A joyful Easter to all!
Sam watched Frodo dancing with a group of young ellyn and shook his head in delight and amazement. “It’s more than we’d hoped,” he murmured to Gandalf, who stood by him looking much today as he had in those long past days in Middle Earth, “seein’ him able to dance once again. He was so close, I think, to dyin’ then. Now he’s learned to live again. Why, I’ll wager as he lives as long as old Mr. Bilbo did.”
The Maia smiled thoughtfully as he watched the Hobbit dance, the Light of his Being filling the area as if a flame danced there rather than a sentient being. “No,” he said softly, “he holds no ambitions to best Bilbo as to age. He’s only remained with us as long as he did that you not be disappointed on your arrival, I suspect.”
The former Wizard straightened, his eyes acknowledging the coming separation he knew loomed ever nearer. “Now you have come he will wish to complete the journey, and that all too soon, from our point of view, of course. But he himself keeps reminding us that he is yet a mortal, and he has no desire to be otherwise.”
“At least he made it here,” Sam said thankfully.
“It was a near thing, though. He was in a terror he might fail in front of you. What you told him of your despair after the spider poisoned him, how close you came to destroying yourself in your grief, made a deep impression on him, and unfortunately in a most morbid of fashions. He held on until he was certain you would not see before he collapsed. He was all too willing to give over, I fear. In the end Bilbo had to practically order him to remain with us.”
The gardener turned to look at him, his eyes wide with surprise. Slowly the shock gave way to amusement, and he began to chuckle. “Mr. Bilbo had to play the Baggins again, eh? Now, if that ain’t just like the two of them!” He looked back to watch his friend in his dancing. “But he was able to find his joy again, just as we’d hoped. Bless the both of them!”
“Yes, he has done that--and particularly since you have come to be with him again.”
“I knew as he was well when I heard him laugh. Always he’d had a delightful laugh!”
“But he’s laughed the more frequently and easily since you came ashore here. And with the tales you’ve brought of his home and family and how well they have done--he is assured that it was indeed all worthwhile. You have granted him the last healing he needed....”
Sam completed the thought, “The last as he needed to be ready to go on? I suppose so.” He leaned forward, some, his gaze more intent on Frodo’s dancing. “And seein’ him, alive and in joy--that’s healed me! I’m that glad, you must realize.” That fond smile lit his expression. “Now, we’re both ready, I’m thinkin’. My Rosie’s waitin’, and those as have loved him. Not long. Oh, not today--we’re not goin’ right away, but soon enough. We’re neither of us young, you understand.”
“Sam! Come join us!” Frodo called, and Sam rose, went forward with purpose.
“I may not be the dancer as he is,” he said over his shoulder, “but I’m not gone yet! I may show even him a thing or two!”
And Olórin laughed to see the gardener go forward to make good on his boast.