One of my dear ones, my friend Linda, shared a brilliant, ancient, Anglo-Saxon word with me recently…and I love it:
This new word? It literally means ‘breast treasure’ according to Mental Floss. One lyrical word used to describe the blending of heart, mind, and soul – the ethereal pixie dust which renders each of us unique and marvelous, while providing fuel and navigation as we journey through life.
After Linda shared, I did a little sleuthing and learned that many Old English words have been sidelined across the years, along with an abandonment of once common letters like þ (known as “thorn”), ƿ (“wynn”) and ð (eth or thæt). I had no idea!
Like many others, the power of Ancestry.com has driven me to explore family history and the discoveries are delightful, puzzling and revealing. Linda’s known for years that her mother was a first-generation immigrant to the U.S. from the UK – a war bride – and her affinity for Anglo history, coupled with travels to visit distant cousins? It adds heft to her bread crumb trail of ‘who am I?’
Me? I picked up chunks of intel about family lineage and roots in Ireland, England, Scotland, and Wales – thanks to nuggets strung together from recollections and oral history from my parents. But – so much of what I heard was so lightly and gingerly strung together, it was hard to make sense of it all…yet I couldn’t ignore the feelings (my own BREÓST-HORD?) that permeated. A push, a pull, a tug? I can’t quite describe it, but my body told me, from the first time I traveled through London, that the UK was ‘homeland’.
I’ve learned over the past few years that my blogging friend, Esoterica’s, recent reference to ‘ancestral knowledge’ is no joke:
“Lately, I’ve been thinking about ancestral memory, the idea that memories of our heritage live in our genes, in our blood, and in our bones, but it also lives in our minds, our cultures, our communities and in our unconscious, intuitive drives.”
Without “knowing” I’d navigated my life with deference toward my cloaked history – including the name we chose for our daughter (turns out it was a family surname…going back three hundred years) and my love of ‘old stone’ and Gaelic swirls? More than just artistic admiration.
Another example? Almost five years ago, before the ancestry.com confirmation data dump and a bit on a whim, my dear one Linda and I took the leap to get ‘sister’ tattoos. She’s not my blood relation, but in all the ways that matter, she surely is. We were on a work trip – presenting at a conference – and decided (okay, with substantial prodding on my part) 😊 that it was time to bond with a swirl of ink, tattoo-style:
Whether our matching tats are symbols of ‘new beginnings’ or ‘strength’? It didn’t matter but the significance of the Gaelic swirl, on each of our right wrists? A reminder that we both relish knowing where we came from…while treasuring the bond we’ve had for decades.
So I say…if that’s not an example of ‘heart, mind & soul’ in motion, in beautiful, BREÓST-HORD fashion, I don’t know what is.
Ready to take a break from reading and tune into more? 😊 Hop over to the brand-new Sharing the Heart of the Matter podcast with my friend Wynne Leon…all about ‘heart stories’…or BREÓST-HORD! ❤
Smiles and hugs,