Back next


Section LXXVIII-Respite

One day blends seamlessly into another. We eat and rest and indulge in walks. In truth, Legolas only slept with the company the first night, but he still usually joins us for our meals. As the weariness of our journey gradually fades away, our grief reveals itself in full.

I’ve ne’er been inclined to create or sing verses, but in ways I could not foresee, Lothlórien touches a place deep within me. Finally, I unearth my courage to share my poor attempt at a lament for my old friend. Odd, so many songs I know by heart, those written by Bilbo and others, and yet I struggle to remember my own, for somehow my composing is fettered. Is it grief what interferes with this singular process or something I fear to name? No matter, Sam seems quite pleased with my feeble offering; his kind encouragement eases my unconcealed hurt.

We share our remembrances of our fallen companion; we each have our stories to tell. From his last moments in Moria to before I was born, Aragorn knew him well. Boromir knew him a little, and recalled the wizard’s occasional visits to his white city. Gimli too knew our friend, before the Quest began. Legolas finds it too painful to speak of, but then, he knew him longer than we all.

Daily, Sam and I venture out, along paths new to us and yet old. We do not walk long or very far, though our distance increases each day. My strength is returning, my mind clearing. The peace of Lorien seeps through me, and with it approaches a paradoxical disquiet, a restlessness to press forward again.

Merry and Pippin, from time to time, accompany Sam and me, and for the briefest of moments, we’re home in the Shire, not a care or concern unveiled. I cling to these moments, these memories of home, before the wheel of fire saw me. But swiftly they flee, as dandelion seeds on a breeze, as cherished memories flood through me unbidden, of a pipe and a staff, quick anger and ready laugh, bushy eyebrows and beloved battered hat.

Oft times, when Sam and I explore alone, my kin seek out Boromir for tales of his home. As a long past memory, I recollect how I hungered to experience more of the world outside the Shire. Never did I imagine I’d learn more than I wanted to know.

Aragorn endeavors to put his own grief aside, his feeling of self-accusation. Methinks as a distraction, he and Boromir continue our fencing lessons. My enthusiasm is sadly lacking. To Sam, it is neither here nor there. Merry and Pip feel a deepening need to glean all they are able from our seasoned warrior friends.

Each Man provides a different perspective. Boromir knows a straightforward fighting, studied on the field of battle, in defense of his country. Aragorn on the other hand honed the art of stealth and tracking, mastered in the wilds of the north.

The dissention between Legolas and Gimli seems to have all but vanished. They’re now found together more often than not, wandering here and there. I smile for a moment to myself, there is magic indeed in Lothlórien, to weave a bond of friendship between an Elf and a Dwarf.