“What’s In a Name?”

“Whats in a name”?

In Shakespeare’s famous (and slightly overrated) Romeo & Juliet​, Juliet posed this question to someone (Romeo, God, etc., ? ) in response to their forbidden love and since then the line has become a favorite amongst angst ridden teenagers and newspaper writers. When you think about it, a name is a pretty cool thing. There are over 7 billion people in the world and yet a handful of letters instantly distinguishes us from just about everyone else. With this in mind, our family set about trying to come up with a name for our fledgling grass-fed beef idea. “Bold Branch Beef” my dad shouted out one random evening while we were mindlessly watching T.V. And just like that the self-proclaimed “least creative person on Earth” produced a stroke of naming brilliance.

Poets use words like meander to artfully describe the slow but ever present progress a creek makes that in turn leads to a river and eventually adds its contents to the sea. Some would say life and people are like spring-fed creeks. Life has a way of meandering, things seemingly mundane but separated by time and years, we see just how meaningful even the most mundane day can be. People are like creeks too in that the world is, just like the sea, a summation of the entire human condition. What does grass-fed beef have to do with the entire span of human consciousness? Good question, I’ll get back to you on that one.

Bold Branch is a spring-fed creek that is at the center of our farm. Bold Branch doesn’t so much meander as it starts and stops. A deep run beneath an overhanging ledge halted suddenly by a rock or a deep pool blocked by a big log. Judging by the starts and stops in my own life, maybe the creek was a rather adapt metaphor for life. The battle is interpreted after the outcome is known, and just like that I’m reading a lot of meanings into the name that certainly weren’t there when we came up with it. Reminds me a lot of every high school English paper I ever wrote. Its a good thing F. Scott Fitzgerald never lived to see The Great Gatsby reach the heights of literature because he would probably have been appalled by my tenth grade attempt to read deep meaning into every syllable. I digress.

I love the name Bold Branch. The alliteration rolls off the tongue, it reminds me of my childhood, my dad and I used to dig for worms on its banks then we would fish, and I would grow bored and throw rocks into the water, scaring off any fish that may have lived there (never have been the sharpest stick in the shed). It was the place my brother and I would play, where the dogs would disappear to on a hot summer day, and where the cows congregate for a drink of water. As with all names, Bold Branch means something different to everyone, and maybe that answers Juliet’s question.

Breck Light
​October 15th, 2013