“It’s like in the great stories, Mr. Frodo. The ones that really mattered. Full of darkness and danger they were. And sometimes you didn’t want to know the end. Because how could the end be happy? How could the world go back to the way it was when so much bad had happened? But in the end, it’s only a passing thing, this shadow. Even darkness must pass. A new day will come. And when the sun shines, it will shine out the clearer. Those were the stories that stayed with you. That meant something, even if you were too small to understand why. But I think, Mr. Frodo, I do understand. I know now. Folk in those stories had lots of chances of turning back, only they didn’t. Because they were holding on to something… There’s some good in this world, Mr. Frodo. And it’s worth fighting for.”

Aside

learning to love again

slowly blinking i opened my eyes and peered at my cell phone. it wasn’t quite 8am yet and my sister still snoozed on without seeming to hear my alarm. i poked her. “heeeeeeeeyyyy!” she whined, “my alarm didn’t go off yet!” so i rolled my eyes and turned back over loading up a social media webpage onto my phone to pass the time. 
fifteen minutes later, or so, she squinted her eyes open and i practically leaped out of bed to get ready and finish packing. 

we were headed to Tennessee. 

round about 8 hours later we slowly eased our well-traveled vehicle up a slight incline and around a short curve to apartment building where building “B” loomed ahead of us. 
i looked toward my sister (who was driving) and the nervousness was apparent in my eyes as i could see my reflection in the excited look she held. “you should come outside, we are nearly there” i tapped into my phone and swiftly hit ‘send’ as i twisted my body around to gaze where i thought the entrance might be. sooner than i thought, a familiar tall frame emerged, pacing just as nervously as i would, were i standing on firm ground. 
“it’s her.” i breathed as my shaking hand gripped the car door handle.

I don’t remember opening the door or moving at all but what i do remember was how quickly two people crossed that parking lot and embraced into a very anticipated hug. breathing was uneven on both ends and i could feel her shaking– she was just as nervous as i was. 

and then suddenly….
it was as though there were never hundreds of miles between us and we were laughing and joking and i was meeting Jordan and belongings were being lifted from the car as we ambled into the shelter of the warm apartment building. 

as we placed our belongings in precarious locations, only one thing kept occurring to me over and over again and so, still grinning, i gazed up at my favorite set of blue eyes to which i heard the familiar, “yes?” and i breathed, “photo. us. now.” and was met with a mirrored grin. “absolutely.” 

the next day was solely a blur, nothing i can purely remember, save a shopping trip to Wal-Mart in the rain and a pretty intense baby shower for people i had never met before. the evening, however, was punctuated by a beautiful moment where a servant offered love to a friend in a sacred moment, mimicking Jesus Himself. shortly after the tears were dried, we chose to watch part of Les Miserables and then glorious sleep because the next day was a highly anticipated moment to share…concerts always are. 

and Sunday evening as a dear friend stood by me while another dear friend let me hold his beautiful daughter, my heart caught in my chest and tears threatened to overwhelm. who am i?

more laughter and hugs, goodbyes to friends it seemed like i had only just said hello to, a quick (first!) trip to Sonic and more sleep. sore bodies and full hearts…rest was surely needed. as i lay curled on my bed drifting off it amazed me to think some people lived this love everyday. for me it’s always been such an occasional glimpse of joy…this was so much more. 

it’s true that the days have fully blurred together and truly i cannot separate one moment from another, there is far too much beauty in this memory as a whole to attempt a separation of thought and instance. 

i can say with full assurance though, we’re all learning to love again.