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2
Thinking

The warm stream of the Hearast, which flowed along the coasts of Aman, ensured a relatively mild climate, even this far to the North.

But really hot summers were a rare occurrence.

This however, was such a rare summer. It had been hot for weeks with no rain at all and almost now wind during the day. Only when the sun set and the wind blew from the Shadowy Seas to the Wastes of Areman, the suffocating heat was relieved in the room at the top of Elwing's white tower.

Twilight covered the shores and the wastelands behind the tower, but the stars had not yet risen. The fastness of the Pelóri swallowed the evening light long before the sun actually disappeared into the Doors of Night. No red and golden beauty of a glorious sunset had ever touched the white stones of the tower.

The slender Elven woman stood on her balcony, looking out across the Sundering Seas towards the East. She waited for the stars to rise, as she had done every night since she had first come to live in this tower. Those one or two hours of twilight before the first stars appeared in the sky of night were always hard to endure. She sighed softly.

Would he still be gone?

In those long moments of waiting, she always found a tinge of sympathy for Melkor and his jealousy of the Valar in his heart. The Valar could not understand the balance of Eä. They had no comprehension of the darker emotions, ambition, wrath, fear; the necessity of failure and suffering escaped them. In defending their lands of brightness and goodness they had raised the Pelóri to defenses as high as the sky, robbing many leagues of land and sea of the beauty and the light of the setting sun.

Neither did she forgive Melkor or his slain servant for their evil deeds, nor could she really comprehend the depths of their evil, which had almost destroyed Eä itself, but she knew how the seeds of this evil had been sown.

She inhaled the salty breeze and longingly lifted her eyes to the sky. But although there was no sunlight left on this side of the Pelóri, the sky was still bright, an inky, ultramarine blue, and the lights of Varda were not yet lit.

Where was her star?

Maybe she could understand about the balance of Eä better than the Valar, because her life had too often changed with the scales of fate, of light and darkness.
She knew darkness. Her own darkness and the darkness in others.
She also knew of lessons in life, which could only be learned through sacrifice and suffering.
The greatest good, the greatest love, had to rise from darkness and despair.

But when it did, it would shine all the brighter.

Eärendil, where are you, meleth-nîn?

She sighed again, as her thoughts drifted to her son, far away to the East.
She had felt the recharging of Arda with the astelellion in spring.
Her heart told her that he was safe, that the girl, who had called him back from his darkness, who loved him so much, was safe.

This knowledge had to be enough.

But of course it was not. It would never be enough. Her hands gripped the railing of the balcony so tightly that her knuckles stood out.

She lifted her head, tilted her head back and scanned the sky, although she knew each star and each constellation for the run of the year, every hour of every night, by heart. If she closed her eyes, she could see each and every one star visible from this part of the world, and their travels through the year. But still she scanned the sky every night as if she had never seen it before.

Why did you leave me, Eärendil?

It had been a routine to her for hundreds of years.
Every night she had looked at the sky, had found her star.
Her star, the brightest of all, the star of her life, Eärendil!

Her yearning, her longing had lifted her heart and strengthened her wings, and almost every night she had flown out into the darkness, soaring higher and higher into the sky, until she could almost see his beloved face, almost hear his voice, almost…

Her strength had never been enough.
Her love had never been enough.

But she had never stopped trying.

And then, one day, some seventy years ago, he had vanished.

A star fallen from the sky!

How can this be…?

For the first time in two millennia she had left her tower and flown to into Valinor, to Valmar, city of bells, to the Valar Themselves. But they had not shown themselves to her.

In her desperation she had – the first time ever – claimed her seat on the High Council of the Elves. Her stomach churned with the dark memories of those days.

Oh, those councilors…

How disturbed they had been!
How completely at a loss!
And the Valar – silent.

And even today, she had to bite down on her lips, not to wail with anguish.

And even today, they did not speak!

After all that had happened!

Eärendil!

She looked up at the sky again, tears burning in her golden eyes.
She had looked up just in time to see the newest and brightest of all stars appear just above the Pelóri.

Gwaelion!

She had flown up to this new born star.

And although his brightness was different from the blaze of Eärendil, somehow, deep in her heart, she had hoped for a miracle, to see her lover restored – at least to his accustomed place in the skies of night, if not to her…

But as she had strained and strained against the power of gravity, she had recognized the face of the young prince of Dol Amroth very clearly. His eyes had been shining, his face full of unearthly delight.

Tumbling between relief at the young sailor's acceptance of his fate and the despair of losing the star of her own heart, she had returned to earth.
Weary and bruised she had been forced to bide her time at the tower for weeks.

When her strength finally returned, she returned to her search.

The wind picked up. The deep moaned around her with many voices. The stars blazed brightly in the moonless summer night.

She spread her arms.
She felt the air prickle against her skin.

With a cry she threw herself into the air.

A white bird soared from the white tower.
A white bird with golden eyes winged higher and higher.
A white bird wheeled above the sea.

Searching.
Searching.

Never finding.

Eärendil!

A white bird's cry echoed above the Shadowy Seas.
A white bird's cry faded in the summer wind.

Unnoticed.
Unheard.

Eärendil?



~~~

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