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10
Rejoice in Your Daughter

Rejoice in Your Daughter


Olórin stood on the high porch of the dwelling of Elrond and Celebrían, staring off to the East. Elrond saw him there, understood why he had come again, and his heart full of grief, came out to stand beside him, his wife, her face pale, following reluctantly. Again Celeborn and Galadriel appeared to join them, this time none speaking, all waiting with dread the breaking of this link, the one they’d prayed for as a release for some months. When it came all felt it--a sharper wrench this time, as if something vital within themselves had broken--sharper, and yet at the same time joyous.

Joyous? How could there be joy in this final loss of the daughter of their house? All straightened, and the four Elves looked to one another with question. It was Galadriel who smiled first, who looked first to the East again to see, then her lord husband, then her daughter with an unfamiliar hope in her heart, and finally Arwen's father, straightening to attention.

At last they saw what they’d watched for, a shining light so bright it dazzled even their eyes, as accustomed to the unfiltered light of Aman as they now were. It approached, slowed its swift pace, paused over them. With tears of loss and giving and rejoicing in their hearts, all saw above them the shining form of their daughter, her face alive with Joy and Delight and Love, her heart full once more.

She was not alone--beside her was the young shining Lord who had been her consort in life, for whom even the cost of ruling two realms had not been too great a price to pay in order to rejoice in her presence as his Lady Wife, who had been willing to risk the wrath of the Lord Elrond of Imladris in order to give her the worship with which his heart had been filled at his first sight of her. He had restored the Light of her Spirit, and it was plain she was now in fuller bliss than she’d known even in life. And beside him were two more, a youth of delight and honor and mischief, and one to whom authority and responsibility were natural, who accompanied the shining Lord and his Lady in respect for their worthiness and in delight for their reunion.

Rejoice for me, Adar, Naneth, my beloved grandparents! they heard in their hearts, for the pain of the separation was worth it for the Joy that I know now! May the Valar and Ilúvatar fulfill you as I am fulfilled.

And the joy of the young Lord too could be seen and felt clearly, as he proclaimed, Rejoice in your daughter!

Two unfamiliar forms for two familiar beings bowed in respect, then turned to serve as honor guard to their daughter and her beloved as they continued their journey to the West.

When the awe of that vision was finally experienced and allowed to pass, they turned to Olórin, and it was Celebrían who broke the reverent silence. "I had thought it would be grievous!"

He smiled at them. "What is grief but the cleansing fire that prepares the vessel to be filled with Joy, my Lady?" he asked. He looked after, and they saw the longing in his face, reflected in his Light.

Elrond asked, "Then, it was with reluctance you returned?"

Olórin smiled. "Reluctance? Some, perhaps. But I knew I must if he who was once my brother was to be stopped in his mad designs. But I will confess I await my next summons that Way with anticipation." He looked into Elrond’s face. "It is the Way all must take one day, and I cannot deny that I left the Presence somewhat unwilling. But, because I did so in Obedience and Love, I am never truly far from it." He looked after again. "And she is so ready to enter it."

Then he looked closely and searchingly into the faces of each of the four who stood with him, and in a soft tone he repeated the words of Arwen’s consort: "Rejoice in your daughter."

Galadriel smiled fully into his face, saying, "How can we do otherwise? Thank you, Olórin, for standing by us this day." She looked after, and the longing in the visage of the Maia was reflected in her own eyes. "A good arrival, Arwen. Bear our respects with you."

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