Sam woke once more to the beautiful singing of his friend and companion as Frodo stood at the window to their shared room and sang to welcome the new day. Frodo’s singing had always pleased him before, back when they’d lived in the Shire. Now, however, it was beyond pleasing--it was truly glorious, far more than it had been when Frodo had been merely Master of Bag End and the Hill.
When at last the song was over and Frodo turned toward him, Sam, sitting up on his couch, smiled his greeting. “That was wonderful, Frodo. You seem to sing that ever more beautiful each mornin’, I swear.”
His friend’s smile grew more dazzling. You think so, do you?
“Course I do. When did you start singin’ a dawnin’ song? I member all too well how often you’d not want to be up early, sleepin’ in till second breakfast or elevenses.”
The resulting laughter filled Sam with its own pleasure. Most of the Elves I’ve known have rejoiced to watch Anor lift above the horizon, as you well know. How often did we hear Legolas start the day with a song, even if it was as we were preparing to spend that day sleeping so we’d be rested to go on by night?
“Certainly Lord Strider’s Elven brothers would sing at sunrise there in the camp at Cormallen, or standin’ on the keel at the end of the Court of Gathering. And what we’d hear in Rivendell and Lorien--it could be marvelous.”
Frodo nodded his shining head, then his expression became more solemn. When I first arrived I didn’t do much in the way of singing. I was already much better than I’d been when we took ship; but I was so overwhelmed--far more than you’ve proved to be. In many ways I was still far from well, I suppose. There were still places where the poison of the Ring remained festering within my heart.
He turned to look again out the window. Bilbo was awake again, exploring freely, and I was staying so much within the summerhouse here, sometimes not finding the will even to rise. Oh, I missed home so very much, and Merry and Pippin and Elanor and Rosie and you---- He turned back to meet Sam’s eyes. Oh, how much I missed you all. And I still needed healing so desperately. I was receiving the draughts they brought me and not arguing about them any more.
The first time I went outside I didn’t make it past the bench before the door. The first time I went further I was given the athelas plant that grows there on the windowsill. I can’t begin to tell you what that meant to me, remembering how you’d planted athelas outside my bedroom window at home in Bag End, and up atop the Hill, always intending it to help me strengthen and heal. I held the pot in which the plant was growing and felt as if I’d just been given the promise--the promise I wouldn’t remain alone, once Bilbo went on. The promise you’d come when the time was right, the promise I could hold that much of my former loves again. It helped so much--helped me accept the healing offered me.
I have no idea how long it was before I began singing--I just woke up one morning just before dawn and stood looking out the window, seeing the athelas plant against the lightening sky and smelling its wonderful scent, realizing that more were growing at home and that you and Rosie and your children were also waking each morning with the scent of healing to greet you. And I was glad. And as the Sun rose I began to sing--to sing my own joy that this was so.
For years I’d sing to greet the day, seeing the golden and rosy light of dawn and in its reflection seeing in the mirror of my heart you and Rosie together, loving one another, loving your children, loving the Shire, loving Aragorn and Merry and Pippin and Uncle Sara and Aunt Esme and all the rest for me. And I’d sing to give thanks for the promise that the world went on without me there, that you knew joy and peace as a result of what I’d been able to accomplish, as little as that might have been. I sang, knowing that you were grateful I’d been there with you while I could be there, that you felt that the world was a better place simply because I’d been part of it for you for a time. And I sang in hope that eventually the dawn would bring you to me, restore the very last of the joy in the Sun’s light I’d ever known. And it came to pass at last--out of the east you came, and now I can look to the West with no further regrets. The last of the wounds my heart took is healed.
Now when I sing it is in gladness that my golden treasure has been restored to me, and I hope that the last wound your heart took from the Ring is also healed.
Sam rose from his couch and walked slowly to stand right before his friend. How did one answer such a statement with words? He was unaware, but his own Light of Being was flaring more strongly than it had since his arrival at the quays before the City. No one looking at that golden gleam could be in any doubt that this one’s heart was also rejoicing. He reached to take Frodo’s hand in his own, closed his eyes and began to sing himself.
In western lands beneath the sun
the flowers may bloom in spring....
Many about the isle turned toward the great gardens that grew north and west of the City, their attention caught by the great flaring of Lights to be seen there that morning. It must have been like this when the Lights of Laurelin and Telperion were both at their greatest and blended before the courts of the Valar....