Monday, January 21, 2008

On common places and one of my purposes here

Part of the Town Common in my home town, part of the history of which is explained here:

Community is very important to me, though I am fairly solitary by nature.

I've described myself as a traveler amongst the differing Asatru, Odinist, Heathen, Theodish and other tribes within the Reawakening to the Faith in and Worship of the Holy Powers of the Northern Folk.

I have used the analogy of being a roving warder from the wilderlands. I ave described myself as one who comes into the main community to lend a hand when needed, then goes on about his own business until his hand is useful again joined with others.

I think my hand is useful to this work of building community (particularly within the Asatru Folk Assembly), of trying to gather those who hear the Northern Wind in their hearts.

In my home town of West Springfield, MA, our original Town Common is a carefully preserved, and wisely used, area at the heart of the town's first settled area (mid 1630's). The first European settlers in the area were John Cable and John Woodcock of Plymouth, who encamped on the west side of the Connecticutt river in the fall of 1635. They moved to higher ground on the east side of the river upon the advice of friendly Indians, becoming two of the founders of Springfield in 1636.

West Springfield's oldest surviving house is adjacent to the East Common.

The oldest part of the Day house was first built in the mid 1640's, a woodframe house; it is thought to have been West Springfield's first parsonage. The brick Saltbox-style front of the house, which was thought to be the old part, was added in 1754. The day family occupied the house until the turn of the 20th century, when the house was obtained for preservation by a local historical society.

Having a common area is important to a village or town. In older times it was a place used as grazing land for the yeomanry's livestock, where the town militia would drill, where the Town Crier would report news of significance, where travelling orators would was a good place to be in the center of things.

It is important for Folk to have a Good Place.

It is a place for lovers to stroll...for mothers and fathers to watch their children run and play in joy and safety...for memorial stones to the honored war have memorial stones about historic events...for band concerts and town festivals.

It is a special place to those who hear the call to community and the neighborliness one finds therein.

I hope this blog can be a place where we can "sit on the grass and talk and plan and dream," whatever our ideas of an Heathen community may be.

One of my goals as an Asatruar is to build up places, many places, from all Heathen intentional communities to "Little Trondheims" in larger towns and cities, to kindred and hearths and fellowships.

We are the shapers of that which is becoming and that which may be.

Well come one and all, be right well come.
May the Holy Ones smile on our efforts.
Piparskeggr - Commons Walker


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