those years ago, before the new century birthed itself. 

So now you have the full story.  You can call me Centria or you can call me Kathy.  (Or Mom, or daughter, to some of you!)  Or “Hey, You!”  Or maybe even the name some of the Ojibway (Anishnabe) around here call me.  But that’s another story.  And it’s just as strange as this one. 

P.S.  Looks like it’s Day 243 of the commitment. Kathy or Centria spent lots of time in the garden, some time with her mother-in-law on the phone while outside and sitting on the deck with Barry in the sprinkles before dinner.