III. Easter Sunday
He clutches the living star to his breast, and I clutch him to
mine. My robes are wet with sea-spray and the salt tears of this
precious soul tried too high, bent with exquisite cruelty, far beyond
hope unbroken, the toughest of all twigs in Middle-Earth.
I am honored to hold him, to feel the innocent sorrow of his
tears. Let him weep out the pain as blood from a bruise. Let the
healing commence. By Valar-grace and the power of the One, he shall be
whole! The Blessed Realm will not be blessed for me until that day--
He turns in my arms. I feel him stretching, then see a flash of
light. With a glance, I understand: in the midst of grief he is
offering hope to the ones left behind, lifting Eärendil's liquid fire
for them as high as he can reach.
Rising, I catch him up. His weightlessness breaks my heart.
With tender care I set him on my right shoulder, more fully in sight of
those desperately waving their arms upon the the fast-receding shore.
He does not cling to me, not even to steady himself. Implicit, unspoken
trust. Tears follow the furrow-paths down my face.
Undue power has vanished with the One from the flame-ring,
Narya, my close companion of many centuries, but a certain virtue
remains. It responds to my thought with a surge of exhileration.
feel its new power: mild, calm, untramelled. White flame races through
my blood, then arcs in full embrace around the little Hope-bearer,
merging its brilliance with his gentle hallowed glow. It twines up his
arm and swathes his four-fingered hand, and meets the Phial.
An epiphany of fire not seen in Middle-Earth before or since.
The sea-mists burn away in splendor.
Once nearly consumed by the wheel of fire, Frodo has become a
vessel of fire, white fire, holy fire, the fire of Anor, of Eärendil, of
Celebrimbor, of the Noldor and the Istari, of those who build and those
who burrow, those who share the great Gift.
Remember, beloved friends! Remember the wounded hand wreathed
with light, and know this beyond doubt: he lives. He lives indeed!