By Scott A. Yeager for GANT News
In the Norse tradition, Odin was the wise and knowing all father. Each of his children echoed a bit of their father’s characteristics.
Today, we know of Thor, the Norse god of thunder, and Loki, the god of mischief; however, it is Odin’s son, Bragi, who one can encounter in the Pennsylvania Wilds. Bragi was the Norse god of wisdom, poetry and music.
It is said that – unlike no other figure in Norse mythology – Bragi was gifted with great insight and wisdom.
Bragi was skilled with the use of words and with an innate ability to see the harmony that exists between all living things.
If you spend a few days in the Pennsylvania Wilds, you can still hear Bragi’s symphony, perhaps his greatest gift to mortals.
Whether your travels in the Pennsylvania Wilds take you to the Allegheny National Forest, to the East Branch Clarion River Lake or to the Pennsylvania Grand Canyon near Colton Point State Park, there you will discover a music that is unique to our region.
At first, you may hear a gentle breeze skimming its way over the oaks, maples, and walnut trees or whispering its way through knee-high grasses or long-needled pine trees.
Eventually, the breeze is joined by the soothing sound of the many creeks, streams, rivers and lakes that blanket our land.
As your mind clears and the shackles of your ordinary life give way to something deeply familiar to your inner being, you hear the song of a bird, then of many birds and you hear the various utterances of mammals big and small; finally, you hear your own inner voice urging you to take a deep breath and enjoy this unique symphony – Bragi’s creation.
If we consider for a moment the etymology of the word universe, your experience in the Pennsylvania Wilds will make more sense to you. We have “uni-” or one, and we have “verse” or song.
Spend any time on any day in the Pennsylvania Wilds, and you will become a believer in Bragi’s great “one-song.” But don’t forget, Bragi, like his father Odin, was also very wise in his work. He could see the interdependency and interconnectedness of all things.
In the Pennsylvania Wilds, life – all life – is a thing to be treasured. It is not just a brook, it is a part of you and can teach you something about yourself if you are receptive enough to acknowledge it.
It is not just a breeze, it is an embrace from something much larger than yourself, something beneficial to all living things.
Most importantly, it is not noise, it is music – life is music. There is a harmony, a great one-song, that binds all, and you will find it here in the Pennsylvania Wilds.
Bragi may not have been Odin’s most warlike son, nor was he Odin’s great cosmic trickster.
Bragi was much more than that – he, like his father, saw with his ears and heard the world through his eyes. It sounds a bit contradictory, but there is a kernel of truth in every myth and legend.
Bragi’s symphony, the great one-song, is here to be enjoyed by all. Spend enough time – day or night – in the Pennsylvania Wilds and you will grow wiser for your experience. You will never hear your world the same way again.