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Section XXXI-Wandering Alone

The first part of the morning, I found myself sitting by what was left of the small fire Sam built for cooking first breakfast. I am uncertain how long I sat there staring into the embers wondering what lies beyond the borders of the Shire. More and more I find myself lingering over Uncle Bilbo's maps wondering at all the unfilled spaces beyond the Shire. I know something is there for Uncle Bilbo, the dwarves, and Gandalf have all spoken of it. All I know, I heard during Uncle Bilbo's stories and the conversations with his visitors, and of course, my own dreams. Though of the latter, I am uncertain of the extent of their truthfulness. But these places are nowhere to be found here on the maps, except for those few things Bilbo added himself, as though nothing exists beyond the Shire. I've almost an ache to explore all those empty spaces for myself.

What is this longing for those mountains in my dreams so strange and yet familiar? Will their paths feel the same under my feet? The dreams are coming more frequently and vividly. They are unsettling at times but not disturbing. I cannot bring myself to share them with anyone, for how could I explain them truly? Trepidation and excitement oddly reside side by side. I cannot hold back the question, what will I see? I much desire to see those mountains yet still my heart whispers, not yet, not yet.

I still take joy in the Shire but a longing continues to grow in my heart to follow after Bilbo. I allow my eyes to caress the woods, fields, and rivers, so beautiful in summer's warm light. Could there be anything more beautiful? Memories of my dreams flash into my mind. Do the mountains or seas of my dreams hold the same beauty? How will I ever know if I do not see for myself? Could there be places even more beautiful and what of the peoples in those places? What are they like? What stories do they tell, and what songs do they sing? There is so much I want to know.

The wheat in the fields turns from green to gold signaling summer's approaching end; it won't last much longer. It seems that a few times Merry, Pippin, and Fatty have come by while I was out tramping on my own. We do eventually catch up to each other and enjoy a few ventures out and about. More and more I wonder if I will ever see again some of the places we visit. I'm thinking perhaps this October I may take a trip to Rivendell. I am missing Uncle Bilbo terribly. I wonder if he would be interested in a small adventure together?

I slipped out once while Sam was in the back garden. I cannot explain it, even to myself. How could I describe it to him? This desire to explore alone. I find myself frequenting my favorite reading spot. Sam found me there the first time I went exploring without telling him I was leaving. Took me a bit by surprise. It was almost as though he'd been looking for me, as if he wanted to make sure I didn't disappear or something. I wonder if he knows...but how could he? I haven't even voiced the plans to myself. More likely, I am being overly sensitive and seeing things not there for I have truly endeavored to be so careful to not give myself away. Besides, Sam assured me it was quite by chance he found me there for he was taking a shortcut to one of the other farms to pick up one thing or another. I am determined to visit Uncle Bilbo but could never ask Sam to separate himself from his Rosie. Besides, I need him to care for Bag End. I'll tell him before I leave, but there's no reason to needlessly worry him.