#21

54th Day: We no sooner finished feeding the cows than the sky decided it was time to snow, and it was still snowing at sunset.  The gaffers and gammers are saying they were wee ones the last timed it snowed this much for this long.  I dearly hope it stops soon.  Even though the walk to Torold and Iris' is not at all long, it might be impossible if the snow keeps up.  Torold said he has some books his father gave him about the early Hornblowers and the first crops of Longbottom Leaf.  They were written many generations ago and have never left the family, so there are sure to be stories there well worth reading.  I wish I could show them to Bilbo!  Failing that, I've decided to at least copy some things for him.  Torold has agreed to this.  I expect Sam will be interested too.

It has gone all dark outside now and there is no way to see how much snow is there.  It is at least still cloudy as I can't see any stars.  I find that gives me an odd feeling, not seeing the stars.  I'm growing used to seeing them so bright and when they aren't there I feel I'm missing something.  I wonder if it's snowing at Hobbiton... I suspect this much of it would hamper the repairs at Bag End.  I can just see Sam fretting about it, afraid the place won't be ready when I come back!

Well, I am still thinking about that.  I keep remembering the Sunrise in its glory.  I can still see everyone flinging those gifts high into the air, smiling when they got caught in the blaze.  This is considered something good, it is like the Sun accepting the gifts.  I tried to note where the ones I threw got to but it was hard to tell with so many of them.  I did see two or three fall on the edge of the embers and catch.  I hope that means something good.  Everyone was so excited.  It would be good, I think, to see that every year, to make the Sun happy.  I think Bilbo would like this... but then he won't leave Rivendell just for that.  I wish I could show it to him somehow.  I would like to ask his opinion of whether I ought to stay here or not, but I know it's not for him to say.  I wonder what he would say if I told him I was staying.  He'd be happy, but would he think it a good idea?

Ah, I will never know.  The next time I see him it will be on the road to the Havens, whether I come with him or not.  By that time my affairs will be of little concern to him.  So I must decide things on my own.  It would be easy to say yes and not think further on it.  But that would be putting Lily at risk of touching the Dark and I don't want to hurt her further.  I know she wants to help.  I know my indecision is distressing her, but that is nothing against the terrible Dark that is still with me.  Like Sam, she doesn't want me to worry about her.  Sam was with me at Mount Doom and Lily was not.... How can I expect her to go through even a little of what Sam did?  How can I expect she will ever truly understand that?  I wonder if I asked Sam.... No, that wouldn't be right either.  Sam could only tell her what he saw and thought.  That wouldn't be the same as what she might have seen and thought if she had been there.  And it would seem like I was trying to force her to accept my word. If she is ever going to understand this, it must come from what I tell her and what she sees and thinks herself.

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#22

55th Day: Watching the snow falling, I am interested to realise that while it is daytime and I can see well enough through the white curtain, there are no shadows.  The trees and neighbouring hill cast no shadows, and that makes them mysterious.  It's not falling much now, and it looks like I should be able to get through.  In the common room earlier the gaffers were complaining about how hard it had been to get here, but since they made it the paths must be somewhat cleared.  I wonder how we'll do with the cows today?  I've heard it's still quite cold so Torold will be concerned about that.  Also, if Iris was thinking about traveling, this will slow her progress if it started while she was on the road.

I'm excited about the books Torold has and hope I have time this evening to start reading.  It's been so long since I read anything really new.... in fact, it's been long since I read at all.  I'm glad we got all the books out of Bag End before turning it over to Lobelia.  In the disorder the place endured during Saruman's influence I'm quite sure the books would have been destroyed, and that would have been a very great pity.  Many are quite old and may be the only copies left.  Especially the Elven writings.... I should like to see those again.  How much time has passed since I first read them!  Time, like the snowflakes, falls into more of itself and disappears.  It's indistinguishable from the time that came before.

I realised too that I'm still dating my entries here by how long I've been back in the Shire.  This is how time is marked now.  It still feels like a new place, a new time, as it indeed is.  It's far more than simply eating and sleeping in a different place than Bag End, it stretches over everything until I will no longer be here.  What will happen to these entries then, I don't know, but now it is useful for me.  I can tell no one most of these thoughts.  Here at least I can say what I wish without fear of harming anyone inadvertently.

Well! I think that is enough for now.  If I look back on these pages someday I am certain they will not bring a smile to me, especially what I've just written!  Today I've cows to help feed and water, and books to read in the evening.  That is worth many smiles.

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