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Yavanna leans back against the stone wall of the pool and breathes in deeply, letting the clean air of Lórien fill her chest. Her hand rests on the cool water behind her; she knows that if she lifted it from the pool, she would find her fingers slick with algae.

The reminder of what this pool once was frustrates her, and she sighs heavily to herself. She misses Laurelin's dew that Arien once collected and brought here, and this place seems barren without its golden light. It is her nature to create, to help growing things along their path, so much so that it requires a great force of will on her part for her not to create. But the things that come from her mind these days are piteous: algae, or moss on tree bark, or perhaps a blade of grass as she walks over bare earth. They can never compare to what she created in the dawn of Arda. Never so much as a flower, to say nothing of a bush or a....

She stops herself before that thought can run its natural course. For in happier days, earlier days, she helped things grow from seed to full height in but a blink of an eye. 'Twas nothing to her, then. And her special love was for the trees. They were – are, for if two trees stand as specters, thousands more remain alive -- like children to her. She loved – loves, she must correct herself again – them so fiercely, that she petitioned the One to craft guardians for them. And He had. Yet somehow, deep in her bones, Yavanna knows that the tree-herders cannot protect their charges.

How could they? For the tree-herders are but created things, for all their strength, and Laurelin and Telperion fell while all the Valar stood not so far away.

She pushes herself away from the pool's wall, pulls herself to her feet, rubs her hand clean against her gown. The clear water, for all its simple beauty, cannot compare to the memories this place conjures in her mind. She remembers the gleam of Laurelin's dew, a gold glow that suffused this glade with brightness and life. And she sighs again.

A part of her wishes that she could leave, abandon all memory of the Trees. Yet she keeps coming back. She walks among the woods of Lórien, gathering strength from the plants whose longfathers she helped awaken, but she is forever pulled back to this pool of water, where snow and rainwater murmur to her: Eä! Let these things be!

She hates that song, the Song from Before-time, whose echoes she still hears in the water. It reminds her of other things she wishes to forget, from when she first sang that song: how her sister Varda's name would be praised by the Firstborn, and how the Aftercomers would call out to Ulmo and to Oromë, so that her kinsmen would bless their labors. Even Aulë would have children, the stocky creatures who now slept in their halls of stone, waiting to be awoken.

It had never pleased her, her knowledge that the others would have such followers while she would be so easily forgotten by the Speaking Folk. Save of course her beloved tree-herders, fated to failure and slow death through ennui. She desires that reverence for herself that the Children give so easily to her lover, to her sister and brother. But most of all she longs for some good work, some useful purpose, to which she can set her hands. Her greatest labor is destroyed, and she knows not what she still has the strength to accomplish.

She shakes her head sadly, then stares longingly toward the trees. She longs to leave this pool, leave behind the reminders of the two trees that still stand as ghosts on Ezellohar. Perhaps someday she will leave Lórien, leave Aman altogether, and seek desolate lands where green things still need fostering. But for today, something deep inside her bids her stay.

And, as she cannot yet make her feet carry her to the shelter of the trees, she does precisely that. Just for a little while, she promises herself, but she stays nonetheless.


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