A Place Called Avalon

I’m not sure how or when it began, but chances are if a home is located on the coast it has a name.  Simply calling a dwelling “the house” will not do.  A coastal home must be given a proper, clever moniker for which it will be referred forever more.  And I must admit, I absolutely love this tradition!

Through the years we’ve seen many aptly named beach homes:  Barefoot Bungalow.  Castaway.  The Flip Flop House.  Paradise Found.  Sea Shanty.  Shore Thing.  Summer Shack.  These names immediately evoke the feeling of turning off the electronics, kicking off your shoes, and digging your toes deep into the cool sand.  And let’s face it, there’s just something fun about staying in a Mermaid Manor or a Calypso Cottage!

And so, when we decided to finally take the plunge and build a home on the coast, we knew we had to give it a great name.  Like expectant parents, we began creating a list of possible candidates before the ink was even dry on the blueprint.  But coming up with the perfect name proved more difficult than we could have ever imagined.  We like to consider ourselves creative types.  We even designed our house (minus the major engineering of course).  But naming it?  That was an altogether different story.

Although we are moving coastal, we aren’t exactly going to be located beachfront.  A motorized vehicle will be necessary to efficiently get feet in sand.  Catchy seafaring names that include words like barnacle, pirate, or rumrunner just did not seem to fit us, our location, or the feel of our future home.  We had to take a step back, forget being catchy or clever, and just think about why we are moving and what this home means to us.   Several names made the final cut.

Carolina Dreamin’ – because we are still in a pinch-me-I-must-be-dreaming state over the fact that we are finally doing this.  And, the fact that we’re moving to South Carolina.

Bliss – because that is how we feel when we are there.

Sandy Paws – because that will be the permanent condition of our pups’ fuzzy feet.

Beyond The Sea – because… well, like I said we won’t exactly be beachfront.  And I also like the song.

Two If By Sea – because my husband and I are on this adventure together, and with him by my side all things are possible.

In the end, we chose a name that is perhaps unconventional.  A name that may not exactly evoke a feeling of salt air and palm trees — but does it really have to?  I will breathe salt air every day.  I will hear palm fronds rustling in the breeze right from my porch.  Instead we opted for a name that describes what we hope to find in this new place.  A name that is deeply rooted in legend; its stories forged over thousands of years.  Tales of an earthly paradise.  A mystical place of healing and comfort.  A sanctuary of calm and peace.  An Eden.  A place called Avalon.  I think we chose well… (and I made it official by writing it on a stud in the entry of our home).

“But now farewell.  I am going a long way
With these thou seëst—if indeed I go
(For all my mind is clouded with a doubt)–
To the island-valley of Avilion;
Where falls not hail, or rain, or any snow,
Nor ever wind blows loudly; but it lies
Deep-meadow’d, happy, fair with orchard lawns
And bowery hollows crown’d with summer sea,
Where I will heal me of my grievous wound.”

from Idylls of the King – Alfred, Lord Tennyson