Sunday, July 13, 2014

Mektilk: Life

Posted by Megan Pope at 6:13 AM
My bedtime stories as a maiden were tales of The Valkyrie, the epics of Odin, the tricks of Loki, and the loyalty of Freyja.  We left offerings of porridge and butter to the nisse to help us with the house farm.
I'd help to gather offerings for blot.  Celebrate the new year at Samhain.  Cheer for the rebirth of the sun at Yule.  Watch them dance the fires of Imbolc.  Welcoming spring and births with Ostara.  Honoring all that lives and grows through Walpurgis Night.
And then the wheel that was our year would continue to spin and we would do it all over again. Until my third Walpurgis Night as matron.
We were hand-fasted on a Frigga's Day in the Imbolc season.  With blessings from Eostre, he laid his seeds to grow root.  By Walpurgis Night, my field remained barren.
The wheel of the year spun on and we tried once more.  We focused all of our available energy on my womb with success.  At Walpurgis Night, my stomach began to show the bulge of child as many of my tribal sisters did.
A week before Samhain was when the blood flowed.  The midwife was called.  She and her apprentice did all they could.  The child was still lost.
I couldn't bring myself to try again.  To lose another, to fail again.  I would be a childless woman.
He tried to convince me.  Even when I wouldn't, he would swear to never leave me.  That he would live and love me no matter, child or not.
I began to push him.  Scream.  Beat.  I couldn't bear his face.  What features of his could our child have had?
He stayed.  He stayed until my final push.  I had him hand-parted from me.  I left him the home, the goods, everything to hand fast again and start anew.
I couldn't bear the look of my own face any more than I could have continued to have looked at his.  I shed the clothes of the housewife I once was and covered myself in the robes of man.  I moved to the outskirts of the tribal territory with the hedge-witch and her apprentice and began my era as crone.  I was not the typical age for crone, women who's children have grown to begin families of their own.  I was crone in that my time as a housewife had passed.
When the men would leave for hunts or fishing trips, I defended the village.  Even when the men were home, I would lead the defensive attack before any tribesman had time to arrive.  Which was good for me even if the hedge-witch didn't agree.  She felt that I was allowing my rage to swallow me.  That if I wasn't careful, it would lead me to death itself.
And it did.

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