September 2017
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Aurilion's visit - my partner, Aurilion and I visit the Etowah Mounds


On the 8th my partner was off work, so we planned to go to the Etowah Mounds. My partner was a little iffy about it because it was due to pour down rain in the evening, but eventually I convinced zir that it wouldn't rain while we were there (because I know these things, and because weather.com said so), so off we went! It was glorious weather, hot but not blinding, overcast and cooled by liquid-wind. My wonderful partner drove while Aurilion and I sat in the back, and we listened to E.S. Posthumus, which is intensely meaningful music to all of us. Aurilion giggled silently for the longest time (ze could explain it far better, but as far as I understand, it is zir way of releasing/relaxing, almost like a more joyful sort of meditation).





my partner and Aurilion at Subway
((oh yeah, my partner cut zir long beautiful tresses. Ze raised money for CMN by having people at zir work vote with money, to keep it or to cut it. The "cut it" votes won :-p I do miss the long hair but it is much easier to run my fingers through now ;-)))

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Aurilion glances at my partner who refuses to look up for a photo

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Aurilion & Bel cuddle

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Aurilion & Bel laugh!

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*happy snuggles*


When we arrived, Aurilion and I went to the bathroom and my partner went into the visitor center, so we came in later than ze did. Right after I stepped inside, my partner asked the worker when the trees were cut down, and I thought ze meant that there used to be many more trees on the mound, so I said "there used to be more trees?" Then the worker started talking about the drought, and how one of the trees had fallen over, so they had been cut to preserve the mound. My heart stopped and I thought "Oh, God/dess, no, no..." Ze went on to explain how ze regretted it because some of the trees were hundreds of years old, and I didn't hear any more, just started walking toward the mounds, not even able to breathe, and then I saw the naked mound through the window and my eyes flooded... Oh God/dess. I could not speak, I just started walking as fast as I could toward the mound where the Elder tree had been, and I started crying, sobbing my eyes out, completely blinded by tears. I wasn't thinking anything except that I had to get there, I had to get there! I wept the whole way to the mound and up the billion shallow stairs, and when I got to the top I felt so disoriented, because the trees weren't there. I felt like I was offstep with the world. My partner came up to me and I sobbed out "where is it?" and ze took my hand, lead me to the stump and helped me down the mound so that I could touch it, sit with it. (Ze helped Aurilion down too and I could feel zir presence but I did not consciously realize it until afterward)


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this part is deeply sacred to me so unless you can give it the utmost respect and suspend disbelief, please skip to the second bar and do not read



When I reached zir, I cried out with my spirit "are you still here?" and ze answered me, "always. I will always be here for you." And I felt a deep sense of peace, and so much relief that the Elder Tree's spirit was not gone. I spirit-asked, "aren't you upset that they cut you down?" and ze reminded me of "Deep and Strong" and gave me a mental picture of a vast root system and said "My roots are where I live. I am a little sad that I no longer have shade or shelter to offer, but as long as my roots are here I will be here. And those who cut me did not do it out of selfishness or carelessness, they regretted having to do it." And ze communicated to me that ze was glad I came, glad I recognized the loss and felt it with zir. Ze was glad that I felt zir spirit because it was something ze could still offer. Ze comforted me and washed me in gentle love.

If it had not been for that, I would have mourned for a very long time. It was such a sacred experience that I have not been able to talk about it directly -- this is the first time I have shared it.





After a little while, my partner saw someone walking out of the visitor center and urged Aurilion and me back up (since we weren't supposed to be climbing on the slopes). Then I hugged on Aurilion and we went and sat in the center of the mound for a time. Both my partner and Aurilion treated me with such care, not trying to make me stop crying or squelch any emotion, just being with me in the middle of it. I was so grateful for that ♥





the stump of the Elder tree is in the center at top

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the empty mound :-(

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the stump of my Elder tree (I poured out an offering of water)

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me with the Elder Tree, last year. (I am so intensely, deeply grateful that I went last year and that my partner took these photos for me)

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now empty -- last year this beautiful tree stood there

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Then we made our way down the shallow steps and over to grove next to the river, and took many beautiful photos!




the Etowah River

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a gorgeous place of tall trees by the river

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Faery home! next time maybe I'll remember to bring my tiny faeries and let them play ;-)

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looking up

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reaching up

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twinned trees!

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I felt really sad...

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and content, at the same time

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Me with the willow again (last year -- I'm wearing the same hairclips!)

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my partner on a tree leaning over the river (ze wanted to climb further but there was a poison ivy vine :-p)

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my partner cleverly hiding

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my partner looking up

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I love the spring green leaves blowing in the wind!

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my partner! ♥

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Aurilion *melts*

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kissing my lover!

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content together

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Aurilion: :D
Bel: >:)

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Aurilion with zir hair blown back!

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on communication, social justice, intimacy, consent, friendship & other relationships, spirituality, gender, queerness, & dreams. Expect to find curse words, nudity, (occasionally explicit) talk of sex, and angry ranting, but NEVER slurs or sexually violent language. I use TW when I am aware of the need and on request.
Expect to find curse words, nudity, (occasionally explicit) talk of sex, and angry ranting, but NEVER slurs or sexually violent language. I use TW when I am aware of the need and on request.