Why Old Sow Coaching and Consulting?

oldsowroadSeveral years ago I lived near a winding country lane called Old Sow Road. The road passed an old farmhouse with a barn, now deserted. The road appealed to me:  it was twisty and hilly and had a lot of blind turn—a metaphor for my life at that moment. I also imagined how large and notorious that old sow must have been, how many piglets she must have nursed and cared for, to earn the road’s name. At that point in my life I was spending a lot of time taking care of my own four small, squealing children.

I thought, if I’m ever brave enough, I’ll name my business Old Sow.

Then a friend sent me this poem, by Galway Kinnell.

St. Francis and the Sow

The bud
stands for all things
even for those things that don’t flower
for everything flowers, from within, of self-blessing;
though sometimes it is necessary
to reteach a thing its loveliness,
to put a hand on the brow
of the flower,
and retell it in words and in touch,
it is lovely
until it flowers again, from within, of self-blessing;
as St. Francis
put his hand on the creased forehead
of the sow,
and told her in words and in touch,
blessings of earth on the sow, and the sow
began remembering all down her thick length,
from the earthen snout all the way
through the fodder and the slops to the spiritual curl of her tail,
from the hard spininess spiked out from the spine
down through the great broken heart
to the blue milken dreamliness spurting and shuddering
from the fourteen teats into the fourteen mouths sucking and blowing
beneath them
the long perfect loveliness of sow.

— Galway Kinnell

That did it. Now it is Old Sow for real, a feminist joke on myself and a name that captures the sentiments of the poem.

Sometimes it is necessary to reteach a thing its loveliness.

That feels like the story of my life, and is also about our hopes for our work at Old Sow Coaching and Consulting.