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Reflections from the Paradise of Elves  by Bodkin

The Paradise of Elves – Part 57: The New Year


The stars danced across a sky of silk, as Legolas lay back on the bed of fragrant meadow grass and watched them with the content of the slightly intoxicated. 

‘I had never seen such an open sky,’ he said suddenly, ‘as that above Rohan.  The plain was nothing but grass and horses and wind, until we came to the hill upon which Edoras stood.’

Elrohir ran a lazy finger round the rim of his cup, too idle even to lift the wine to his lips.  ‘The star song made my bones ache,’ he mused.  ‘It was almost more than I could endure – and it made me long for trees.’

‘It did.’  Legolas sounded surprised.  ‘I thought it was just me!  It did not seem to affect Estel or Gimli.  It was not so much of a problem in the day, but as darkness fell, I could hardly bear the sheer quantity of it.’

‘And yet,’ Elrohir half-closed his eyes in recollection, ‘once I grew more accustomed to it, there was something exhilarating about it – almost like flying.  I could understand how the Rohirrim felt when they rode headlong across the plain with nothing between them and the sky.’

‘Free,’ Elladan agreed.

‘There were moments,’ Legolas mused, ‘when Éomer was on horseback, when he could almost have claimed kinship with the elves.  He was one with horse and land – part of both in a way that men seldom are.’

‘Estel had it, too,’ Elladan insisted.  ‘He was more aware of it – that is where the difference lay.  Those early years in Imladris had trained him to listen consciously to what the land around him was saying, whereas Éomer did it entirely without thought – just because he was himself.’

‘I miss it still at times,’ Elrohir admitted.  ‘And all of them.’

‘Is that why we are sitting here in the middle of a field rather than taking our ease in a welcoming tree?’ Legolas asked.

‘It seems as good a way to celebrate the New Year as any,’ Elladan said softly. 

Legolas rolled to support himself on his elbow and looked at the twins.  It was at moments like these, he thought, that their closeness was still so apparent.  Much of the time they happily led different lives – Elladan more boisterous, laughing with Miriwen, teasing her about her swelling figure, encouraging his son to take his first steps towards the adult world, while Elrohir was quieter and more observant, gentle, but with a strength beneath the softer surface that made him a rock for more than Sirithiel and his two daughters – but at times like this they were again the two halves of the same shell; the wary warriors he had first met, shielded against the arrows life had aimed at them.

‘It means so little here,’ Elrohir mourned.  ‘The day that Arda was granted the chance to go on – courtesy of two from a race whose sheer existence was doubted.’

‘The day that our foster brother resigned himself to kingship,’ Elladan added.

‘And our sister to death,’ his twin concluded.

‘Then it is up to us,’ Legolas told them, ‘to see that their sacrifice is known – and honoured as it should be.  If it pains us to speak of them, we should not be surprised to have others avoid the subject.’

‘It is a day that should be celebrated,’ Elladan agreed. ‘In Valinor as in Arda – and our memory of the events should remain true until time’s race is run and we all meet again beyond the circles of the world.’ 

‘We will see to it.’  Legolas reclined again and inspected the stars. 

‘How?’  Elrohir enquired.  ‘If it was that simple, surely Mithrandir would have seen to it when the Ringbearer reached these lands.’

‘Frodo would have hated it.’ Legolas shook his head firmly.  ‘He would have been embarrassed by the attention.  I think Merry and Pippin – and Sam – accepted the celebrations in Gondor because they believed that Frodo deserved them, but Frodo would have put his foot down had Aragorn tried to praise him in his presence.’

‘Should we do it now, then?’ Elladan wondered.

‘There was more to it all than Frodo’s part, though,’ his twin said.  ‘They all deserve to have their deeds known.’

‘It is too easy for the elves to disregard them,’ Legolas agreed.  ‘They were mortal – that in itself is enough to make many shrug off what they achieved.’

‘Not among those who stood against Sauron,’ Elladan said firmly.  ‘Not among those who lost kin at Dagorlad.’

‘Nor among those who saw Lasgalen twisted to Mirkwood,’ Legolas added quietly, ‘or saw the desolation of Dol Guldur.’

‘We will do it then,’ Elrohir said firmly.  ‘We can rope in Adar – and Daernaneth.  I am sure that Daeradar will support us.’

‘Olórin,’ Elladan suggested.

‘We will establish a celebration to end all celebrations,’ Legolas insisted.  ‘And spread it throughout Aman.’

‘In memory of those we have lost,’ Elrohir raised his cup in salute and looked up to the stars.  ‘And for what they have given us.’

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