frio river

2

So I’m gonna share a personal religious encounter. 

When I was younger(probably around 17 or so) me a my family went up to the frio river in texas for the first time. That place is absolutely amazing. Huge cypress trees all over the place, and beautiful water. Plus, its mountain-y. Well I’d been swimming in the river all day, and the sun was setting. Me, being the brilliant person I am, decided I wanted to go exploring along the shore and see what I could find. 

Now there was enough sun for me to see well enough, and I eventually wandered about 1 or 2 miles away from everyone else. The shore of the frio river in the area we were in was lined with fist sized rocks. I lost my balance and twisted my ankle on the rocks. It hurt so freakin bad. 

There was no one around for me to call out too, at least not loud enough for them to hear. I could barely walk, and there was nothing I could see that would support enough of my weight that i could use like a crutch to get back to my family. The light was fading fast, and I was terrified. I crawled over to a huge fallen cypress tree and cried. and cried. and prayed. 

At the time I was just beginning my Hellenic studies. Artemis was the goddess who reached out to me in the beginning. So I prayed to her. And then something weird happened. The wind which had been blowing went still, and I heard a rustling in the forested area next to me. I stared at it, scared that it was a wild dog or a hog or something. But what came out was a young deer. 

I tried not to spook the deer. Not entirely sure why I was worried about it in the middle of a perceived crisis but I was. The deer came closer to me, and closer. So close that if I reached out I could touch it. Which I did. It sniffed my hand for a moment, and then let me touch its head. It was looking straight at me the whole time. We stared at each other for a while, before it looked down to my right, looked back at me, turned, and ran off.

I was confused, but I looked down at my right. Now, I looked everywhere before this to try and find something to help me get back to my family safely. I couldn’t find anything. Yet, resting there next to my leg was the cypress limb that’s in the above pictures. It looked exactly like that. I didn’t change a thing from the time I saw it until now. The top was already worn like that, and the whole thing was already shaped like that too. 

After staring at the branch for a while, I picked it up and tested my weight on it. It was just tall enough for my to use it as a cane/staff thing. It was strong enough to support my weight. I gave thanks to the gods, especially Artemis, through tears and I limped my way back to my family. I’ve had the cane/staff ever since. 

I’m completely convinced that Artemis answered my prayers and helped me return to my family safely. This is the most detailed and unbelievable interaction I’ve had with one of my Gods.