For Frodo and Bilbo

September 22, 2020

I share a birthday with Bilbo and Frodo Baggins, two characters from one of my beloved series: The Lord of the Rings. If you know me well, you likely know this fact about me. Every year since my eighteenth birthday, my family and I have celebrated this by throwing our version of Bilbo’s “Long Expected Party.” We feast on good meats and breads, cheese and strawberries with cream. The celebration is a little different every year. It is a tradition I cherish because it has become its own holiday in our house, and I treasure the time with my loving family.

Getting older is different for me this year. As I turn twenty five, I’ve been thinking about my life and all the joys I’ve experienced, as well as the pain. In some ways getting older makes me feel like Frodo: returning to the Shire, home once more, yet burdened by the weight of what he’s carried. Life holds so much more meaning to me now that I can look back on my life and truly see the work God has done in my life to shape me and help me grow. 

I wrote this poem my senior year of college, and it seems appropriate to share on this Hobbit Day. 

“Washing your feet after Mordor”

They are the last thing you notice 

on your first real day back. 

Toenails, black,

calluses stained brown

from months of mud and grime. 

So you march them down to the riverbank,

dip them in cool, clear water,

let it rush over them in the crisp air,

but something tells you they will never be the same.

You lean back and think of older times, 

lazy evenings, the smell of fine tobacco,

smoke rings enveloping the moon,

before your feet had traveled so far,

only ever dirty from dancing and the garden.

But now your feet are dirty. 

Soon, time and the company of old friends

will make your feet forgettable, even tidy.

And in the stories of your adventures, 

they shall tell of your heart or your strong will,

but never of your feet and their miles of dirt

and mud and hard stone.

So you pull your feet back onto the grass,

dry them in the evening air.

They have miles to go yet, yes,

they do, but never quite so far. 


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