It’s not a very big lake. Truth to be told, it’s not a lake at all. It’s a pond. But it smells like a lake. It has fish and frogs, crayfish and occasional ducks and heron. It attracts turkey and deer for visits, and it calms us like a lake when gentle breezes push its tranquil waters to lap against the dock and shore.
It’s our family’s own personal, private pond lake, Lac du Nibiinaabe, and it’s part of our world.
Naming the things that make up our world is extensive. We have a habit of naming most everything. Our cars, the rooms in our house, the trees and the gardens on our six acres, they all have names.
I’ve been thinking about how we humans come up with names for our world, and what different people throughout history have called our planet.
Earth, for instance, is from Germanic roots, meaning “dry ground” or “soil,” and anciently seems to have been considered a synonym for Middangeard (i.e., Midgard) or “Middle Earth” or the “Middle World,” which is what ancient Norse people called our world. In this example, the world is named after what it is made up of, or the part that we can live on, anyway. It has become the predominant name for our planet simply because English has become some predominant.
The word “World” is from other Germanic roots, and means “Age of Man,” and names our world after ourselves since we consider ourselves the principal actors in it.