Galdhopiggen – on my mother’s birthday

This is about why a mother is not as stoic as the mountain – because her destiny is so different, as is her work. I dedicate this to my mother, Jeanette Marie Rice, nee McEgan, on her birthday, 28 January.

Galdhopiggen Mountain, photo by Havard Berland
 Galdhopiggen's majesty enthrals
Draws his calm deep into the soul.
Timeless, enduring, stoic he is venerated
Ooinn, Porr and Tyr look up to him
The rock of his wisdom is admired, emulated.
 The squirrel fossicks, pushing, fussing, worrying
She works the edge of crevice and crevasse.
She nestles, licks the birthing gossamer clean, 
Pummels her kittens until they take their first breath 
Thrusting them forward she is doomed by them to fidget til death.
 Eons later Galdhopiggen looks down and smiles
That squirrel is no more.
But its scat has shaped the pebbles
And as Galdhopiggen looks into a new set of eyes
He sees the lace of her DNA.
 Aware of his stone heart, Galdhopiggen sheds a tear
But immediately it turns to ice. 
Lamenting that he cannot feel its salty warmth
He pulls his cloak in against the fjell 
He kisses the squirrel and whispers a prayer to the Vanir.

Photo by Havard Berland – used under the terms of the creative commons license – CC-BY-SA-3.0 license. No changes were made to this photo. For more information, go to:

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