Spring Arrives with Baldr

Today is the first day of spring, which, for me, is a day to admire the constant renewal of life in the world around us. More specifically, though, I always find myself thinking of Baldr, who (as many of us know) returns from Hel to restore life to the post-Ragnarok world.

As stanza 59 of Völuspá recounts: 

“Without sowing the fields will grow, 
all evil will be healed, Baldr will come.”[1]

The picture below comes from a hike I made while staying in Ísafjörður last summer. I stopped along the mountainside (Eyrarhlíð, to be specific) to admire the view when I saw these flowers, shining with white and gold in the warm sunlight. Anyone familiar with Snorri Sturluson’s Prose Edda will know that Baldr is associated with a flower called Baldr’s Brow (Baldrs brá, or, scientifically, Matricaria maritima).[2]

If I’m not mistaken (and I most certainly could be), these are that very flower; and so, it is to this memory that my mind wanders on this first day of spring, to that day when I was bathed in welcoming sunlight, hiking along an Icelandic fjord during the summertime, when life flourishes most strongly after its renewal in springtime.

Keep wandering,



  1. Carolyne Larrington trans., The Poetic Edda (repr., 1996; Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014), 11. ^
  2. For context, see Snorri Sturluson, Edda, translated by Anthony Faulkes (London: Everyman, 1995), 23. ^

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