It has been a part of my life as far back as I may remember. The
imagined sound and sight and smell of it visited me in gentling dremes
even when I was a lad.
Since Elanor's birth, I have taken to staying late abed. Oh, not
for laziness sake, no, but to hear the muted sounds of her (of them) as she wakes. To hear life going on once again about the place.
I must also admit that, of late, I feel disinclined to rise. Even
the books which my Lady has sent on to me from the City, books which
Sam tells me are from her own library, do not tempt me.
And so I stay abed, and think on nothing, until the clamour of Rose and
Sam and the flower-child breakfasting becomes almost loud through the
closed door. Rosie will, after all, have tea waiting for me,
steam curling from the familiar mug like spent-autumn. And
seed-cake, fresh from the baking, butter sliding yellow upon its face…….
Today, though, I cannot find it within myself to leave the enfolding
comfort of bed. Inevitably, there is a knock upon the door.
A stout knock, not soft and hesitant, like Rosie's is. Sam. There is a good-natured scolding in my future.
The door opens, none too gently. How well I know this look:
mouth struggling betwixt turning up and turning down, eyes crinkling,
snapping in almost-amused worry.
(no-longer amused eyes take in the state of the bedding. I had not realized how very disheveled it was).
"Did you have a bad night, Mr. Frodo?"
no, I don't think so, it was…..it was only…..
"No, Sam, not - not bad. Just…….I was dreaming, is all."
Sam looks as if he has spotted a three-legged coney in the back garden.
"And what," he says softly, pulling the comforter up from the floor,
"on what might you have been dreaming, to have made such a tangle?"
Sometimes, the telling of simple truth is not so very simple. I
well knew what he thought, what he expected to hear: a mountain,
running red with consuming fire, a blooded whip falling within a
darkened chamber, the unbearable desire for that which I may never
touch or see or name as mine own……
His head came up at that.
"Beg pardon, sir?"
I had never thought on it, but it is not, after all what any (even Sam,
who knows me like no other) would expect to fill a hobbit's dreams.
My voice grew smaller, nonetheless, as, of a sudden, I knew the import
of those two words. It would not do now, would not do at all, for
me not to have the courage to meet his eyes. The sad certainty I
saw there only matched my own.
"The Sea. I dreamt of it, Sam. I have, for many years, now."
We have been through worse things than the unraveling of the hope I saw
in his eyes. But we had been through them together. He
would not be my Sam, though, were he not to find some bit of homely comfort in even the most desperate strait.
A large hand reached out, grasped mine.
"Rosie's waiting on us, Mr. Frodo, and you well know she don't like bein' kept waiting, so come along."
I could scarce believe I should escape without further comment, but he was rounding the door……
My name, and without the
title. Half on the other side of the door he was, voice muffled
by the division of it, but I could hear tears and a stubborn
holding-on, even so.
"Just you keep in mind……just…..". His voice dimmed, stopped. I did not speak, could not speak.
"Just you keep in mind, Mr. Frodo, it might be a lovely place to visit, but 'tis not a place you'd want to be livin'. Sir."
And the door closed, finally, he on one side, me on the other.
And I was left there to consider dremes, and the consequences thereof.