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Salty-smelling breezes blew upon the hair of the hobbits’ faces. They were looking out into the distance of the sea towards the east. The air before dawn was light and it seemed that the spark of light which foreshadowed the rising of the Sun was near.
“I do wonder how they all are over there,” said Frodo as he motioned east towards the cerulean blue sea which stretched out beyond …beyond where the hobbit eyes could see.
“I hope they are well, doing the things that they love to do, finding love in the company that they are with; I’m sure that they are better each day just like you are …To know in their hearts that you’ve found peace, my dear lad is the one thing that all wish for you,” replied Bilbo putting his arm on Frodo’s shoulder.
Frodo sighed. “I do feel better each day here in Valinor, stronger, able to not think about what happened in the past… but it’s still hard to not think of Sam, Merry, Pippin, and everyone else …” Frodo’s voice drifted as tears gathered. “I do miss them a lot.”
“To have you find peace within yourself is everyone’s wish. Memories are what we hold on to each and everyday. I had always held onto memories of the Shire whenever I was in Rivendell, spending my time writing my book. Memories keep you going and what we do each day warrants a page in each other’s stories,” Bilbo said.
“I’ve learned, Bilbo, there is not ever such thing as “letting go”. The good memories are always retained. Valinor has helped me forget how the Ring had tormented me, but remember the good that came out of having dear friends that are willing to go to the ends of the world with you. To know and have friends and cousins who cared and would let you go and find peace is comforting indeed. But I do wish they were here with me in this wonderful paradise.”
“They are Frodo, always with and within you. And perhaps, Sam will join you one day as well. For all Ring-bearers will be together eventually,” said Bilbo.
“Dear Sam,” Frodo smiled as he thought about what his dearest friend might be doing. “I hope that he has already become the Shire’s best Mayor and has had his ‘Frodo’ ‘Merry’ and ‘Pippin’ and all the children that he wanted. He always loved to have a big family, I remember. And I hope he’s not ‘torn in two’ anymore…”
“Sam is a brave and resilient hobbit… I’m sure he’s done much for the Shire in this year,” replied Bilbo reassuringly. “Rosie is a fine lass to be taking care of your Sam. Smart gal, she was, for waiting for him,” Bilbo chuckled in memory.
“And dear Merry and Pippin—the best cousins and friends one could ever have. Future Master of Buckland and Thain. I do hope they’re well, being there for their families, being their cheerful selves… I do miss them so much….wish I could still be there for them. They’ll always be my little cousins, Bilbo. The ones that need taking care of, the ones that I need to get out of trouble.”
“The wisdom they had gathered from the Quest, the things they’ve learned—they’ve become smarter hobbits. They’re not like us Bagginses, but they’ll be doing very well, those who had learned from the cousin who is the wisest and best hobbit of the Shire always does well,” said Bilbo with a wink. “Besides, ‘little cousins’ do grow up too, Frodo…” Bilbo said, looking at Frodo with a wry smile.
Frodo laughed at the thought. “I’m not the ‘best’ hobbit of the Shire and Merry and Pippin sure have done deeds that have even surpassed what I’ve done. But, you’re right Bilbo. I know they are all right… all of them. I miss them so very much, but in my heart, it’s reassuring to hear that you think so too, Bilbo,” Frodo’s blue eyes were filled with tears as he felt touched yet at peace. Peaceful for finding tranquility in a beautiful land full of song that eased and comforted the soul and companionship in one of the hobbits that he loved most and clean air and an environment full of sweet music, food and relaxation without stain of anything evil
Frodo retained better memories in Valinor, dreams woven with childhood images of his parents, images of enjoyable times with Sam, Merry and Pippin, Fatty and Folco before the Quest—these are the memories he remembered to cherish and hold close to his heart, allowing for healing, healing of his heart and spirit.
Frodo put his arm around Bilbo’s shoulders. The trees rustled but started to look golden as the rays of the sun crept up from the horizon. Wordlessly, they watched the sun rise from the east, from where Middle-Earth lie. And if it had heard their inner thoughts about those they had left behind, the sun looked brighter this day as if it had known that it was the hobbits’ birthday today and it seemed that a message had come to tell them all whom they love from the Shire would be all right indeed.
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