A soft, spring breeze cut swiftly through waist high beds of wild grasses, the hazy sun resting heavily behind an early morning mist. The farmstead left behind him, he gazed out across the bay, to the longboats with their red and white, squared sails and intricately designed dragon’s heads, and he prayed with all his heart, he would be permitted to travel with them on their next journey west. His father was on one of those longboats, heading out across the tranquil waters, an explorer in a brave new world. He adored his father, wanted nothing more than to be like him, wanted nothing more than to meet a courageous, Viking end, of crossing Bifrost, The Rainbow Bridge and entering Valhalla. His father feared nothing, not even the ends of the earth, where the oceans fell into Helheim.
Helheim is one of the nine worlds of Norse mythology. It was the end of all things and the place where those who died of old age, or those who were not killed in battle, went in the afterlife. Valhalla was reserved for the brave.
Back then, the earth was believed to be flat and nothing but excruciating pain awaited those unfortunate souls who happened to fall into over the edge. And it wasn’t just the Vikings.
Back in ancient India, it was believed the Earth was a disk, consisting of four separate continents grouped around a central mountain, like the petals of a flower. In ancient Japan it was believed the Earth was flat and floated like oil on water, and in ancient China, it was believed the Earth was flat and square, while the heavens were round.
At one time, it was actually believed the Earth rested in a giant box and that at nighttime; God placed a lid on it, bringing darkness. The stars were merely holes that the sun still shone through. I wonder if people ever thought about what might lie on the other side of that box.
We know now that the Earth is round. It’s not flat and in a box. It is round and magnificent, one of eight, major planets in the solar system, nine if you wish to add Pluto to the list. It would have to be a pretty big box to contain everything and our solar system isn’t the only solar system. It goes on forever, is incomprehensible, far beyond our mortal understanding.
In my daily life, I often talk about thinking ‘outside the box’ though. I don’t mean the box; some once thought we lived in, the box that protected us from the evils of Satan and his minions, in a time when mankind truly believed the sun revolved around us. I mean the box that society has created and expects us to reform to. Don’t get me wrong, I’m no anarchist, not a hater of the social system. Social norms though, for me, are the box, while I am more comfortable outside of it.
I have friends who received good grades back in their school days, went on to find good jobs, settled down and got married, had children. They have a nice car and nice home, begin work at nine and finish at five. They take their kids to soccer training on Saturdays, go to church on Sundays. They take two weeks off each summer; head off for the same summer destinations.
A continuation coming in two days.
Bye for now.