4. Winter’s Frost
"You wish to leave the Wood?" Father asked me incredulously.
My decision to relocate with some of our people to Ithilien was yet another one of my choices that he simply could not comprehend. I had already received his scorn when he learned that I had befriended a dwarf: "Dwarves! What next, Legolas? Orcs?"
But how could I simply return to my previous life when I had seen so much of the world? I admit that I had taken his beliefs with me when leaving Rivendell with the Fellowship, yet somewhere along the way, I had begun to see things in a different light and to question whether Father's policies were right . . . or at least if they were right for me. By the time the One Ring had finally been destroyed, I knew that I could never go back and simply resume my former way of life. Too much had changed; I had changed.
As I left my home for Ithilien, my eyes landed upon the old beech tree growing beside the pond. Its limbs stood bare, none of the leaves it once held so close and dear in sight. A twig snapped beneath my foot, drawing my attention downward where a single leaf, crisp, brown, and wrinkled, lay lifeless on the dirt.
Without a backward glance, I mounted my steed and rode southward.
And now, years later, as I stand here in the Grey Havens lamenting our estrangement, I realize that although I cannot go back and repair what was, I can choose to look forward to our reunion on a distant shore where words, though they come easily, are unnecessary. For on that shore, understanding is complete, relationships are restored, and the tree, proud and strong, clings tightly to its leaf in a never-ending summer.
This is a work of fan fiction, written because the author has an abiding love for the works of J R R Tolkien. The characters, settings, places, and languages used in this work are the property of the Tolkien Estate, Tolkien Enterprises, and possibly New Line Cinema, except for certain original characters who belong to the author of the said work. The author will not receive any money or other remuneration for presenting the work on this archive site. The work is the intellectual property of the author, is available solely for the enjoyment of Henneth Annûn Story Archive readers, and may not be copied or redistributed by any means without the explicit written consent of the author.