Back in the day - and I mean REALLY back in Europe, from the iron age until industrialization - winter was the time for learning history, poetry, culture, wisdom. After all, in summer the herds would be out in the fields being watched by the original cow boys from dawn till dusk. And dawn was really early, and dusk really late.
But in winter, the thinned herds were kept in the village so you could easily feed and water them. Dawn was late, dusk early, so you didn't crash as soon as the sun went down. And, in Ireland, even the Fianna bunked in towns during the winter. So after dinner you could head over to the neighbor's place and the elders would tell the stories, share the poetry and tales.
So I think I'll go there in this blog for a while. I'll start with the words of the Havamal and some of my own commentary on it, how it applies to MY life. I'm not going to pretend to be overly knowledgeable about the time it comes from, after all!
The Havamal is part of the Poetic Edda, a collection of Old Norse poetry. It is, fundamentally, common sense served up by Odhinn. Common sense being, well, awfully uncommon lately, it seems like a great place to start.
I'll be using the Auden & Taylor translation, which is all over the interwebs and appears to be public domain.
If any of y'all are knowledgeable about the times this comes from, or have other insights to add, PLEASE add comments as we go along! I'm no expert historian, nor am I Asatruar or anyone who has really studied this in context.