The Returning.

February 24, 2009 - Reading time: 3 minutes

Seventieth of Rhîw, Dusk.

The ocean is eternal. It is immortal, as the Elves are – but unlike the Elves, it knows nothing of the past, the future, or the ways and travails and cares of the children of Ilúvatar. The Sun and Moon rise from the waters, set in the same, and it is simply a rhythmic breathing of the heavens, as much as the swell and ebb of waves beneath my single-sailed sloop mark the slow heartbeat of the deep ocean.

The Outer Seas know nothing of the seasons and reckonings of Middle-earth; it has no care for this edifice of mortality. It has been before them - aye, even the Sun and Moon - and will be after the end of all kingdoms. And I, who has also been ere Sun- and Moon-rise, forgot mortality and the mortal ways I once lived in, and reckoned my life by the ancient pulse of the waves.

Thus coming in from the Outer Seas did I set foot upon the shores of Endor, and I knew not the span of time that passed since I left them. Several fleeting months, or a long-year? but the folk that received me in the lower coast of Harlindon did, so I learnt that I came to them on the winter solstice of the year 30–, and thus had been away three years. Longer and shorter both, than I'd expected.

Now I am in Mithlond, in the old home that Aurion and I built upon the cliffs, gazing at the sun setting over Mithlond harbour.

The words are now coming somewhat easier. Ere I came home, I hadn't spoken or written for … a long time. Not intelligibly, for sure.

It is strange that I have returned out of that blissful endless eternity to this mortal land; that I have turned my face away from the promise of Avallónë to the sorrows of Endor. My heart, do you not still yearn for peace and rest; for reunion never to be sundered again? Yes, and yes, I yearn.

But I sit at the balcony in this home Aurion and I built, and look at the streets and docks of Mithlond; and the great sweep of the gulf beyond - still snowbound yet beginning to stir with the Stirring; and the myriad birds that wheel in the cloud-laced sky, a furnace burning with Anor's dying flame… my heart, do you still love this land that gave you birth and grew together with you across the Ages?

My heart says Yes. Thus I remain.

(T2T MUD fanfiction; written 20 Apr 2008.)