Helgafjell is a sacred mountain beyond the veil where those who have lived good and honorable lives gather around a hallowed hearth, sharing an ever-full horn and vivid tales of the lives they lived. For some, once their story has been told, they are chosen to return once more to Midgard, to live anew so they can have more stories to tell around the deific fire, or still yet, a chance to gain entry into one of the hallowed halls of Asgard, such as Bilskirnir, Ydalir, or even Valhalla.
There is no more comforting thought of the afterlife than that of a warm fire, surrounded by your loved ones, with a stout drink and full belly, laughing and spinning yarns, both real and imagined.
But we should not wait for an afterlife to share such treasures. Heaven is a place on Earth. I know, because I have been there. Hel, I live there, in the warm embrace of family and friends who love me and I them.
We often speak of “unconditional love”, but, in truth, I don’t think there is such a thing. There are always conditions. We are, none of us, perfect. Some stray closer to it than others, but we all falter. We all have our shortcomings. There is one thing that is required for true love and that is forgiveness. Once you can no longer forgive someone, or be forgiven, then love is lost.
I have friends who have made mistakes, and continue to make them. I still love them. Why, because I forgive them, and I understand that living in this world of matter and fear and uncertainty is difficult. We all do not come to an understanding at the same time. All we can do is forgive and love and press on toward the hereafter.
Some of us will get there before others as well.
We have to look past our pain and our hurt and find the golden light in the center.
We are not alone unless we choose to be.
I’m sitting here, eye on the world, thinking of all the stories I’ve told and all the stories I’ve yet to tell, of all those who have helped shape them.
I’m sitting here, heart in my hand, thinking of my dear, departed friend, gone nine weeks today, and smiling at the thought of the stories he’s sharing around the Secret Fire, where the Flame of Anor rises.
I am thankful for the stories we shared and for the forgiveness and love that passed between us.
I’m sitting here, holding hammer and ring, feeling blessed for those whose stories I was and am and will be a part of.
I’m sitting here, fingers dancing on keys, weaving magic spells through incantations as old as man’s first breath. And when the shadow falls, and Udûn’s fire seeks to consume me, it is the Fëar of my collective, the souls of those who have touched me, that shall see me to the light beyond the world and my place at the sacred hearth.
I have friends waiting there for me, keeping the fire lit. But I’ll join you soon enough —just not yet… I’ve still more stories to write.