Echoes of Creation

Back to Middle-earth Month 2016 Participant

B2MeM Challenge:B2MEM Challenge B2MEM 2012 I18 Adunaic – Izrê (beloved), Economy – Market Day, Emotions – Grief, Of the Sea – Corals

But the other Ainur looked upon this habitation set within the vast spaces of the World, which the Elves call Arda, the Earth; and their hearts rejoiced in light, and their eyes beholding many colours were filled with gladness; but because of the roaring of the sea they felt a great unquiet. And they observed the winds and the air, and the matters of which Arda was made, of iron and stone and silver and gold and many substances: but of all these water they most greatly praised. And it is said by the Eldar that in water there lives yet the echo of the Music of the Ainur more than in any substance else that is in this Earth; and many of the Children of Ilúvatar hearken still unsated to the voices of the Sea, and yet know not for what they listen. 

Format: ficlet 




Characters:Faramir, Gandalf 


Creators' Notes (optional): Most British people suffer from sea longing to some degree. Maybe it is because we live on an island.

Summary: Gandalf gives Faramir some advice

The gulls circled overhead, screeching their wild cries to the wind. Faramir looked up at them, watching them until they disappeared in the direction of the river. He closed his eyes and could feel warm sand beneath his bare feet. Laughing, he ran towards his mother. She was smiling as the wind blew her unbraided hair around her face. The waves crashed against the shore and Faramir was consumed by longing.

Good morning, my boy.”

Faramir started out of his reverie. “Mithrandir! What brings you here, old friend? It is good to see you.”

It is too long since my travels brought me here to Gondor. I thought I would pay your father a visit. He was not pleased to see me as usual.”

Faramir looked uncomfortable.

Do not trouble yourself, dear boy. Who does appreciate an old man’s meddling? But shall we find somewhere to sit? My old bones protest at standing too long.”

Of course, Mithrandir.”

There were several stone benches in the Court of the Fountain. The old wizard selected one facing the dead White Tree. The guards stood impassively on either side of the withered branches

The old man and the young sat in silence for some time. Then Gandalf spoke. “You seem troubled, son of Denethor.”

The times are dark and I fear for the future. I look at the White Tree and think of the days of Gondor’s glory that are no more.”

Do not despair, Faramir. In the darkest hour hope will come from the North.”

Always you speak in riddles, Mithrandir.”

In time, all riddles will become clear. There is more , though, that troubles your soul than this withered tree, methinks.”

Just then, another flock of gulls flew overhead, screaming their mournful cries. Faramir blinked hard then rubbed his sleeve fiercely against his eyes.

The gulls trouble you, dear boy?”

Faramir grinned ruefully. “Their cry pierces my heart. Sometimes, I fear I have the sea longing and many say that was what killed my mother. Am I fated to be like her. Mithrandir?”

Gandalf stroked his beard thoughtfully. “Men say many things, not all of them true. Certainly, you share your mother’s gentle heart and that heart was filled with longing for the sea. The Wise say that a soul too consumed with longing lacks the strength to fight off the many maladies that Men are prone to. Maybe the sea longing sapped your mother's strength, allowing some common mortal illness to kill her. The foul fumes of Mordor borne on the East wind bode ill to both man and beast in these times in which we live. Small wonder, Lady Finduilas craved for the fresh sea breezes from the West. She was not alone in her longing, though it consumed her spirit more that it does for most of the younger Children of Ilúvatar . However, many who have once seen the sea, both Men and Elves, are forever after consumed with longing for it.”

But why, Mithrandir? I can understand that the Eldar might yearn for Elvenhome across the sea, but why should Men, who are banned from the blessed realm, be thus tormented?”

Gandalf smiled. “To Men, the sea should not be a torment, but a joy. The Wise say that song of the waves still carries an echo of the Great Music from when the Ainur sang the world into being. To hear that song is to be strengthened and refreshed, though none now recognise the primal music from which it stems.”

Faramir’s features relaxed and he smiled back at the wizard. “That would indeed explain the call of the sea. I once asked one of the healers and he told me that we were drawn to the sea, because our bodies contain salt like the sea water, but I like your explanation better. I feel no longing when I look at a salt cellar!”

When you next have leave from your duties, Faramir, pay a visit to your Uncle in Dol Amroth,” Gandalf advised. “Let the sea refresh you and restore your spirits. Hold fast to hope so that melancholy will not consume you.”

Your words and wise and I will heed them. Maybe the gulls call to me as they say my mother was descended from Elves? Yet Boromir feels nothing when he hears their cry.”

Who knows why members of a family can be so different?” said Gandalf. “One thing, I am certain of, though. Many Men will still be consumed by sea longing when they hear the gulls cry, countless generations after the memory of the Eldar has faded from Middle-earth.”

Truly, Mithrandir?”

Truly, for as long as Arda endures, the sea will sing the echo of its creation and those with ears to hear with respond and their spirits will be called to the echoes of the Great Music .”

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