Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Our Sagas

I've been reading a great book, by the name of Mountain Mists: Appalachian Folkways of West Virginia. In the introduction to the book, it says, "As these early mountain folk went about their daily lives, they preserved their folkways in the form of stories and songs so that later generations now have a rich reserve of these earliest settlers' lives. These stories were told around the hearth in the long winter evenings while the winds blew and snow piled high against the cabin walls. This rich oral tradition has been preserved through the years and forms and integral part of the Appalachian cultural heritage."

This is interesting, because not only is it a part of our past, but here in the mountains, it's a part of traditions today. Many stories have never been written down. They're spoken on road trips, hikes, while sitting on the porch, and at the dinner table. They're spoken in secret and between many friends. These stories, are our sagas.

Over the last year or two in Heathenry, I've noticed a large growing focus on the afterlife and, more specifically, Valhalla. For me, the moment I die, I'm not going to worry about where I'm going, or not going for that matter, but where I've been. Will my stories be told for generations after my last breath? I hope so. We should live lives that will continue long after we're gone through oral tradition. I want to know that although someone may have liked my stories enough to write them down, maybe someone loved them so much that they couldn't forget them, and so they pass it on through spoken word. It is, after all, the way of our ancestors.