This is a letter to my son that I thought would be important to share with everyone on this thoughtful day. It is important to always be thankful for what you have.

Dear Mathias,

This is the first year I have chosen to bring you with me to share in the sacred Thanksgiving traditions of our forefathers. I was 9 years old, just as you are, when my father brought me along, and his father before that. Sadly, we do not know what the future holds, and my father was gone too soon. I was left with many questions unanswered that I had to discover on my own. I do not want this for you, so I write this for you to read and understand in the event that something happens to me before these things have been explained fully, with the hope that you shall not need it.

“Give thanks for thou blessings, oh weak minded worm. The earth is not yours to keep but to tend until the day of HIS righteous return.”

So sayeth the Lesser Prophet Träd in Chapter 7 verse 66 of the text. You know of him from our masses, and so each Thanksgiving, we set out to renew the parts which we tend, planting trees in the Bradenwood Forest.

I vaguely remember the first man I had the pleasure to witness. He was chosen to help the order in this task. This is just as you will, in years to come, vaguely remember the face of the woman chosen to help us tend the forest this year. I doubt you’ll ever forget the result, however.

Around this time last year, a part of the forest was set ablaze by an act of The Adversary. Many acres were destroyed and many more were spared. As you may recall from the news recently, many in other parts of the country are not so lucky as we. That is why we have sent them money along with our weekly blessings of peace and rebirth. If, when you read this in the future, a disaster like this should occur again, remember it is our responsibility as HIS Stewards to help our brothers and sisters rebuild.

Things are different here where we live. We can help these forests regrow ourselves. We need only foster and tend the seeds. The Living Prophets tell us it is our responsibility to do so. That is why the woman was chosen.

You are very young, and you were very tired so I do not fault you for succumbing to sleep during the Mass Of Selection. In time, you will become accustomed to the schedule of our midnight masses. You do not remember as we chanted as one around the circle of bones until her name was revealed unto us. It was Brother Hort who heard it first and began chanting her name and calling the spirit of Skogenherre from the void to afflict her with his extravagant gift.

This gift is a simple one: a hunger for the bounty of the forest.

As I explained to you while we watched through her windows, she began over a week ago to prepare within herself a space for the seed. We watched as she emptied herself to make room to receive HIM. This is good and this is necessary, so sayeth all of our Prophets. My favorite psalm that illustrates this is quoted from the Prophet Ingaborg 2:32

Set a place for HE

The master of Hell and Earth

The slaver of all, to see

And judge us by our worth

Prepare then, The Vessel to receive

The gift of Skogenherre’s seed.

We followed her for days, you and I. And on the third day of her cleansing, after patiently waiting with The Vessel in the clinic, we watched her rebirth. We watched in the grocery store as she unlocked the latent knowledge that Skogenherre had seen in her. It was so miraculous to see her discover the path on her own that I nearly wept.

Again, you and I were on hand, to guide her sleepless nights. Hidden in shadow, we whispered the Way Of The Truth to her on the back of the wind — and it was good. We watched as she gorged herself on the seeds of the forest.

We guided her to the place that was prepared for her. We urged her to dig. We are told in the text: in order to breathe new life into this land, the vessel must prepare their own place. They must accept and devour HIS seed at their own hand in order to be reborn.

Last night, I nearly wept once more as you and I followed her from the place that our sentinel watch had begun, that shadeless window where we watched her within She found the crown of thorns for the ceremony, crafted by you, at the edge of the woods. I have never been a prouder father than in that moment, knowing that the next phase would have been incomplete without your involvement.

You asked me at one point, what the lady was doing, as she entered the clearing and began to vomit up the young saplings she held within, and I hushed you into silence with the promise that I would explain later, which I forgot, in the adrenaline rush of the sacrifice, to do.

Those seeds which she had purged from herself would grow, in time, to mighty oaks, but they were not the true seed. They were but many that chanced to be consumed in her quest for The One. Only one seed in one million has the chance to become the miracle that we witnessed. It does not always happen. More often than not, The Vessel has not consumed the correct seed among the millions that litter the forest floor…but she had! Oh glory! I have seen it twice in my lifetime. It is a good omen. It is a sign that this will be a Year Of Blood, son.

It is with great joy, not just for myself, but for the entire order that you were in attendance to bear witness to the miracle that occurred as she stepped to ground. The roots split forth from her pregnant womb, writhing appendages of bark, and before us all, pulled the turned soil down upon her.

In a months time, I shall take you back to that place, the Circle of Bones, and there will stand a mighty oak, hollow and taller than any other for miles and we will leave a list of our enemies for Skogenherre to claim. If we are in his grace when he emerges, he may take one or a few to thank us for our tireless efforts and sacrifice.

As you see son, Thanksgiving is not about Pilgrims and Indians, it is not about turkeys nor feasting. It is about giving back as stewards of our brothers and sisters. It is about being thankful for the ability to take part in this rebirth. But most of all, Thanksgiving is about blood, and with any grace, many of our enemies will see theirs spilled.

With sacrifice and thanks, we can prepare a way for the seeds to grow. We can prepare the way for Skogenherre’s return and for the blood to flow. We can prepare a place for him at our table. We can prepare ourselves, though unclean, we are able. Together our order shall work to revive the flora in the hope to be cleansed by the darkness of his aura.

So sayeth the Prophet Ingaborg.

Rejoice and be thankful on this blessed day, for soon the culling shall be underway.

Praise!
Your Loving Father,

Savo