Frodo Baggins was blest.
He was, he deemed, cursed, as well. .
Cursed, and by the very same as that with which he was blest.
It was a lovely cursing, an even lovelier blessing.
For as far back as ever he could remember (and further, yet, had he only known), he had been curious.
Oh, not curious about what Mum might be cooking to lure an errant
appetite, nor what secret spot beside the river he and Da should visit,
rough-hewn poles and bait in hand….
Nor was he even curious to know what stories Uncle kept within dreams tousled by greying hair. (Well, not much curious, in any case).
Frodo did not even know a word for the hunger that took him, the deep, keen thirst, the wanting to know.
He only knew it ran through him, like his blood, hot, and sweet,
winding insistent like the swallowed note of a song. It called
him, pressed him with a pang of sharp longing.
He remembered how he lay, one heat-stilled Harvest night, lay quiet,
hidden beneath the vast black bowl of the sky. And the Stars, oh,
so very far away, blinked with mysterious fire: blue,
red……..green….and, of course, a colour which was not white. It
There was no name for it, for it was not a colour. It was more a
state of being. Just as he was Frodo, and that name, with the
knowing of the being attached to it, defined him, so the stars were
defined by that piercing colour-which-was-not.
He could never touch them, never hear with his own ears the Song his
heart somehow ascertained as theirs. And he wanted to. He
wanted to know how they had been placed there, so lonely against the
velvet of the night, he wanted to pull the living Light of their Song
close, like a cloak about him, cover himself, warm himself within
the vastness of it. He wanted……oh, he *wanted* to understand…….
Almost, he fell asleep, and imagined them wheeling, like a hawk in
blurr'd flight, into the sanctuary of the West. And there
they fell into that other vastness, that unseen, untouched mystery
almost as incalculable as the endless sky they sailed.
He had never seen it, save in books and the dreams born of fancy.
He did not expect that ever he would see it, foaming and crashing and
tossing its celadon-bubble-weeded head upon a white-gold shore, or
serene and silent in blue-green mystery.
He would never know the place within it where the stars Song lay hid by
day, never feel the quickening of its sharp breath cold upon his neck.
And Frodo Baggins, son of Drogo, only child of Prim (she who had the
blood of the Faerie Wife running fey within her), twined his fingers
about the very ordinary grass. This. This was his, this and the river beyond, and the warm-lit smial where fires danced within a confining grate. This,
and his little bed, oaken head carved with a single star, narrow width
holding him safe and sure within a wider world. Thus it was, thus
it would ever be.
And Frodo could not explain the sudden sadness that filled him, spilled
tears from his eyes, in that quiet fall field, with the whisper of the
Brandywine running quick-silver on its long journey to the
Blest he was.