Summer is moving swiftly on with harvest time fast approaching. What with all the work needs doing in the gardens, Sam and I confine most of our outings to evenings at the Green Dragon. An interesting place, the Green Dragon, seems to put everyone on an even playing field, if you know what I mean. Like most establishments of its sort, the place serves as the general gathering spot for those who live nearby and any who are passing through. News is shared and stories told, and the truth of either debated. I've found it a useful diversion from my own thoughts in the evenings. I still thoroughly enjoy observing Sam as his eyes shyly follow Rosie. For all his love of adventure, especially if the possibility of elves is involved, he appears wholly unable to embark on what would seem to me the greatest adventure created, getting to know his beloved Rosie. But then, I know so little of such matters myself. However, my acknowledged lack of experience in affairs of the heart fails to impede me from helping the relationship along whenever opportunity arises. Sam puts up with it; he seems more indulgent of me than anything, as though he's learned to take it all in stride, so to speak. Occasionally, I successfully manage to nudge him into spending a bit more time with her. Honestly, how he will ever work up the nerve to marry her, I cannot begin to imagine, but I know someday he will. With a carefully schooled stern stance, I half threatened him once with firing if he didn't give his word of honor to someday at least ask for her hand. All concerns on his part vanished as the smile I'd been endeavoring to hide crept into my voice. With the same, shall we say, solemnity, he promised. Mind you, this particular conversation remains strictly between the two of us. Still, at evening's end, Sam and I walk home together more often than not. We've settled a bit into a routine. Though this has become our time out and about we still share our daily meals more often than not.
Increasingly, I am aware of the absence of Uncle Bilbo's presence. I long for our trips and his tales. But more than that, I note more keenly the loss of what his being at Bag End brought. He almost constantly had the most interesting guests coming and going. I miss the activity and regular news of the outside world dreadfully. I gather what information I may from those few travelers whose paths cross mine in my wanderings, but so much of the news is shrouded in sideways glances and whispers of unpleasant tidings. These encounters are far too brief for any meaningful exchange of information. Yet despite the dark rumors, the secret desire for more adventure than what the Shire has to offer grows steadily in my heart. I wonder to myself, is it just something new I am seeking? Perhaps, but at times, a part of me inexplicably wishes to escape. Escape from what?
I love the Shire and yet sometimes find myself asking, "is this all there is?" I answer myself even before the question is out. This feeling grows not unlike thirst or hunger. But I do not desire the simple fare that I have been born into, this is a craving for the sweetness found in things kept just out of reach, much like Bilbo withholding a treat until I finished my supper when I visited him as a child. I know there is more, and I want to see it. Someday, I will. Oddly, there's a part of me that continues to whisper, "Not yet. Not yet."
Why am I feeling so restless? I struggle to explain it to myself and cannot. Niggling in the back of my mind all winter has been Gandalf's riddle about questions needing answering and his parting, "Keep it secret. Keep it safe." Fortunately, there has been more than enough to keep my mind occupied, but the coming of spring and summer brings more time to wander, and wandering gives me plenty of time for thought. With summer drawing swiftly to a close, I search my mind for answers with no clear questions. I remember Gandalf's promise to return and idly search for it daily, but so far, still, there is nothing.