Thursday, December 17, 2009

A Tolkien Christmas: Part IV

Far sooner than anyone would have liked, a dark day crept up on the happy little village: the 111th anniversary of the destruction of the Ring. In fact, it was the very darkest day of the year. Even the sun seemed cowed by it, and only dared to lift itself above the horizon for a few meager hours. As the anniversary approached, the days grew shorter, the nights longer, and every hour increasingly cold. It was impossible to forget the dark day that nearly destroyed Middle-earth.

Frodo grew quieter and more remote, even from Bilbo himself. Gandalf noticed this and declared that there would be a celebration to rival Bilbo’s own 111th birthday party in the hopes of filling a dark day with light and cheerfulness once again (and it really was something to celebrate, anyhow).

On the morning of the party, Legolas made ready to leave the village for a visit to his trees. He spent much time in the old evergreen forest. Sometimes he went alone and sometimes Gimli joined him.

On that day, he called out to his friend, “Will you accompany me to the forest? I am in need of your axe.”

“Make haste, Elf,” replied his friend, “we don’t want to miss the party.”

They returned that evening to Gandalf’s house where everyone had gathered for dinner (it was the largest of all the houses in the village and able to host them all quite comfortably). They were dragging with them a huge evergreen tree. Legolas swiftly placed the tree in a bucket of water supported by stones so that it stood grandly in the center of the room as though it had grown right through the floor.

“I brought this in for our celebration in remembrance of all the trees of Middle-earth, and especially of Lothlorien,” explained Legolas. “Just as the trees of Lorien retain their gold and silver through cold and snow, so these fir trees retain their green boughs.

Gimli beamed, for he liked this very much. “It is a fine idea, though this tree lacks the luminescence of those silvery golden trees I recall from long ago.”

The little hobbits all looked to Gandalf expectantly, and he raised his eyebrows. “Well now let me see,” he said almost to himself.

He then raised his staff in one hand and waved it over the tree. As the staff passed each bough, small lights appeared like stars caught in the needles. The entire tree soon glowed with a pale, magical light and each of the members of the fellowship recalled vividly their time in the beautiful woods of Lothlorien.

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