For Jörð

Mín móðir hon er sum ein blóma
Hon er sum eitt livandi træ.

My mother, she is like a flower,
she is like a living tree.

– From “Mín móðir,” by Eivør.

Jörð does a lot for us.

She has given us the land we stand on. The water we drink, the plants and animals we eat, or bring into our homes to care for because we find them charming. All of this comes from her.

Even in our houses intended to buffer us from nature–built from the wood and stone, glass, and petroleum-derived plastic she provides–we strive to bring her in. We throw open our windows. We stop to smell and collect flowers, keeping them in vases made from sand-derived glass and dirt-derived ceramics. We seek out hiking trails and camping trips, buy little chunks of shiny rocks and metal mined from underground to adorn our bodies, and look forward to lying in the grass once the weather warms up and the winter thaw dries out.

When we die, Óðinn or Freyja or Hel take care of our spirits. But Jörð takes care of our bodies. She turns us into something new.

We love and admire her, even if we don’t realize it. Everything we have comes from her. I think as humans, we also fear her. But I suspect that this is why she is Thor’s mother. He softens the forces of nature. He protects us if we need it.

We owe her so much, and I hope we will someday manage to repay that debt. For her benefit, as well as our own.

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