Friday, February 15, 2019

Turin and Gwindor

Because of his prowess and his skill in warfare with Orcs Turin found favour with Orodreth, and was admitted in his council.  Now Turin had no liking for the manner of fighting of the Elves of Nargothrond, of ambush and stealth and secret arrow, and he urged that it be abandoned, and that they should use their strength to attack the servants of the Enemy, to open battle and pursuit.  But Gwindor spoke ever against Turin in this matter in the council of the King, saying that he had been in Angband and had had a glimpse of the power of Morgoth, and had some inkling of his designs. 'Petty victories will prove profitless at the last,' he said; 'for thus Morgoth learns where the boldest of his enemies are to be found, and gathers strength great enough to destroy them.  All the might of the Elves and Edain united sufficed only to contain him, and to gain the peace of a siege; long indeed, but only for so long as Morgoth bided his time before he broke the leaguer; and never again can such a union be made.  Only in secrecy lies hope of survival.  Until the Valar come.'

'The Valar!' said Turin. 'They have forsaken you, and they hold Men in scorn.  What use to look westward across the endless Sea to a dying sunset in the West?  There is but on Vala with whom we have to do, and that is Morgoth; and if in the end we cannot overcome him, at least we can hurt him and hinder him.  For victory is victory, however small, nor is its worth only from what follows from it.  But it is expedient also.  Secrecy is not finally possible: arms are the only wall against Morgoth.  If you do nothing to halt him, all Beleriand will fall under his shadow before many years are passed, and then one by one he will smoke you out of your earths.  And what then?  A pitiable remnant will fly south and west, to cower on the shores of the Sea, caught between Morgoth and Osse.  Better then to win a time of glory, though it be shortlived; for the end will be no worse.  You speak of secrecy, and say that therein lies the only hope; but could you ambush and waylay every scout and spy of Morgoth to the last and least, so that none came ever back with tidings to Angband, yet from that he would learn that you lived and guess where.  And this also I say:  though mortal Men have little life beside the span of the Elves, they would rather spend it in battle than fly or submit.  The defiance of Hurin Thalion is a great deed; and though Morgoth slay the doer he cannot make the deed not to have been.  Even the Lords of the West will honour it; and is it not written into the history of Arda, which neither Morgoth nor Manwe can unwrite?'

'You speak of high things,' Gwindor answered, 'and plain it is that you lived among the Eldar.  But a darkness is on you if you set Morgoth and Manwe together, or speak of the Valar as the foes of Elves and Men; for the Valar scorn nothing, and least of all the Children of Iluvatar.  Nor do you know all the hopes of the Eldar.  It is a prophecy among us that one day a messenger from Middle-earth will come through the shadows to Valinor, and Manwe will hear, and Mandos relent.  For that time shall we not attempt to preserve a seed of the Noldor, and of the Edain also?  And Cirdan dwells now in he South, and there is building of ships; but what know you of ships, or the Sea?  You think of yourself and of your own glory, and bid us each to do likewise; but we must think of others beside ourselves, for not all can fight and fall, and those we must keep from war and ruin, while we can.'

'Then send them to you ships, while there is yet time,' said Turin.

'They will not be parted from us,' said Gwindor, 'even could Cirdan sustain them.  We must abide together as long as we may, and not court death.'

'All this I have answered,' said Turin. 'Valiant defence of the borders and hard blows ere the enemy gathers; in that course lies the best hope of your long abiding together.  And do those that you speak of love such skulkers in the woods, hunting strays like a wolf, better than one who puts on his helm and figured shield, and drives away the foe, be they far greater than all his host?  At least the women of the Edain do not.  They did not hold back the men from the Nirnaeth Arnoediad.'

'But they suffered greater woe than if that field had not been fought,' said Gwindor.

-- The Children of Hurin


Long passage, and I think the lessons most speak for themselves, honestly, so perhaps not much to add.  The simple summary here is this: 

Gwindor is right, and Turin is wrong. 

It is Gwindor that has faith, hope, love for others - I think true courage, actually.  But after this exchange with Turin he ultimately falls into dishonour with Orodreth because 'he was no longer forward in arms, and his strength was small.'.   Basically viewed as a weak coward, it seems (where once, before the Battle of Unnumbered Tears he was viewed as the most valiant of all the people of Nargothrond).  Meanwhile, Turin who shows no faith, and no hope, trusting only in his strength and ability to kill as many of the enemy as possible, 'advanced greatly in the favour of Orodreth, and he became the chief counsellor of the King, who subjected all things to his advice.' 

So faithless was he in the Valar and their promises, and so intent on destroying his enemy, he refused the later advice of Ulmo himself, who counseled those at Nargothrond (through sent emissaries) to throw down their bridge, shut their gates, and conceal themselves.  The implications being that, just as Gwindor was saying, help would eventually come.  Just hold on until it does.

It would have worked.

But Turin didn't believe it - or maybe didn't want to accept that the way forward was not through bravery on the battlefield and the bloodshed of those he hated, but through humility and reliance on a greater power to save them.  Misery was the result, and still is.  I think this has everything to do, as well, with the post from yesterday regarding having a hope in Jesus and leaving behind these other things (in our day, perhaps it is not just actual bloodshed, but all the other ways we find to destroy each other -- our 'enemies').

Maybe when we talk of the 'children' of Hurin, we are talking about more than one thing, here, then.  As in a double meaning of a sort.  We have his offspring, obviously, but maybe we also have children as 'fruits'.  What fruits did those in this time receive  as we trace back not only to Hurin's call to arms to join the assault on Angband, but also to those before who did likewise?  Nothing but misery.  And what fruits do we have today?  Greater unbelief, orcs to fill our minds with it, and priests to peddle it, as Slumbered mentions, coming as a direct result of this tragedy. 

These were bad fruits, no matter how courageous the act or brave the hero. 

Gwindor was right, and the fact that Turin, and not he, was viewed as the courageous and wise one among the people says to me that there was a much larger curse at play here among them, not just dealing with Turin, and one we are still dealing with today, quite frankly.




Thursday, February 14, 2019

A House Broken - Part II

One other point as I think about the House of Israel.

In some ways, perhaps the question of 'who are they?' or maybe 'who were they?' is not necessarily as important, as I think about it.  Rather, maybe a more forward view of who could ultimately join them or be with them seems more applicable.  And the answer to that question is:  everybody.  The invitation is open to all 'Gentiles' that we, too, can be numbered among Israel.  Here are the words of Jesus, through Mormon:

Hearken, O ye Gentiles,
and hear the words of Jesus Christ, the Son of the living God,
which he hath commanded me that I should speak concerning you,
for, behold he commandeth me that I should write, saying:
Turn, all ye Gentiles, from your wicked ways;
and repent of your evil doings, of your lyings and deceivings, and of your whoredoms,
and of your secret abominations, and your idolatries,
and of your murders, and your priestcrafts, and your envyings, and your strifes,
and from all your wickedness and abominations,
and come unto me,
and be baptized in my name, that ye may receive a remission of your sins,
and be filled with the Holy Ghost,
that ye may be numbered with my people who are of the house of Israel.

What does it mean to be numbered among the House of Israel?  Perhaps it means taking on ourselves the same burdens and joys that first Finwe and later his House took on themselves.  That is "to liberate all anywhere bound, unjustly", having ourselves also being freed from wicked oaths.

So unbelief Eru wills begone, and as he wills, shall be, EA!  Yet how so?  By those from evil-oaths freed, happied, and joyous in labor on his behalf:
And just like they have/do, perhaps we have to break in the attempt.  Finwe and his house came, and they were broken, just as Eru told Finwe would happen.  Utterly failed.  It is thinking about this that reminds of other things Jesus has said about broken things, in speaking to the remnant of Israel that survived the destruction after his death:

And ye shall offer up unto me no more the shedding of blood;
yea, your sacrifices and your burnt offerings shall be done away,
for I will accept none of your sacrifices and your burnt offerings.
And ye shall offer for a sacrifice unto me a broken heart and a contrite spirit.
And whoso cometh unto me with a broken heart and a contrite spirit,
him will I baptize with fire and with the Holy Ghost, even as the Lamanites,
because of their faith in me at the time of their conversion,
were baptized with fire and with the Holy Ghost,
and they knew it not.

There has been quite the offering of "the shedding of blood" over the course of both our history and that of the House of Israel.  Pengolodh's statement that "Red are these chapters coursing over the pages of the book of your history, House Broken..." rings true.

Blood spilled everywhere.  Just read the Silmarillion and the Book of Mormon... there has been no shortage of the shedding of blood.  But God says no more, and he has been saying this for a long time.  Yes, there were great sacrifices by great men and women doing great things as they resisted 'evil'.  Our stories are full of them.  The mighty warriors at the Battle of Unnumbered Tears.  Turin as Mormegil.  Captain Moroni.  But what did they ultimately achieve?  What was it all for?  This cannot continue to be the way, or be something that we aspire to.  It creates, in a way, another 'seeming' another type of evil to take the place of the old, the belief that through violence and killing - the shedding of the blood of another - good can come.  It isn't so.

Instead, I think in part, at least, what Jesus is asking of Israel (and those that would join them) is to lay these things aside.  They have run their course long enough.  Jesus came, and rather than shed any others' blood, his own was shed to bring about our restoration.  He asks us to come to him.  Come with broken bodies, broken spirits, and broken hearts... and trust him.  We are broken, completely.  But we can be mended.  However, we must lay aside these other things and realize just how broken we are.  It is then, apparently, that we can be baptized with fire and the Holy Ghost.

Moroni's closing words to Israel:
And again I would exhort you that ye would come unto Christ,
and lay hold upon every good gift, and touch not the evil gift, nor the unclean thing
And awake, and arise from the dust, O Jerusalem!
Yea, and put on thy beautiful garments, O daughter of Zion!
and strengthen thy stakes and enlarge thy borders forever,
that thou mayest no more be confounded
that the covenants of the Eternal Father which he hath made unto thee, O house of Israel,
may be fulfilled
Yea, come unto Christ, and be perfected in him,
and deny yourselves of all ungodliness;
and if ye shall deny yourselves of all ungodliness,
and love God with all your might, mind, and strength,
then is his grace sufficient for you, that by his grace you may be perfect in Christ;
and if by the grace of God ye are perfect in Christ,
ye can in nowise deny the power of God.
And again, if ye by the grace of God are perfect in Christ,
and deny not his power, then are ye sanctified in Christ by the grace of God,
through the shedding of the blood of Christ,
which is in the covenant of the Father unto the remission of your sins,
that ye become holy, without spot.

I was also thinking just now of Eowyn in the Houses of Healing after the battle on the Pelennor Fields (in the Lord of the Rings).  Healed in body by Aragorn, but still broken in spirit, the sun finally shines for her (I think this is a sort of baptism by fire here for her) as she stands with Faramir and is healed, completely.  She says:
I stand in Minas Anor, the Tower of the Sun; and behold! the Shadow has departed! I will be a shieldmaiden no longer, nor vie with the great Riders, nor take joy only in the songs of slaying. I will be a healer, and love all things that grow and are not barren. No longer do I desire to be a queen.
Eowyn left her desire for greatness (to be a Queen) and for glory in on the battlefield behind, and wanted to simply be a healer.

I think this is what it means, again at least in part, to truly be numbered among Israel.  Having been broken, and then healed by Jesus, we take upon ourselves that same joy and that burden of working with him to also heal and free others.   

A House Broken

Hearken! O House Broken, and hear here thy histories sorrowful, regrettable, and muse no longer irresolute upon a future withheld, and now all that was promised to unfold shall be here told, anew, again, for thy seed to peruse, and be enlightened.

---


....for having seated Dyacôm upon a seat honored, and high before spirits to deem and counsel, they of his House Israel (as your tales state the matter); Israel meaning Broken, and so Broken as to be beyond repairing to original shape; Broken (full stop).

-- Words of Them which have Slumbered


Attached are two charts I made awhile back regarding the House of Finwe.  As I was reading about that House being also Israel (apparently), I tried to make sense of what this actually meant.  I took two approaches.

The first chart follows the physical descendants of Finwe up through to Aragorn and Arwen.  This chart could just as easily be put together without reference to Faithful or Slumbered (and I am sure has many, many times and likely exists in many online forums) with the exception that Celebrimbor is now the son of Irime, as opposed to coming through Feanor's son Curufin.  I don't think this a minor change, however, and has implications for how Finwe's direct physical descendants were and were not scattered and gathered.

The second chart, rather than follow physical descendants of Finwe on Arda/ Earth, goes further back and follows Finwe and his 'House' in the time before Arda.  Finwe, Feanor, and others lived on a place called Endar, ultimately also came to Eru-Place, and then finally were sent here to Arda.  The narrative that explains all that in Slumbered is a bit confusing (at least it was to me as I was going through it) so I tried to make a chart that keeps track of who is who and what they did as they move through these places and events.  Through it all, while a core group of people can be known at the House of Finwe/ Israel as the story unfolds, there also seems to be a lot of moving between groups and camps.  Thus, although the effort was to try and simplify and make the story more understandable, perhaps the best I can say I did was to better visualize the settings and groups, if not really able to simplify at all.

They are what they are - I am not sure what they answer, but the implications of what I see on these two charts has given me plenty to think about, perhaps the most important being 'who are they?' and 'who is their seed?'

[EDIT:  As I look at the charts pasted in below, I think probably too small to read well.  I will see what other options are available to attach them as documents that can be opened in a larger format.  I will change once I have figured it out...]

UPDATE:  Apparently, if you just click on the images below, the file should open up in a larger format and be readable - per Leo's comment below.  Let me know, though, if anyone has trouble with that, and I can revisit looking at an alternative way of posting or linking.




Tuesday, February 12, 2019

The Green Wave

On a Sunday morning in the summer of 2017, we had a pretty significant storm role in.  It hit with almost no warning.  If I remember correctly, it was only a matter of minutes prior to the storm hitting that the National Weather Service alarm we have started to go off.  I went out to make sure animals would be OK and get equipment put away.  As I was doing this, my oldest son called out and told me to hurry inside because the broadcast was now telling everyone in our area to seek immediate shelter.  I looked to the west, and there was a wall of green that was moving very fast directly toward us.  Leading this wall of green at the top was a cloud like a wave - best way of describing it.  I believe my exact though at the time was 'A green wave is coming right for us'.  It was an eerie sight as this wave slid under the existing clouds, giving the sky the appearance of an inverted ocean above us.  It was an incredible sight.

I took a few pictures of what was coming at us as I headed inside (I wish I had taken video as well, but wasn't thinking that way at the time ... just wanted to capture the sight quickly and get down to the basement).  Here are the pictures I took, the first one looking northwest as the wave rolled in, and the second looking directly west into the oncoming green wall.




The storm did quite a number - a lot wind and hail, a lot of damage, a lot of time working with insurance in the aftermath, etc.  Still some things yet to be repaired, actually.

I was saddest about my garden, with many plants simply just vaporized, small craters from large hailstones taking their place.  We had also started an orchard the year previous, planting small one-year-old bare root apple tree seedlings.  The entire orchard now looked like it had been shot up with a machine gun, tiny limbs smashed to pieces and bark stripped off everywhere.  The trees hung on and began to heal during the rest of the growing season, but I was thinking that winter was going to finish many of them off.  They just seemed too damaged.  To my surprise and delight, however, they all made it through to the next year and are now looking great.

Anyway, a couple reasons why I this event came to my mind, and why I am writing about it.

First, last month we hired a contractor - a great guy - to do some work for us in the house.  First week on the job he brought with him a painting that had ended up in his possession.  The story, from what he told us, is that a car had been driving down the road in front of our little farm in an effort to get home before the storm hit.  As they drove by, they paused (very quickly, obviously) to take a picture of our house with the storm bearing down behind.  They then posted the picture online.  An artist either found or was pointed to the photo, which they then used to create this painting.  Somehow (I don't know the exact chain of custody, here... the artist's name and number is on the back - maybe I should call them...) the painting ended up with this contractor.  The contractor, when he first pulled up to our house, recognized our place from the painting.  He thought it would be fitting if we should have it.  Small world, I guess, and interesting coincidence to bring that painting here.

Here it is (I don't have the photo the painting was based off of, however):



Second, I think of this storm sometimes as I read or think about the Akallabeth, the downfall of Numenor.  I hadn't yet heard of Faithful or Slumbered (they were a few months out from being published) nor had I heard of, let alone read, the The Silmarillion or had any exposure to those stories when we this all happened.  But I cam back to this storm when I read about the fall of Numenor, and particularly the 'green wave' that overtook and drowned that island.  Obviously, the wave that destroyed Numenor was on a far larger, almost incomprehensible, scale to what I am writing about here.  But, I think of how it was to look to the west and see this wall/ wave of green coming at us fast, and I then think of those Numenoreans also looking to the West and seeing that horrible wave coming to drown them and everybody/ everything they loved.

From The Silmarillion:
In an hour unlooked for by Men this doom befell, on the nine and thirtieth day since the passing of the fleets. Then suddenly fire burst from the Meneltarma, and there came a mighty wind and a tumult of the earth, and the sky reeled, and the hills slid, and Númenor went down into the sea, with all its children and its wives and its maidens and its ladies proud; and all its gardens and its halls and its towers, its tombs and its riches, and its jewels and its webs and its things painted and carven, and its laughter and its mirth and its music, its wisdom and its lore: they vanished for ever. And last of all the mounting wave, green and cold and plumed with foam, climbing over the land, took to its bosom Tar-Míriel the Queen, fairer than silver or ivory or pearls. Too late she strove to ascend the steep ways of the Meneltarma to the holy place; for the waters overtook her, and her cry was lost in the roaring of the wind.

What an absolutely terrifying experience that hour must have been, and what an absolute tragedy.

Monday, February 11, 2019

Good 'Is'

Good is, and Evil is not nothing, but a seeming opens where Evil be conducted; and in asking, and our perhaps unwise answering here, may seem, and not entirely Be; as all lore, words, and minds corrupt, unbelief wedging away heart therefrom, and through heartsore feeling, sadness disturbs mind, to wandering whence joy speaks beyond refutation;

-- Words of Them which have Slumbered 

Reality, in its truest sense I suppose, is Good.  It cannot be otherwise.  When we encounter things that are 'evil' it should maybe more accurately stated that they lack 'goodness' (goodness being the only thing that is real), with the extent of that lack being in direct proportion to how far the person/thing/event has strayed from what is real, or maybe in other words, their true nature.

What does this mean for us, then?  It is that the ultimate nature and destiny of existence and of creation, in its purest form, is Good. Good is what is permanent, tangible, and real, and that has always and will always exist.  It is.  Anything else is, what Pengolodh refers to in Faithful and Slumbered, a 'seeming' - a semblance - things that are not in fact real.

When Melkor expresses doubt that Eru will really bring to pass the creation of Arda as imagined by the Ainur, Eru says:

—Am I not?  Have otherwise I conducted?  This Realm is governed by none; by no entity controlled or driven to do, or be; what then says, when you Melkor do some thing, that another result be obtained?  Not of me comes this new thing <to> conclusion.  
​Any work thou undertake shall be of my will independent, free in its driving matter to conclusions unthought, or plainly devised aforetime; but in no instance shall any thing BE that has not its source in my-utterly; not for my governance’s sake, but because I have thus Be’d.  I am and give to thee, but of I am, I cannot otherwise Be. ​—I would not thus Be Me.
Things ultimately cannot exist as things other than 'good' because God and his creation cannot be otherwise ... it is just not possible.  Even ourselves, uncreated spirits that have always been and will always be and so something that will forever be real, are also, thus, Good.  But, yet, we are surrounded it seems at all times and at all sides by 'evil', by this lack of goodness.  How can this be, if the ultimate nature of all that is is good?  Because we are in a state that is separated from what is truly real.  We are separated from God, and we are separated in a very real and terrible way from ourselves - our true selves.  All around us (and within us) are deceptions, lies, marred people and things that indeed appear to be 'real' - to be - but are not.  Things that pretend that they have always been and will always be, but have and will not.

The return to Good then, is a return to what is real, and a leaving behind of anything that is not.  Following the exchange between Eru and Melkor above, Melkor is said to then begin again to perpetuate his 'seeming', his lies, into the creation of others:
Now when he returned there, appointed by Ainur in meeting, Melko brought in his thought, semblance, seeming; that one thing may otherwise be, and yet not itself be; out of Time itself was this Fantasy wrought, and yet by his nature, was —Now—bent, into what Eru could not; so never Ea! was his thought, nor ever would be, and yet Melko strove to perpetuate his semblance-seeming, shadows of Ea, a new thing, among any persisting to not do what Eru counseled, nor his will undertake; nor their own seek to replace what is not with what they wished to be; thus idling, perverting His Now with what-ought-to-be, and yet not willing that it should be – for such would prove a trial undoing these fantasies! Words thus came under scrutiny, as though names were not themselves things, but could be taken away, or fashioned to mean different things; and of his semblance-seeming, a semblance indeed seemed, to the subtle, to be.

It is this situation we find ourselves in, and one that many souls (many of us?) stepped into, either deceived or willingly.  And some it seems, like the House of Finwe/ Israel, were charged to also enter this state in order to help bring these people back to 'good' - to go into the divide, the illusion, and bring souls back to reality, freeing them from oaths made to liars and their lies.

Because it is all vapor - these lies.  The paradox in them being, as pointed out, that were any of these lies and fantasies to be followed through to (attempted) fruition/ completion by any, they would see them ultimately as the lies they are - things that cannot ever be real.  Rescue from this state, then, is possible because at some point we will all be able to see this 'seeming' for what it is, and to choose to leave it behind.  I believe that for all who want to know the Good and escape the illusion, a way to distinguish between the two will be made available.  It is part of our ongoing experience now, having some ability to see between Good and Non-Good, but only subtly so and not always clearly, I think.  I believe that, no matter the timeline for individuals, groups, etc. (and these timelines must vary... many of us still languishing here among the illusions, while others have long ago seen and embraced the Good) we will all have the ability to see Reality and Good for what they are, and to return to it, having learned much and, most importantly, developed estel and the knowledge that God is and forever will be Good, to be trusted in completely.

I think this is the joy that speaks beyond refutation that Pengolodh is referring to.  Although the path may bend, and for a long time and a long way, our destiny is to Be, and exist in and among, Good.

As Asenath stated in looking ahead to a future day (ours?):
great are thy days hither out-rolling, Man and Elf (as man, or spirit resident); woven through all is Eru’s tune, beyond unmaking, save maybe in void-nothing; and good perishing, arises cleansed, never to encounter that unmaking, for ever after the void dissipates, until in mind, it is not-it, and not even nothing; nor a thought, nor semblanced, and stretched is Eru’s tune, throughout;
Complete goodness then remains, the only thing that can actually Be.



Saturday, February 9, 2019

Jack and the Beanstalk

I was reading Jack and the Beanstalk to my kids before bed the other night, and realized I was reading almost an inverted Fall of Numenor/ Ki-Abroam's Magic Axe tale.

In Jack's story he uses his axe to sever the link between the sky and earth as the giant is coming after him, sending the giant falling down to his doom.  Ki-Abroam also uses his axe (or I guess Eru uses Ki-Abroam's axe...) to sever the link between 'heaven' and earth as the Numenoreans invade Eressea and Aman, sending the Numenoreans falling under to their doom.

Just proof, as if I wasn't already aware, that once you start reading and believing in these stories, you literally start seeing, hearing, reading them everywhere.  Perhaps the elements I find in these stories are old vestiges or remnants of deeper stories behind them, or maybe there is nothing there really to be seen and I just project on to them the patterns/ beliefs from elsewhere.  I don't know.  But if all creation, including even stories, can ultimately found to have some place or origin in God, then I guess one would expect elements of 'true' events or reality to find their way into even the most simple stories.  

God told Moses:
And behold, all things have their likeness, and all things are created and made to bear record of me, both things which are temporal, and things which are spiritual; things which are in the heavens above, and things which are on the earth, and things which are in the earth, and things which are under the earth, both above and beneath: all things bear record of me.

I think maybe I didn't/haven't realized just how comprehensive God meant 'all' here.  If it is a created thing, ultimately it must be traced back to Jesus, the ultimate source of creation, and so we should not be surprised to see stories about his redemptive work (or in this case, the need for that redemption) in the works of creation all around us, both what has been created and what continues to be created.  In songs, music, stories, etc., as created things we can see and hear echoes of something deeper, truer, if not, at the same time, very, if not almost completely, confounded and confused.

So, I suppose I have to once again grudgingly admit that even in Sammy Hagar's words we can hear those same echoes (inside joke for those who were involved in the discussion a while ago now, and a good barometer for me to take note of how my thinking has evolved since that time).

Friday, February 8, 2019

Yavanna

The spouse of Aulë is Yavanna, the Giver of Fruits. She is the lover of all things that grow in the earth, and all their countless forms she holds in her mind, from the trees like towers in forests long ago to the moss upon stones or the small and secret things in the mould. In reverence Yavanna is next to Varda among the Queens of the Valar. In the form of a woman she is tall, and robed in green; but at times she takes other shapes. Some there are who have seen her standing like a tree under heaven, crowned with the Sun; and from all its branches there spilled a golden dew upon the barren earth, and it grew green with corn; but the roots of the tree were in the waters of Ulmo, and the winds of Manwë spoke in its leaves. Kementári, Queen of the Earth, she is surnamed in the Eldarin tongue.

--The Silmarillion

Yavanna doesn't seem to appear in Faithful or Slumbered, so this post will be both rather short and also just discuss what we know of her from the Silmarillion and The Lord of the Rings.  I think actually most of the discussion around her can be found in that first link in my last post on Aule (post link here, scroll down for the links to the essays on Aule/ Tom Bombadil).  So, I guess to summarize here, and maybe for those that don't want to search through that essay, here are a few things to consider in imagining Yavanna as Goldberry.

I guess the most obvious thing to consider is that she appears to be Tom Bombadil's wife or, at least, significant other.  Thus, if Aule is Tom, one would assume that Yavanna is Goldberry.  Makes sense.  However, and this would be the one piece of information that we have not found in Tolkien's works, based on what we see in the behavior of Ki-Abroam in Slumbered this doesn't, necessarily, have to be the case.  Were you or me to come upon Ki-Abroam, Asenath, and Machir when they were hanging out together on their little atoll after the world was broken, and we knew nothing about them, it would be probably quite natural for us to assume this is a family - Ki-Abroam and Asenath are married.  In fact, at one point Ki-Abroam even calls Asenath his wife, after she is worried about the book they have been making was just a coffin for knowledge:

in whole, after months told by her aging daily, he hefted himself a Bronze Book, of his making;
Almost, she laughed, A coffin for all knowledge. 
Not so, but a barge, to sail it wheresoever the winds release, and take thy voice’s words, oh loving wife.  And she died, after a little laugh, and crumbled in flesh, blown to dust in a brief wind;
Similarly, we don't really know Goldberry's backstory, but it could be something similar to this situation, where Tom is living with someone who is really not his wife, but for all appearances it looks as if this is so.  Basically, what I am trying to say, is if it turns out that Yavanna is not Goldberry, I think that this can still be considered independently as to to whether Aule is Tom. 

But there are other things besides them living together that connect Goldberry with Yavanna.

First, is her green robe the hobbits see her in when they first meet.

In a chair, at the far side of the room facing the outer door, sat a woman.  her long yellow hair rippled down her shoulders; her gown was green, green as young reeds, shot with silver like beads of dew; and her belt was of gold, shaped like a chain of flag-lilies set with the pale-blue eyes of forget-me-nots.  About her feet in wide vessels of green and brown earthenware, white water-lilies were flaoting, so that seemed to be enthroned in the midst of a pool.

It is this green robe than hearkens back to the description of her that when in the form of a woman she is robed in green.  Even the mention of dew about her robe brings back the same imagery.  She is almost half woman half plant/ flower/ tree.

This is the second thing that connects her to Yavanna - her appearance. Not only in this first meeting, but this is also called out as the hobbits depart from Tom's house, and see Golberry on the hill.  Rather than write something again here, here is a summary of this from that first link in the Aule post:

Although still in human form, her flying hair hints at "the winds of Manwe" and the reflection of the sun from her hair suggests that she is "crowned with the Sun." The "glint of water on dewy grass" suggests the spilling of the golden dew on the earth as well as "the waters of Ulmo." When the Hobbits last see Goldberry, she is much more like a plant: "they saw Goldberry now small and slender like s sunlit flower against the sky: she was standing still watching them, and her hands were stretched out towards them." In this case, she is probably more flower than tree because Hobbits in general like flowers and are afraid of trees. The "sunlit" image is strikingly similar to Yavanna's primary nonhuman appearance. 
It is a good point this writer makes on why she might appear more as a flower/ plant than a tree to the hobbits  The Silmarillion is from the point of view of the elves, and due to their reverence of trees, would likely have seen or imagined Yavanna in that way, but this doesn't mean she would have to appear as a tree to all people.

There is the issue, of course, of being the Riverwoman's Daughter.  I guess if Aule/Ki-Abroam can appear in many forms under many names, this same could be true of Yavanna.  This could be one of her names/ backstories.  Perhaps it is a legend of men or hobbits that she has adopted for herself.  Maybe the name itself or its meaning was captured wrong or misheard by the hobbits, and so we are not getting the full picture or meaning of that name.  It could be a bunch of things. 

And although Goldberry doesn't necessarily have to be Yavanna, I like to imagine that it is the case.  The story is better for it... Aule and Yavanna - king and queen of the land and the living things on it, disguised (mostly, except of the obvious power they have... I forgot in my Aule write-up to talk about how he essentially called the 3 hobbits back to life by raising his right hand and invoking words of power), and helping the hobbits on their mission through, apparently, small and simple means which turn out to be quite important.