As we approach the ‘walls’ of Moria, my awe and fear grow. Gandalf says the Dwarves hide their doorways. Gimli declares they do it so well their own masters cannot always find them again. Legolas mumbles something about not being surprised.
Will old wounds ever heal? I watch these two and wonder. It’s odd to me. I understand from stories told, once, the Elves and Dwarves were friends. Yet, no one speaks of what happened. It seems a bit below them both, to continue as enemies over some distant long ago hurt. Especially when trouble enough stirs in Mordor. I shiver, and though I endeavor to think on something else my mind wanders back to these two companions.
I’ve taken the opportunity to speak with Gimli and Legolas, though never at the same time. They keep a fair amount of space between them. Each defends the company well when called upon to combine efforts, but once the danger passes one feels the separateness return. Both are brave and noble, well learned in the history and culture of their peoples. The differences are many, on the surface, but I sense in them a shared spirit of honour and courage and strength. Will they ever overcome the past?
My thoughts scatter as I slip, my foot splashing in the icy water shattering the stillness. I catch my breath more out of being startled by the noise than the cold. Swiftly, my eyes search the murky surface; a soft ripple rolls away, reflecting my own unsettled feeling.
Walking with Gandalf and Gimli, I attempt to shake off the uneasiness growing within me. Gimli notes the way will certainly be impossible for Bill. Gandalf agrees.
I am wholly unable to withhold my dismay. “Poor old Bill! I had not thought of that. And poor Sam! I wonder what he will say?”
Gandalf begins a more diligent search for the entry. Wonder fills me, as the light of the moon and the stars reveals the silvered door. Clearly, friendship existed once between Dwarves and Elves.
If only I could close my ears to Sam’s distress over needing to release Bill, his concern understandable. A pony alone, in the wild... A wolf howls, followed by an answering cry.
Gandalf lays his hand on the pony’s head and speaks softly. “Go with words of guard and guiding on you. You are a wise beast, and have learned much in Rivendell. Make your ways to places where you can find grass, and so come in time to Elrond’s house, or wherever you wish to go.”
In the corner of my mind, I wish for such words for me.