To the Havens
Frodo sighed softly and pulled the last strap of his packsack,
fastening it firmly. It did not contain much, just a few things to keep
him warm at night, and a bit of food that Rosie had so kindly prepared
for him the night before. And a book, from old Bilbo’s library. It
would be enough, they were in the midst of Summer after all, and he was
not going away for too long, a few days at the most.
Of course dear Sam had to have his say and would not conceal his worry.
Frodo had told him two days before, catching him on his way back home
after his ‘rounds’, as in his quality of Mayor of Hobbiton now he had
to do, from time to time. They had almost reached Bag End when Frodo
told him of his plans.
“Now, Mr. Frodo, I am not sure this is such a good idea,” had objected
Sam, turning around quickly to face him, “You leaving alone and all?” A
furrow had creased his tanned brow. “If I may say so, we don’t know for
sure that all is yet safe on the road, if you take my meaning. Even
just for a few days… I would never forgive myself if anything happened
to you, Mr. Frodo...”
Sam had been very busy with “the repairs” as he called them, and every
single day he would be reminded of all the wounds Sharky had inflicted
to the land. He was not too pleased with this news of Mr. Frodo leaving
on his own, even for a short trip.
But Frodo had been reassuring:
“Sam...” and he had put his maimed hand on Sam’s brown and dirty arm, and looked at his friend in the eyes and said softly :
“I am not going that far, I will be fine, trust me. Besides, you know
the Elves have taken great care to conceal the road that leads to the
Havens. Nothing can happen to me, Sam.” And his voice had been soft but
his tone resolved.
The Grey Havens. Frodo knew in his heart that he needed to go there,
and no reasons Sam would have opposed to his leaving for this trip
could have changed his mind. Frodo could see that Sam knew it too,
there was so little now that they had to explain. So in his fashion Sam
had just looked at Frodo and shaken his head, lifting just one corner
of his mouth in a tentative smile, admitting his defeat.
“You are just as stubborn as before”, he had muttered.
Frodo’s heart had stopped for a second. “Yes... before...” had thought
Frodo, and for a moment Sam had lost him... But then Frodo had nodded
and smiled, a sad if grateful smile, and said no more.
The green door of Bag End was now in sight, gleaming in the last rays
of light, and the scent of the gardens had started to hang heavy in the
air. Pressing Sam’s arm gently, he had gone ahead and left for his
room, closing the door behind him without a word.
Now it was not even dawn yet, the household still sound asleep. A soft
breeze, new and fresh, came in through the round window as Frodo was
preparing his things, and his eyes drifted out for a moment to follow
the course of the gentle wind. All was still, the gardens silent and
waiting. The call of a lonely bird somewhere stirred Frodo from his
thoughts, and a great sadness caught him suddenly, again, every morning
now it would, when he would hear the birds sing. So he tried to finish
his pack as quietly as possible, worried that Sam would find him. He
did not want anyone to see him leave. Yet from his room he could hear
nothing in the house; not even Rosie was up. Soon she would be though,
and busy preparing breakfast, then a sleepy little Elanor would trot to
her mother’s skirts, her clear voice filling Bag End...
He hurried on, flinging his packsack over his back, securing a flask of
water across his chest. Then he walked silently down the hall, and
opened the door. Despite his hurry he could not help lingering on the
doorstep. Such calmness. The air was wet with dew, and as he breathed
deeply he tried to let in as much of the Shire as he could. For a
moment he felt sorry that even his walking would disturb the quiet
peace of this ending night...
But he had to go. Again the lonely bird sang, and Frodo, filled with a
sorrow he could not understand, walked through the little iron gate and
set out for the harbour.