Well, it has been a while since I have been here, but the LOTR and the fellowship here on the Middle Earth board have gone with me.
It is funny how this book, which embodies unreality (Dwarves, Elves, and Hobbits!) finds its way into our realities. Who here has not received a message with a quote from the book/movie from people who were not fans of the books? Who here doesn't wonder, "What happened to . . . " when we haven't seen our friends on the boards for a few days?
And as we look to the release of the last movie, my dear friend Anborn reminds us of many 'lasts' which we still have in store. All of this in the real world has been colored through the eyes of 9 wanderers through a journey that embodies all that the 'real world' offers: danger, adventure, suspense, fear, anger, betrayal, loss, joy, friendship, calm, wisdom, survival, and a sense of purpose. We find comrades, different than ourselves, but still striving for the goals common to us all. We find ourselves using 'elvish' cunning and looking at the big picture. We find ourselves filled with 'dwarvish' pride at a job well done, and 'hobbitish' enjoyment for the small things that make life worth living. We find our arms outstretched offering support with Sam's hands, and sometimes don't even recognize how our words travel in ever widening circles like the smoke-rings of Gandalf. And those rare moments when we can forgive those who have done wrong shows the best of Frodo. And perhaps times like now, when we can sit like Smeagol, and look at those who have offered us friendship and trust with love.
And as we leave these moments, we must be sure to guard ourselves from the gollum which lurks in the shadows, and strive for the greatness that God has given each of us.
Funny how this book, this fantasy of imagined peoples, speaks to each of us in different ways and illuminates our world, and ourselves.
And so I offer my thanks. To JRR, who created such a vibrant story that it brings out the noble human spirit. To PJ, who brought it to the screen for those who must 'see' to believe. And to you, dear friends, who show me your visions of Middle Earth, and all of the things that I might have missed on my journey, without your stopping me along the way to point things out.