What’s in a Name?

“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” ~William Shakespeare

A little more than a year-and-a-half ago I wrote a name on a piece of scrap paper. In the throes of a heartache that surprised me, but shouldn’t have, it came to me like an unexpected gift. At first, it sat on my desk glaring at me as if to say, “Here I am, let’s get on with it.” “Get on with what?” I would wonder. Finally I slipped the polka-dotted bit of paper into my leather-bound quote book for safe keeping (and to quiet it down). Lately I’d been pulling it out, fingering it, and trying to figure out a way to see how I could try it on for size. “Maybe a character in a novel I’d like to write someday”, I thought wistfully. “Who are you and why are you here?” I mused.

Then, one of the most remarkable people I think I’ve ever met encouraged me to write more of my own stuff and put it out there; to write a blog. Of course, naturally, why didn’t I think of that…and so dear readers I’d like you to meet my nom de plume:


Although she was an uninvited guest, the name Sahbinah (or Sabine) has intrigued me ever since I saw the movie “The Unbearable Lightness of Being”. Then I discovered this interpretation of the moniker:

In ancient Egyptian “Zah” or “Sah” means sun or “radiating light”. In Ancient Hebrew, Binah means “understanding”. In essence, the name means “radiating the light of understanding” or Enlightenment.

Ever the knowledge junkie I am in hot pursuit of wisdom fueled by a growth mindset.

“The real meaning of enlightenment is to gaze with undimmed eyes on all darkness.”~Nikos Kazantzakis


Pleasanton Ridge, Pleasanton, CA

Wild Violet

During the period of healing my heart, I decided a total transformation of my personal space was required. I painted my room purple. Not any purple mind you, “Shy Violet”, which is not shy at all but sassy and bold (a bit like me). Plus, violets are one of my favorite flowers. Each spring my thinking spot at my favorite hiking destination is blanketed with the sweetest little wild violets.“Forgiveness is the fragrance that the violet sheds on the heel that has crushed it.”~Mark Twain


Flynn is Lynn with an Irish accent. I was adopted when I was three months old. The first name that was given to me was “Lynn” (which means pretty and also refers to a lake or body of water), but my parents gave me a new first name. Lynn became my middle name. This is a Celtic or Gaelic blending in honor of my Dad’s Irish heritage and his time spent in the Navy’s Underwater Demolition Team (Seals).

“Every human being has hundreds of separate people living under his skin. The talent of a writer is his ability to give them their separate names, identities, personalities and have them relate to other characters living with him.” ~Mel Brooks 

Sahbinah Violet Flynn is the new vessel on which I will sail into this writing adventure. Thank you for joining me.


Please Note: All images and written pieces are the original works of Sahbinah Violet Flynn, unless otherwise noted. Please do not use without permission and link back to me.


Lake Chabot

“The world is too much with us; late and soon, getting and spending we lay waste our powers; little we see in Nature that is ours; we have given our hearts away, a sordid boon.”

~William Wordsworth

In 2010 I embarked on a hiking mission fueled by my desire to hike the Camino de Santiago in Spain (750km over a 14 day period). The regional park district in my area (East Bay Regional Park District) was coordinating with Kaiser Permanente to encourage area residents to get fit by hosting “Fitness to Trails Challenge”. Each participant was to hike and log a marathon’s worth of hiking throughout the park district’s lands (26 miles, not all at once unless by choice). A long time hiker, this was right up my alley and timely preparation for reaching my Camino goal.

I took the opportunity to visit some parks I hadn’t ventured into. Lake Chabot, a stone’s throw from my home, offered a 13-mile hike around a beautiful lake with a terrain that changed from verdant to almost desert-like along a somewhat moderate trail with peaks and valleys for an interesting challenge.

Read my thoughts about a day at the Lake:

…As I crested a rise in the trail, a break in the trees revealed a bird’s eye view of a lone fisherman, shrouded in tule fog, casting his line from his boat (reminded me of my dad). Soon, I crossed a long, narrow, wooden footbridge that traversed a gorge and led me to a steep ascent (harkening back to a mountain biking trek I took along the Cuale River in Mexico). The sun began to climb high in the sky and I took a rest on a stone wall next to a waterfall and brook. Sunlight was filtering through the massive ferns, giant rhododendrons and towering eucalyptus trees creating otherworldly shapes on the trail. Suddenly it caught my eye as it lay up ahead; a dead mole. I had never seen one before alive or dead. It was interesting the way it simply appeared to be sleeping; a perfect still life…

“When he feels the wind blowing through him on a high peak or sleeps under a closely matte white bark pine in an exposed basin, he is apt to find his relationship to the Universe.”

~Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas