Winter Mornings and Lullabies
It was cold. That was the first thing I noticed, even before opening my
eyes. Instinctively, I burrowed deeper beneath the rich blankets that
covered me, trying to hide my face from the stark air, huddling closer
to the snoring mass that was my brother. I curled up into a tight ball,
breathing onto my hands in an effort to warm them, and increase the
heat in my little cave. But the minutes passed, and I was still cold.
I thought for a moment. What I was contemplating could very possibly
result in my being pitched summarily out of bed, which definitely was
not my desire, but if it succeeded, it did promise more warmth. And it
was so cold...
I rolled over, and put my cold feet on my brother's back. It was time
for him to start waking up anyway.
A few moments later, my fears were almost realized when the lump beside
me jolted awake, choking on a snore, and forcefully pulled a large
portion of the covers his way - incidentally, pushing my cold feet off
his back. Oh well...it had been nice while it lasted.
"Faramir! What do you think you are about!" A hand yanked the
covers off my head, and I was looking into disgruntled grey eyes.
"I was cold", I offered, a little lamely.
"And it wasn't enough for just one of us to be cold, you had to
make it both of us?" Boromir grumbled, flopping back onto the bed.
I looked away, then back again. It had been rather selfish. "Your
pardon, brother", I finally said. "I was so very cold, and you were
snoring so loudly, I thought maybe you wouldn't notice."
Boromir rolled his eyes, exasperated. "I don't snore. It's only deep,
regular breathing. And why snoring loudly - not that I was snoring - would have anything
to do with me feeling your cold feet, I don't know." He glanced out our
By now, the first light of the morning was shining in, a grey,
watery cold light, that promised a cold, wet day ahead. I shivered at
the dismal sight. Boromir glanced at me, and the disgruntled expression
on his face faded somewhat.
"'Tis a very cold morning, to be sure", he admitted, a bit
grudgingly. He did hate to be roused so early. And in truth, now that I
thought of it, I probably wouldn't have enjoyed the shock of being
woken with cold feet on my back. I pulled the covers closer around me,
and gave him a remorseful look. He returned it with half a smile, and I
knew I'd been forgiven.
We sat there together for a moment, looking at that grey bit of
daylight in the window, huddling in our covers, but the freezing air in
the room swiftly drove us to action. Typically, Boromir was the first
"Let's go see if Mother or Father are up, yet", he said, snatching
a cover up and sliding off the edge of the bed. Wrapping it around
himself, he moved toward the door. I grabbed another blanket, and
It was even colder walking down the hall than in our room. The
stone floor felt like ice on my bare feet as I followed Boromir towards
our parent's chambers. Pulling the blanket tightly about me, I wrapped
my hands in its warmth. Ahead of me, Boromir strode down the hall,
oblivious that one corner of his blanket was flapping insolently
against his heels, and another dragging on the floor.
We reached the doors of our parents chambers, and Boromir laid his hand
on the latch. He paused, looking back at me.
"Do you think Father is awake?" he asked me, in a whisper.
I shrugged. "I think it likely. Father is almost always up early. Or at
Boromir gave a half nod. "I know, but you recall the time he wasn't,
and we woke him...he wasn't happy."
I grimaced. That was somewhat of an understatement. "That was your
fault, Boromir," I hissed at him. "If we had only slipped in and
climbed in bed it would have been fine, but you insisted on bringing
your sword with you. I would have been angry, too, being woken up by a
cold sword in my bed."
"It wasn't my fault, either!" he growled at me. "Father is the one
who is always telling me a soldier of Gondor must ever be prepared! I
was merely drawing an obvious conclusion, that if a soldier should
always be prepared, he should have his sword. Even when he sleeps.
Anyway, you're just rubbing it in, because he didn't get upset when you
brought your picture book to bed."
I rolled my eyes. "Books aren't cold. Or sharp. They are much easier to
He drew breath for a retort, but the door to our parent's chamber
opened before he could speak. Hastily we both straightened. Our mother
stood in the doorway, a knowing look on her face.
"Children," she said, "Is it not cold to be standing in a drafty
We looked at each other. "We were cold," I said, as though that
"So we thought we'd come see you and Father," Boromir added.
"Indeed," she smiled. "Father was up very late last night, and is
still asleep, but if you desire, you may come sit with me beside the
fire." She opened the door wider, so we could enter.
Without further ado, we both scrambled into the room, making our
way to the thick rug before the fireplace. Mother followed at a more
subdued pace. The fire had obviously been stoked not long before, and
was burning brightly. Boromir threw himself upon the rug, and let out a
loud sigh of contentment. I sat close to him, finally beginning to feel
warm at last. Mother settled between us, her rich blue mantle falling
about her in gentle folds. I reached out and stroked the soft fabric.
After moment, Mother began very softly to sing an old lullaby that
she had sung for as long as I could remember. She told me once that it
was a song from old Numenor that she had learned as a small child in
Dol Amroth. I could hardly distinguish the words, she sang so softly,
but I knew most of them by heart anyway.
West of the Moon, East of the Sun
There stands a lonely Hill
Its feet are in the pale green Sea;
Its towers are white and still:
Mother's voice trailed into silence, and she pulled me closer to
her. Boromir rolled over at that, and smiling, she held out her other
arm to him. He slid over to us, and for a while we were all silent,
staring at the fire and enjoying its heat. I could hear Father's soft
breathing from the bed, and I cuddled closer to Mother, suddenly
feeling absolutely content. Stealing a glance at Boromir, I saw that
he, too, looked at peace.
"My dear children", Mother murmured, and I looked up. The grey morning
light had grown more pronounced, and was reflected upon her golden
hair. She was looking at both Boromir and me, her beautiful eyes
smiling at us, her throat looking very white against her blue mantle. I
thought in that moment that she was the most beautiful lady in all of
Gondor. My mother.
I stopped, remembering. It had been so peaceful, so perfect. How
was I to know that less than a year later, she would be gone...
A hand was laid gently on my arm, and glancing up, I saw Éowyn's
knowing glance. I turned toward her with a slight smile.
"Now I understand," she said softly," why it is so special to you. I
thank you for telling me."
*Poem by J.R.R.Tolkien, from
"Tolkien: A Biography", by Humphrey Carpenter. Page 76.
Also, young Faramir is 4 years old,
and Boromir 9 in this story.