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by Aurora Rayne about a year ago in humanity
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A Love Story

Blue Ridge Parkway ft. Stolen Land

I guess it's kind of exciting when your lady love decides to be polyamorous. There's new influences, new elements, mind blowing orgasms...you miss who she used to be but you are so proud of the confident rose she is blossoming into while being showered with this great abundance of attention and adoration.

Then one day you can't even recognize her anymore. You can't afford to buy her Love. She's becoming distant...

Loving your town or city does not mean everything is perfect but that you Love them despite their flaws.

This is the story of my hometown.

Dear Lover,

Blue Ridge woman. You are the most beautiful sleeping giant I have ever laid eyes on. Thick. Full. Wet. Lush. Made of medicine.


The moss of your banks and ferns swirling around your feet. The mud of your laughter in the babbling brooks wearing nothing but garnets and rubies strung across your navel. Kyanite eyes crying mycelium as you twirl spring ephemeral blossoms into the partridgeberry carpet, ghost pipes rising from your footsteps.

These mountains once worshipped, passed down from the Indigenous that once reigned and borrowed from our grandchildren...suddenly very, very crowded. Outsourced and overpriced in the years of hustling in the tourism game to feed your little Appalachian children.

Lexington Ave. Asheville, NC

Mountain Mama, what have they done to you?

Asheville, I wrote you this love letter to remind you of your good sides.

With all the corruption and greed gnawing at your bones sink into your roots to find rest in all this chaos around these parts nowadays.

Tourism is taking it's toll

A city is only as strong as it's community and you need lovers who will care for your air, your soil, your water, your bees, and your trees.

I watch you shift and squirm, beautiful mountain mother, trying to turn your minds eye towards the limelight and forget about what really matters. I would tell you to party on but this affliction of character seems to be destroying you.

We must all learn how to adapt and support whom you are becoming, Miss Asheville.

No matter how many lovers you take and no matter how broken you become your true community will always stay loyal even if we couldn't trust you to stay golden, dear one.

Abby The Spoon Lady and Lyle Rickards

I will always remember you, young and blushing. Full of anarchy and revolutionarily bright red lips, bursting with creativity and dirt poor. Our arms tired from holding picket signs and paintbrushes.

We were all gooey eyed over glass blowing and pottery wheels while we tattooed each other and brewed homemade Kombucha. Sipping herbal tea whilst dreaming of fair living wages, racial equity, and a genderless and judgeless space.

We were dirty from tending pollinator gardens whilst learning about native cultivars and medicines. Tribal art from far away lands was running rampant in the streets. Just like the musicians, muralists, graffiti artists, and traveling circus acts.

Creator of "The Drums of Asheville", Co-Founder of "The Monastery"

Beautiful. Raw. Vocal. Unique.

I was so very in Love.

The great eruption of tattoo artists, galleries, music venues, dancers, street performers, film-makers, artists, artisans, skateboarders, activism, permaculture, herbalism, anarchists, painters, potters, photographers, movers, and shakers.

You were breeding culture like mad instead of worrying about capitalizing, monopolizing, and looking attractive. You were a safe haven for creators who were co-creating a culture of kindness.

Aluminum on Birch

Do not let these boisterous Love affairs end in betrayal.

Remember when Granola moms could bring their home schoolers to a park that wasn't covered in dirty needles. Food Not Bombs and Rosetta's Kitchen could keep up with feeding the homeless population and the price of a downtown apartment was a third of what it is now.

The artists were thriving instead of starving.

The community desired to keep you un-chained so you could realize your full potential, not end up like the others.

Don't forget where you come from. Never let your wild, creativity, or intensity be tamed by money.

Stay strong, Asheville. You deserve better.

Kindness isn't Weakness. Creating a cultural attitude of awareness and preservation lies in solidarity.

I still believe in you and everything us old lovers quilted together for you to wear like a cloak of royal colors, my Queen. I pray your new lovers will see past your bricks and cobblestones down to your dark earthy marrow. I pray they will nurture you instead of leaving you for what they believe you aren't because you're a one of a kind gal and I will never stop believing in you.

The fruits of your growth is in our hands and our labors in what we do to revive you, pamper you, honor you. I want to breathe all that life back into you so you can blush and twinkle.

A call for a revival is in order so you can tell everyone to kiss your ass because you have the communal strength and collective consciousness to support a shift.

Biltmore district

You are the number one tourist destination right now and all skin and bones. Don't worry, when they begin to edge off because you are turning inward and growing cold we will clean up the river banks and meadows. We will show the ones clinging to you how you like to be treated.

We will not let your true personality fade. You're just going through a rough patch.

I'm sorry gentrification did not ask you for your consent.

Don't be too hard on yourself but try not to be so soft next time to just let lovers walk all over you and treat you like you're just another city of distractions and tourist traps with no sense of the power of community you used to embody.

May they tread lightly because they don't know who they're f*cking with, Blue Ridge Woman.

Medicine Woman

Mountain Mother

Land of Cherokee

"No one is illegal on stolen land"

You are a doorway to Appalachian wisdom, precious waters, biodiversity that must be preserved, and so many trades of the old we are not ready to trade in for neon signs and four lane interstates.

You are stronger than you can imagine. You can endure this, maybe even enjoy it if the reign of money can fall into the right hands. This darkness will only be followed by a deeper renaissance.

Let us woo you. Let us reclaim our modern day stolen land.

No city left behind. No community that cannot find connection. No starving citizens. No homeless families. No more hotels. No more segregation. No more smoke and mirrors.

Olde Europe Bakery

My goal in the near future is to have a meeting place where all kinds of people can gather, especially young people and envision the future of our nationally celebrated biodiversity and ability to have a thriving agricultural presence.

I dream of land that is protected from over-development and habitat devastation. Organic soils that haven't been destroyed by harsh practices. A better model of "community".

I'm praying, if you're out there and you're reading this you will hear my message.

The stronger the net of community and loyalty we weave to put intentions of preservation back into the lands here, the harder it will be to penetrate.

"Today is a great day to have a great day"

It is time to reinforce the sense of strength, awareness, and compassion that once lived here within the heart of the Blue Ridge.

If anything this Love letter is a call to action and a call for respect amongst visitors who come to pay worship to the great Blue Ridge Goddess.

A reminder to turn our attention towards preserving the well-kept and preserved stolen land of the Appalachians.

This is now, just like the place where you dwell, the land that our children and grandchildren will inherit.

Beyond the socio-economic problems that come with an influx of newcomers and rise of inflation and gentrification I just want to remind others to have a heart.

Wherever you stand, please do respect the land.

East Asheville/Swannanoa


About the author

Aurora Rayne

I am a Student, Activist, and Social Justice, Equality, and Peace Advocate creating websites and non-profit organizations to help HUMANITY.

This is the story of WHY I CARE.

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