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I pause, hands on the stern of the beached boat, ready to thrust it into the water, and look back to where the forest springs up at the edge of the sand. Finally I am free to answer the call that has sung in my heart all these years. But now the trees call with equal intensity, and I stand poised, torn between competing songs, the land of my birth, rich with beauty and wonders yet untasted, and the land of my destiny, mystery and promise beyond the waves.
Gimli shifts impatiently, still uncomfortable with the motion of the boat. “What are you waiting for?” But then he sees my face, and understands.
“Ah, indeed, it is a fair world we leave, my friend.” Our eyes meet, sharing grief and joy. Then he turns to gaze toward the western horizon. “But what awaits is fairer still. Or at least, so you have convinced me.”
I know his words for truth. With a last farewell to all I have known, I shove the boat through the waves and leap aboard, turning the sail to catch the wind. Together we sail West, while around us the ocean thunders the music of creation.
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