The Adventures Of Yggdrasil

The following extract about Yggdrasil, the Tree of Life, come from my book about the Bock Saga and the Temple Twelve, Temporarily Insane.

The Yggdrasil was the ash tree where the ashes of all the members of the Bock family were brought. The tree was first planted by Frei and Freia, the first humans to be born. When the tree grew old, a sapling was taken from it and planted between the roots of the old tree. In this manner, it continued to live through the aeons. During the adventurous escapes that took place throughout the three Ragnaröks, the Bock family managed to keep the tree alive and within their care. It is still alive today.  Yggdrasil is the Tree of Life in the middle of paradise. In the Bock Saga, it symbolises all that lives and recreates.

There in the church garden in Snappertuna, under the mighty arms of the Yggdrasil, rested the former generations of the Boxström and Raström families, who’d steered the Bock Saga through the winds of time. However, when we arrived, there was no shadow on the graves, for the Yggdrasil was gone.

Vicar of the Snappertuna church:

Yes, I cut down the tree. It was just a tree. A tree that caused trouble. People constantly kept coming here to watch it grow. They walked all over the graves as if there’s no respect left in the world. This has always been a quiet place and that’s how it should remain. Let the souls buried here rest; they have the right to do so. That tree wasn’t the Yggdrasil. That’s just a folk story. The tree in paradise was an apple tree, everybody knows that. Well anyway, it’s all over now. I told them to tell their friends they weren’t to come here anymore.

Everything the Bock family ever did and would do is always only viewed from the context of the Bock Saga. And this has been going on since the beginning of mankind. Being born in this family, your fate is decided before you’re born, as is that of your children. Can you imagine the loneliness? Can you imagine not only spending your youth, twenty years of it, silently listening to the monumental story, but then also having to transfer this onto your own children hoping it will stick in their brains? The inconsolable knowledge that you’re condemning your children to that same loneliness, and that this needs to be done for some greater good that’s beyond you and beyond them. Imagine thousands of years of sacrifice.

 After the onslaught the family suffered a thousand years ago, where the whole extended family and our birth ground were rooted out and destroyed, the family had had to flee to Lapland and live in one of the most inhospitable areas on the planet, without once complaining.

 And now, finally, at the crescendo of it all, after everything that had been sacrificed, at the very moment that had been awaited by so many generations, when the Bock Saga was to be finally revealed and the temple opened uncovering the work of these ancestors, all we had to show was an almost inaudible implosion of energy, our energy, disappearing into a little black hole of indifference and mediocrity. Revealing the Bock Saga, so far, had been the anti-climax of the aeon. And now, the Yggdrasil had been cut down to emphasise the utter indifference of the Finnish people towards their heritage.

After Ior’s death, came his funeral. He was buried, not under the ancient Yggdrasil, as he’d envisioned once, but next to its stump.

Some years later:

“Hey, Casper. Do you remember when the Yggdrasil was cut down by the vicar in Snappertuna?”

 “How could I forget!”

 “Well, I have some good news. I met Ulven a few months ago, and he told me that he’d managed to take a clipping of a shoot from the original roots. He managed to do it some years ago during Ior’s funeral.”

 “Yes, I grew the shoot into a bonsai tree and had kept it in my house since then. I contacted William a while ago to tell me that I was moving house and was looking for a more permanent place for the tree. I asked William if he knew a place in Holland that had a reasonable chance of remaining unchanged for a couple of generations,” Ulven explained. 

 “Initially, I told him such places don’t exist in Holland, but then I remembered that my family has a mausoleum. It’s part of an ancient manor. Enormous old oak trees grow on its grounds and there’s a columbarium where the urns are kept. Contrary to other similar burial places in Europe, this one has no Christian symbols in it. The only symbol I could find is a snake biting its tail, the symbol of the Wheel of Life: Ouroboros. I’ve planted the Yggdrasil there.”