1. Seasons of Gladness
When Faramir pulled himself out of the Anduin after the bridge fell, he felt boundless gratitude for three things: the fresh springlike air that he sucked frantically into his lungs, the persistence of his uncle Imrahil in teaching him to swim underwater, and the sight of Boromir's head breaking the surface, sputtering like a great bull seal.
There would be time later to count, mourn, and bury the dead. Soon they would secure the half of ruined Osgiliath that they still held. Now, Faramir hastened to the bank and helped his brother out of the water and into his embrace.
The summer sun lay gently on Faramir's shoulders, and brightly on Éowyn's golden hair as they rode across the newly furrowed fields that would soon bring the princedom's first harvest. A blue-winged butterfly briefly alighted on the headstall of Éowyn's mare, making her laugh. The sound of her happiness made the day even fairer. They would be wed in less than two months!
This first harvest would yield a small but healthy crop. More would be planted next year. Faramir anticipated ploughed fields, cool rains, warm winds. Then, gazing at Éowyn's slender figure, Faramir thought suddenly and gladly of children.
Sleep after a long day's work was desirable, but it eluded Faramir. Comfortable under heavy coverlets with Éowyn nestled against him, Faramir listened to the wind batter the sturdy windows. The White Mountains blew their usual winter chill down to Emyn Arnen early this year. Ithilien's good harvest would safeguard its people throughout the cold months to come. He was content.
A familiar foot rubbed his bare leg. Faramir heard Éowyn's low-voiced laughter and grinned. Though their child-getting years had passed, their love had not waned. Hands caressed in the dark; garments were hastily shed; and contentment turned to joy.
The mountain air was refreshing; Faramir observed. Snow-silvered peaks rimmed a clear horizon. All stood quiet.
A bird's cry shattered the stillness. Faramir looked up to see a large falcon tear across the sky.
"A lord of the air," Aragorn spoke softly at Faramir's side. "He flies well. A gyrfalcon, I would think."
The falcon wheeled and glided, black wings gleaming in the winter sunshine. The glory of its flight pierced Faramir's heart.
There is still beauty in the world, he exulted. For the first time in the three years since Éowyn's death, Faramir felt truly glad to be alive.
Author's Note: Some poetic license is taken with the title of the first drabble; since technically, the attack on Osgiliath in 3018 occurred June 20, which is almost mid-summer. But the time can be regarded as the springtime of Faramir's life, at least in terms of the cycle of fruition and his long lifespan.
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