it feels as if nienna was born already mourning, from the instant she took up her song. even when she did not know of what she sang, she sang sadness and pity and grief, an endless stream of tears for something that did not yet exist.

it is only when she settles into valinor, watches yavanna sing into existence the trees and flowers and animals, that she realizes what she mourns for. so she stays with yavanna under the light of her trees for a long while, learning everything of the world she has to teach, simultaneously mourning less and more for the knowledge of how wonderful life can be.

but eventually she tires of yavanna, who does not understand why she grieves and who tires in turn of trying to, and so she leaves the trees. she goes to the gardens, where estë and her spouse offer her a soft seat of moss and a silent comfort.

rest, estë says, and nienna tells her of all the terrible things she sees, all of the pain and death she cries for. estë does not try to stop her mourning, merely waits and listens until nienna finally runs out of things to say. i understand, estë says, and though the pain of the world is yet unceasing, let yourself be soothed.

nienna lets herself rest, lays her head on estë’s bosom, and when estë retires for the day, she follows her and offers herself. take my pain, she says, and make it beautiful for a while. estë smiles, and tucks a strand of hair behind nienna’s ear, and leans in.

nienna learned beauty from yavanna, but it is from estë that she learns peace.


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