Decamot of the month

31 Mar 2021-Leif's Motif

Join a young man heading westward to seek his destiny.

Click here to listen to Leif's Motif.

Leif Eriksson stood on the shore of Lake Melville and looked out across the ice cold waters towards the Atlantic Ocean across which he had so recently sailed.

He was a mountain of a man, standing well over six foot six inches tall and weighing in at over 300 pounds. His hair and beard were long and bushy. He was wearing fur-lined leather boots with inch thick soles. His loose fitting trousers were held up by a broad belt tied tightly beneath his distended belly. He was naked from the waist up, but from a distance, you would be forgiven for thinking he was wearing a matted woollen jerkin, such was the thickness of the curly white-blond hair that covered his back, chest and shoulders. Despite the sub-zero temperature of this Canadian mid-winter's day, sweat glistened on his forehead.

Leif was on a quest, and thus far he was pleased with how it was progressing. The cold, crisp air suited his constitution. The solitude he found therapeutic. And being in nature at the very location that his ancestor and namesake had once stood invigorated him.

He had spent most of the morning sharpening his sword, an impressive 55 inch Claymore. It was his most prized possession, won fairly in combat against one FitzWilliam MacLeod, an arch rival of many years standing. He now held it casually down by his side in his massive right hand as he scanned the shoreline for an appropriate target.

Finally, he found what he was looking for. He whirled the sword around his head one handed as though it weighed nothing, only bringing his left hand up to the handle when he was ready to bring down the weapon sharply to fell his prey: a young Red Pine, about eight feet in height. He knelt down next to the toppled tree and quick removed the long green needles. He then stuck the sword in his belt, hoisted the tree onto his shoulders, and set off along the footpath through the trees that led to a clearing and the log cabin that was his temporary rustic home.

Although he had no need to hurry, he took the path at a slow run. He liked to raise his heart rate and keep his torso warm. As he moved along the path, he had to swivel his hips and shoulders several times to negotiate the trees. He managed this with a surprising nimbleness and grace for a man of his bulk.

He was now at the clearing. He placed his newly acquired log between two large wooden barrels and set to attaching it to their D-ring handles. Later in the day, he would use this improvised yoke to fetch water from the lake for drinking, cooking, and for his ablutions. He had in mind to set a fire that evening, heat the water and bathe in one of the barrels under the cool moonlight.

Satisfied that his clearing was all in good order, he sat down to rest for the first time that day. He closed his eyes and let his mind wander. He needed to contemplate how he was going to complete his next objective.

He may well have drifted off to sleep at that point and spend a few pleasant hours dreaming, but at that very moment his tranquillity and sense of spiritual harmony was ruined by a tinny noise coming from the log cabin. He was tempted to ignore it, but he knew that would be futile. He cursed, and with great reluctance, got up, went into the cabin, and retrieved his mobile phone.

"What?" he growled, holding the device to his ear.

"Leif. Where are you?"

"Walking in Labrador."

"You're walking a Labrador?"

"IN Labrador. Newfoundland."

"What the hell are you doing there?"

"Searching for a woman."

"You're searching for a woman in Newfoundland?"

"Among other things."


"For peace and quiet. Avoid social media. Escape Covid."

"Yeah but, why are you searching for a woman in Newfoundland?"

"Any woman who can bear a Labrador winter can bear the next generation of Erikssons."

"Well you certainly won't be challenging Mr Darcy for romance!"

"I don't do romance. Love letters not my thing."

"Clearly. Look mate, I've been trying to find you for weeks."

"You've succeeded."

"I've been lining up the sponsors for you."

"That's what I pay you for."

"They're getting a bit angsty."

"They always do."

"They're worrying about their investment."

Erik gave no response.

"Look, we're only four weeks away from the World's Strongest Man finals."

"I know this."

"... the qualifying heats are in two weeks."

"I know this also."

"You'll be competing in the Hangar Classic."


Neither man spoke for a good thirty seconds.

"Bottom line is, the sponsors want to know if you'll be ... ready. You know: ... Physically."

Leif looked around the clearing.

He looked at the yoke he'd made earlier;
he glanced at the huge boulder he'd used as a makeshift whetstone to hone the blade on his sword and remembered walking back with it, from the lake where he found it, clamped to his chest;
he remembered returning for four more similarly sized boulders and walking back with them, one-by-one, and placing them in the shallow brook to use as stepping stones;
he remembered the day he'd spent chopping down firewood, loading it onto a bier he'd made for the purpose, and dragging it all back to the clearing;
he looked up at the satellite phone mast that he'd mounted on the roof of the cabin and recalled how he'd had to hold together two lengths of coaxial cable that a failed grommet had severed whilst simultaneously bearing the full weight of the electricity generator for over 20 minutes while he waited for the epoxy resin to dry.

Finally he looked at his Claymore, once owned by another World's Strongest Man contender, and now hanging from a nail on the side of his log cabin. This made him smile.

"Leif? You still there?"

"Don't you worry," boomed Leif. "I'm ready."

This Decamot was inspired by the following Decamot items: Claymore, love letter, Darcey, mountain, needle, footpath, grommet, Labrador, log cabin, hangar