Wednesday, January 5, 2011

The Life and Times of Túna

Once upon a time, there was a little hill named Túna.

Actually, at the beginning of time, when things such as hills and valleys and oceans formed under the influence of the Valar powers, the little hill didn't know it was a "tun" [hill] or would be called "Túna" ["this mound"], or even have much idea (if a hill can have ideas... and I think that it can) of what would become of it and what role history would give it.

But, at this once upon a time, this little hill found itself quite serenely under soft starless skies as the susurrussing sea slowly charmed eastern shore-side stones into soft sands. Perhaps bright things traversed it and the sky and the sea of this one particular little hill, but it was really no different than all the other soft rolling hills stretching easily across a gentle continent, except for being a little smoother and rounder [kor] and a littler nearer the rolling ocean than the other little hills. But things changed nearby much faster than the tides and winds usually change little hills.

First came lights: One by one, little stars [elen] appeared floating in the dark sky, then more and more of them. A sudden flash of light far across the waters to the east glowed then faded almost as soon as it appeared. After a dark time, another, brighter light glowed, but this one shined steady and long. As if they had been waiting for that light, soft green grasses and tiny flowers colored Túna and all the hills and valleys, eager to live and grow with urgency that no hill could ever hope to match. Then, when that bright light went out, the little growing things slowed and stopped growing, in a sleep as deep as hills' sleep under dark skies, moving no more than the stones themselves. But these things were all common for all the little hills across the great wide world

If little hills can have a father (... and I think that they can), that is who seemed to appear next. Father, as hills can sense these things, seemed to be piling hill upon hill upon hill to the west, making a huge craggy fence of mountains running north to south perhaps a league inland from the coast. If a hill feels fear, Túna feared that it would be added to the tremendous mountain range, or that the mountains would fall onto it. But little Túna was untouched. Only the hills deep inland were lifted into the fence [pelo] of mountains [oror] that grew impossibly high, and higher. Pelóri, those mountains would be called.

One of those mountains, south-west yet very near to little Túna, grew taller and yet taller. White snow and ice gathered on its slopes even as it grew. Snow-white [lossë] would color the tallest of that tallest of mountain ranges in all the world, forever [oio]. Mount Ever-white, Oiolossë, it would be called. The tip [tillë] of high [tá] Oiolossë is chilled and pale [ninquë]. That lofty place, highest of all places in the wide world, would be a home to gods. Taníquetil, it would be called.

Even as those lofty mountains rose above little Túna, more and more stars populated the dark sky while the green grass slept. And dark things seemed to travel from the lands north and from the sea east to test and cross the new mountains, but they were unable to penetrate their fence. Those dark things took little notice of Túna and the league-wide strip of land between the mountains and the sea under their feet, since there was nothing there to interest them. Soon they left, some back over the sea, some back to the north and some down the coast to the south.

Again light appeared, but now from the west, behind the mountains, bathing the sky in shifting silver and golden glows. Suddenly, some mountains were cleaved and cast down, and the light burst bright onto little Túna as the light [cala] passed thru the cleft [cilya] out over the hills and the ocean to the lands far to the east. Calacirya, would that pass be called.

Even as the last stone fell, the sleeping grasses awoke and grew anew. And because the light was brighter there, Túna's growing things and those nearby took on a lushness and beauty unseen in the rest of the round wide world. Creatures and animals came and went. Trees and forests grew in that long coastal plain that would soon be called Eldamar,
"Elf [elda] - home [mar]"

For, slowly streaming through the eastern ocean, a large lone [eressëa] island [tol], borne in the sea-god's arms and bearing the willing elves seeking the light, approached the shore off the Calacirya and pressed itself into the coast, indenting the shoreline. The eager elves departed the traveling island to see the bright lights, escorted by fae and spirits and gods themselves. Too soon, the lonely island retreated away across the sea, leaving the empty Bay of Eldamar to mark its landing right near little Túna, again untouched by the change in terrain.

Finally, noticing our unusually untouched pretty little hill, as history tells us, "The gods named that hill "Kôr" by reasons of its roundness and its smoothness" " pg 132). On that very site, in view of Manwë's snowy palace on Taníquetil in the majestic Pelorí, and the verdant Eldamar stretching south through unnamed forests and north to what will be called Alqualondë, in the light of the Two Trees through Calacirya, the Noldor elves with king Finwë erected a tower to watch [tir] over the pass and sparkling seas for monsters and the elves yet to come, building finally the greatest of cities there. Tirion, after the watchtower, it would be called.

Much has been written of the beauty and flower of Tirion on Túna, once called "Kôr, the town on the round hill", and even "Kortirion, the ancient town built above the rocks of Eldamar, whence the fairies marched into the world", ("
The Book of Lost Tales 1", page 296) and more will be written elsewhere.

But happily (if a hill can be happy ... and I think that it can), the island of Tol Eressëa returned to the Bay of Eldamar, within sight of little Túna, where it is rooted to this very day. And in time, even more little islands scattered themselves like mystic stars up and down the coast, shadowing the seas. And, finally, all those islands and all these lands described here (The Undying Lands, Aman, this land is all called) and those living there were lifted off the wide round world toward the Timeless Realm, where little Túna can still be found.

And they lived happily ever after (if a hill can live...

1 comment:

  1. Beautifully written, Aule. Look forward to more. Hugs. Valla.