Section XVIII Winter Settling In With winter settling in, it has been weeks since our last bit of wandering. Searching to ease the confinement, I delve into the books here at Bag End. I'm trying to further my studies of the elvish language. It's a beautiful language to write. I enjoy the way the script feels in my hand. The flowing letters seem to lend themselves to a natural order and fluidness. I spend time every day practicing from the books Uncle Bilbo left behind. How grateful I am for them.
Gandalf spoke it only rarely, and I always wanted to hear more. I remember the many times Uncle Bilbo went on about the sound of it. He declared it the most lyrical language ever heard. I learned all I could at his knee, but he admitted that his own speech was nothing to compare. Yet, in those lessons and the little I heard from Gandalf, there seemed to form a memory of it gently clinging like the sweet fragrance of the honeysuckle or the aroma of a fresh loaf of bread. Sadly, I know that with what little I have learned, I do not do the language justice.
Poring over Uncle Bilbo's elvish books, I am trying to learn as much as I can, to what purpose? I know not, but the study is interesting and I have a vague sense of needing to learn it. But it is difficult to pick up when one has so little opportunity to use it not to mention hear it. As well, like Uncle Bilbo, I find the language musical, except when it falls from the lips of dearest Sam. What an adventure, of a different sort, that has proven to be.
I decided to teach Sam so I could have someone to converse with, but though poor Sam has endeavored to learn it he can't seem to wrap his tongue around some of the sounds. Bless him, he does try, but it seems simply to elude him. Though I carefully recite the words to him over and over, sometimes almost nose to nose, they come out all wrong when he tries to repeat them. It is almost as though he doesn't hear the differences between some of the sounds at all. Despite my careful repetition, he looks at me blankly and then confused, as it seems to dawn on him that I expect an answer. He then gets embarrassed and admits that he thought I had stuttered and was waiting for me to start over for the sounds were the same to him.
I have all but given up on Sam, but bless him, he is always game to try again another day. If nothing else, our attempts bring us a bit of amusement on these cold, dark winter days. I know in my heart why he really keeps trying. He so dearly wants to meet elves and for now this is as close as we've come. So for now it seems, the lessons will continue.