Iris

May 2nd, 2007

Six minutes old

Just for the record, why we chose the names we did for our darling little daughter.

Iris, like my name, is of Greek origin. In Greek mythology she is the goddess of the rainbow, and this seems just right for a half-Mauritian, half-Australian baby. Mauritius and rainbows go together. When we were in Mauritius in winter 2003, it was the season of many rainbows. In my recent reading on the early history of Mauritius, I learned that early writers on Mauritius focused on either the negative (the island was overrun by rats introduced by the Dutch) or the positive – the magnificent and frequent rainbows the climate produces on the island. So, we think Iris is very appropriate for our little girl.

Angela was my maternal grandmother’s second name (Frances Angela Dunn, nee McCabe) and what she was known by (Ange). It is also the name of my oldest friend, Angela Savage.

Excerpt from Nicolas Pike, Sub-tropical Rambles in the Land of Aphanapteryx: Personal Experiences, Adventures, Wanderings in and around the Island of Mauritius (1873), p.183 – one of my favourite books on Mauritius:

…It seems to be my fate to encounter storms on mountain sides. Before we were half rested, a large black cloud, and the deep roll of thunder which echoed from peak to peak, warned us of an approaching storm, and we reluctantly began our descent.

This was one of my first mountain experiences in Mauritius, and I was vexed to have to quit such a grand view so quickly. It was a new view of the city to me with all its surroundings: the harbour and its forest of masts, the wreaths of foam marking the coral reefs; the forts; and the broad expanse of the Indian Ocean, all glittering in the brilliant tropical sunshine – for there was no storm down below. We began our descent about eleven o’clock, and it required more care than we had any idea of. We hurried down to the shelter of the stunted trees, but not before we had all got well drenched did we reach it. Soon, however, it passed away, and a rainbow was the result of the sun breaking from the passing clouds. As the glorious arch spanned the heavens, it awakened in my soul thoughts of confidence, and trust and love, as I gazed on its brilliant hues – symbols of a brighter reality of Hope and Heaven.