I find myself wondering about many things. How often have I gone off wandering with Merry and Pippin or on my own leaving Sam working in the garden? It hadn't occurred to me that he might want to go as well. The thoughts chase through my mind, and I keep trying to make sense of them all.
It wasn't always so. Sam came on a few of the walking trips, but now that I think on it that was before he became head gardener, and it really wasn't that often. I vaguely remember his Gaffer gently reminding young Sam that there was work to be done, and it didn't get done if he was off wandering. I didn't give it much thought at the time. It simply was.
Dear Sam would ply me with questions about whether or not I'd seen any elves or met up with any dwarves, which happened on occasion. He was always tentative in asking though, not wanting to bother me. But with him fixing a meal or tea and right there I would find myself telling him almost everything. Just for a bit, it would be almost like Uncle Bilbo sharing his adventures. Funny, I know those stories well enough that I can tell them almost as if they were my own.
The next few ventures, I've taken time to notice Sam's reactions. He always seems quite content to be working in the gardens. Carefully glancing back when heading out, I have discovered that more often than not, Sam is watching us go, or me, as the case may be. I know he would never abandon his responsibilities as head gardener, and I haven't wanted to insult him by suggesting he might if invited.
Fall is moving on, but I've a mind to start taking Sam on some of my wanderings when he has nothing planned for the garden. To keep him from feeling like he is neglecting his duties, I'll ask him to teach me about the plants found throughout the Shire. I imagine he'll be overjoyed at the opportunity to explore though I know he won't want to wander too far afield. We might even find a few things we'd like to add to the garden at Bag End.