Tag Archives: thrush

The Two Ways of the Icelandic Thrush

First, you sit on a troll’s head at Midsummer, when even the stones come alive. If that sounds fantastical, you should really go to Iceland at Midsummer. You’ll see. In this way of the thrush, you get to hang out with a troll. Nice.

The other way of the thrush is to be the living thought of the troll, not in words or ideas, but in thrush. Nice, too!

Remember, trolls aren’t animate beings from fairytale, but places where rocks are made into home and mind through attachment. It could be you. It could be the thrush. It could be the thrush leading you into the Earth, where you find yourself.

A Thrush in Ásbyrgi

This fledgling thrush last summer was, like all thrushes, social and curious. I had one at Skriðuklaustur that  perched on the window daily:  a small house god, eating insects that came to the glass and knock knock knock knocking on the pane. It’s best to consider thrushes, like trees, as magical creatures from the world of the Huldúfolk, visiting his with messages. Their bodies are doorways. In this case, the bird was caught between fear, and defensive freezing, and curiosity.

Intriguingly, its mother was nearby, keeping an eye out. Like its relative, the American Robin, these little guys get to spend some time alone with the world. I had a robin nest in my apricot tree here in Canada for about five years. Every year, when her hatchlings got too big for the nest and fell out, she would leave them for an entire day and night, and only if they survived that would she return to feed them.

I hiked once out to the Easter Cave in Neskaupstaðir, with a thrush leading the way along the path. Thrushes make good guides. The Earth is strong in them. When you meet one, pay attention. They come with a message.