I have been visiting with our Njord over the last few days. We have been meeting both at the gym to work up a good sweat while in deep conversation and in the kitchen for long talks over steaming cups of black rose tea. What have we been talking about? Wonder.


It all started when I asked Njord to tell me about the time when the Aesir went to the Great World Tree (whose roots’ shelter the hearth-hall of the Nornir and the Three Wells; Urðarbrunnr, Mímisbrunnr and Hvergelmir) to seek guidance from the Nornir after hearing the troubled news that Muninn and Huginn brought home to Odin. Yesterday afternoon on my tea break, I asked Njord, “Would you please tell me what you know about this tale? It seems to be about much more than rides on the surface of current conversations.”


“Where is your wonder rooted?” Njord asked me. “Is your wonder rooted in the flesh and blood, the stone and bone, the root and branch, the river and rain, the sun and moon, the living wonder of it all? Or are your roots of wonder deeply entwined with and dependent on the extraordinary?


This conversation, debate, discussion, dialogue has been going on for millennia in the human and other realms. Remember the great blowup between the devotees of Dionysus and Apollo? That ancient squabble seems to still be going on, reemerging with a renewed intensity and viciousness.”


Njord inhaled the steam arising off of his tea and looked into that place that his eyes can only see. He took a drink and looked me straight in the eye. “Where is your wonder rooted, Donald?”


I sat and felt for my roots of wonder. “In the everyday wonders of my everyday life.”


“Yes, you are born of the Blood, Bones and Dreams of the Vanic Folk. You have always noticed the wonder in all that surrounds you. Wonder infuses you with each breath you take, each thought you think, each song you sing, each dinner you serve. You know no difference between the ordinary and the extraordinary. All of your days and nights are filled with wonder. Dionysus finds you charming.


Others, for instance Odin and some of his hearth-kin, once thought that wonder was only for the extraordinary. Wonder was a thing of the spirit, the soul, the mysteries that only could be sensed when in an altered state. They lived for the astounding, the stunning, the incredible, the momentous, the rare, the out of the ordinary. They had no understanding (well maybe they had just a hint) that the truly extraordinary, the heart of wonder, the magnificence of life, was hidden in plain sight. They thought of themselves as empty vessels of clay (and other materials) waiting to be filled with the wonder, the blessing, the spirit which would then infuse them with ecstasy and the extraordinary. They thought that they had to preform extraordinary acts to achieve extraordinary understandings (such as hang on a tree, give an eye, etc.). Many in Midgard still hold to this worldview.


Donald, you nyd to be fuckin’ patient. Not everyone dwelling in Midgard is born into the same home.”


We sat quietly drinking our tea.


I looked about my own kitchen and I was overwhelmed by wonder.


This morning while walking my two miles at the gym I was joined again by Njord.


“Donald, remember what Saga asked you? Why do you think I took myself and my children to be peace-hostages of the Aesir? Do you think it was because I was ‘extraordinarily’ brave? Do you think that I had ‘faith’? No, I was determined and committed to bringing peace back to the realms. It was time for a new vision to emerge and to lead us beyond the despair and destruction.


You are living in similar times. Human choices and addictions to apocalyptic visions have twisted the world’s wyrd in such a way that there is a very high probability that humans may be simply swept away. The ordinary is seen as profane. Only the extraordinary is seen to hold excitement and significant meaning.”


We went another lap listening to ancestral yoiks of the delights of snow and ice calling a wet winter to a dry dry land.


“I am tired. I am afraid. Will we die waiting for the extraordinary?”


“Oh for fuck sake, Donald. You know this. The ordinary majesty of the everyday will always be a part of this and every other realm. If humans die out, such majesty will still survive and thrive. If humans wake up to the stunning wonder that surrounds them every instant of every second of their lives, so much the better.


Odin and his kin have made peace with flesh and bone. They have fallen in love with the wonder of life, the living blood and running sap. They have learned to charm the runes with sweet treats and lusty glances. They have learned to sing the songs of the everyday sacred lives of the living. They now fearlessly see with open hearts and clear eyes. They are not the only ones to become more than mere vessels waiting to be filled with the extraordinary.


Donald, there is an ever increasing potentiality that you human folk will continue to wake up, embracing the notion that the purpose of life is life. It seems that more and more of the human people’s eyes are seeing far beyond the standard andropocentic visions of their schooling.


It is good to remember what Odin said,


“Cattle die, kindred die,

Every man is mortal.

But the good name will never fade

Of one who has lived honorably.”


I say that not merely the name of such an honorable one will never fade, but more importantly, their work will not fade. Do not be fooled, it is quite likely that such honorable work will flourish and thrive for at least 9 generations to come.


This is a wonder.”


Back home sitting in the office the conversation continued.


“Relax Donald, have a beer. No, in your case have a flute of Champaign and a good lunch.” Njord laughed, “Folks cannot resist lives lived in wonder. Honorable lives lived in wonder cannot but help to inform and infuse all who come into their orbits with the majestic nature of the everyday.”


Njord kissed me good-bye and headed back home.


I sighed.


The phone rings. It is my fere Paul. I tell him about my on going conversations with Njord. Paul reminds me of one of our earlier conversations and says, “Don’f forget Donald, the less human centered we are the better the possibility of us becoming more fully human.” Paul laughs his Paul laugh. “Yes, let’s just live our wonder filled lives. OK?”


After Paul hung up I went downstairs and made myself a delicious lunch (which included a small glass of extra dry Champaign).


Life is filled with wonder!

Njord Talks About Wonder

Donald L. Engstrom-Reese

December, ©2012

Bless the Bees!

Bless the Bears!

Bless the Majesty of Our Everyday Lives!

Let us honor the wonder of the everyday.