ᚱ byþ onrecyde. rinca gehwylcum.
sefte and swiþhwæt. ðam ðe sitteþ on ufan
meare mægen heardum ofer mil paþas ᛬᛫
To those who sit in a house
It feels soft. It is strenuous for those who sit high
On a hard bodied horse over mile paths.
Rad means riding on horseback, the ride itself. Sometimes it will mean the road, especially when found in a compound word. This stanza specifies it’s going to be a long ride ofer milpaþas. Mile paths. Long distances. These aren’t the paths between local settlements, this is a ride on the Roman roads built to take you somewhere far. The Roman roads had cylindrical mile stones set out every 1000 paces (mille in Latin means thousand, Roman numeral M). At these points the mile stones would tell the traveler how far to the next place, who’s the local boss, and sometimes the name of a person in charge of road repair. The Romans took their roads seriously.
The medieval world was on the move. They traveled, all over the place and farther than you think. The Romans did it prior, they set up the whole show. They covered the lands around the entire Mediterranean with roads and sea routes, west and east of Rome, down the length of the Middle East, up the Nile, back down the Nile, all across North Africa and into Spain, all of Spain, France, across the channel and right up into Britain. This whole massive area is filled with people of infinite variety, their languages, their gods, their customs, their food, their everything, their all of it. And what are they doing? What are the people doing? They’re circulating. It’s all in motion, the whole place. Commerce and trade requires movement and the roads were busy, there’s a silk road to the east linking up to another massive trade structure, there’s ships sailing in all directions, traveling … More
First you must gather your materials. You will need an an iron plow and a field, but not a square one. Long and skinny. And a pair of oxen yoked together. Try to find oxen who like each other and can tolerate you well enough. Some cows are just mean. Be wary of oxen who say they are intrinsically motivated self starters who have a passion for teamwork and excellent organizational skills, as this means nothing anymore. Treat your team well, bring treats, but don’t let them bully you — give some oxen an inch and they’ll take a mile.
Start plowing in a straight line. This can prove difficult if your oxen don’t want to move, but this problem is not insurmountable. Persuade them. Good cows. Once they decide to get on with it they’ll stop themselves for a break when they’ve had enough. Lazy cows. And once they stop they will sit … More
You’ve been discussing it forever, but here it is, the Rad rune telling you it is time to get back in the saddle and get the show on the road. Big talk is one thing, now is the time for you to be going places so get going. It’s a long trip and a bumpy ride, but you’ll get there.
Probably the R in Old English was trilled or rolled. They’d travel along with the R for an extra beat before moving on to the next letter. Put your tongue near the roof of your mouth and vibrate the air. For a trilled or rolled sound, touch the roof of your mouth right behind your teeth and do it again. Drumroll please. Faster!
Carve a straight path up. Now send a crooked road traveling back down the side.