That red-faced sweetie is one of my mates, Ekvardun. Ek only recently came to be part of House Aki, as we met in July 2015 when I came to work at the same forest. I helped out in her garden, and we talked and grew close.
We bonded over spirituality and confusion about Earth-Plane and how things were, here. He was sweet and attentive, and always thoughtful. I would come to work most days and find food offerings on my desk, and went to yoga and meditation with Ek weekly for a few months.
Somewhere in there, Ek became a completely different person. I’ve written about how I unintentionally blew through her life and flipped everything around, before, but I didn’t really realize how much my presence had changed things until recently. In November they were dedicated to me in ceremony, and in January their devotion holds true. In the days between, I, too changed.
I laugh out of caring and happiness when Ek tearily tells me what it looked like through their eyes. He distinctly remembers meeting me and how I scoffed at the concept of healing, and how only three months later I sat by the fire he tended for me and admitted that healing was something on its way–not quite here yet, but coming in the future.
The vulture’s family is Cathartes, from Catharsis. Vultures are the healers of the world, tearing apart rot so that it may be reintegrated into the cycle of growth. Although I may have eventually come to healing without her help, her kindness, patience, and compassion have made this growth come more quickly and remain strong through hard patches.