It had been long time since Parm had ventured into the wilds. His first night was considerably
uncomfortable. His awkward attempts to get a fire started eventually caused Parm to focus
with even greater intensity on the task. In doing so, he discovered how past knowledge
eventually became clearer. In the days that past, ss his confidence grew, he even trapped some
conies and found the makings for an excellent stew. Years ago, he remembered a tale about
stewed conies and smiled at the remembrance of it.
Each night, Parm would find better places to gather bracken and leaves to make serviceable beds,
and using his pack as a pillow, would be soon asleep.
This rising and repairing for evening continued for seven days. Eventually, Parm found himself
at that place where he remembered tales from woodland elves about the wonders of the Long Lake.
Parm knew that he would soon arrive at the town of Dale. despite his vague familiarity
with the region, he was still ill at ease about his venturing too far beyond roads and riverways.
Even so, Parm could not help but notice how the countryside possessed its own beauty. The play of
sunlight on stone and tree, cloud and mists, was a source of continuous joy for Parm. He actually
found himself smiling as he walked. He began savouring the scenery around him. For some reason,
though, he felt himself slowing down. It was as if the urgency of arriving had been
satisfied by his discovery of how close he was to his destination, and that he did not need to hurry.
As soon as the sun began to dip behind him into the west, Parm once again found a lodging place.
As Parm stopped to reflect a bit, he was surprised that despite how close he seemed to be approaching
Dale, he wonder why there was little traffic on the road.
A sparkling of lightning and the sonorous chuckle of thunder, answered Parm's question.
The hillock he had spied nearby had the dry, stale air of abandonment.
No animals would be venturing in here, Parm determined. Quickly gathering kindling, wood,
and other necessities, Parm was, at last, dry and warm inside the protection of the cave.
This was done none too soon. A storm strode by, with all its pomp and majesty, wet wonder and glory,
and pelted the landscape with wild, furious rain. Parm had often heard how a storm could lull
people into slumber, and he was no exception.
Dawn broke over Parm with a brilliance that made him feel poignant regret that he had not
travelled as well as this years earlier. This journey had been an event of tremendous invigoration
and gladness. Parm began to feel his arid and barren heart revive with the same vitality that
the rain had given the landscape around him. So this is what his Elf mentors had meant: take
a journey that will bring an end to the sorrowing, despite the solemn purpose for the
His trip to bring homage to a mighty warrior was, in a way, a kind of gift from him. Here
was a gift of life given by one who skilled to bring death. For Parm, his battle was to recover
his life, and he was starting, at long last, to taste the edges of victory.
"Great warrior," Parm murmured, "you have given me more than your sword and shield
could ever do. You have helped me to fight the despair in my soul. I will bring a token of
that for you, when I come to your resting place."
As Parm, sighed with deep contentment, he noticed a remarkable, tiny, silver-blue flower
growing near the side of the road. It reminded Parm of a blue bell, but brighter.
Parm had to admit that was unlike anything he had ever seen. Harvesting several
long thick, ropes of grass, Parm wove a basket into which he placed the flower with its
native soil. It would have been wrong, somehow to have plucked the flower, for it would have
withered and died. The potential death of the flower was no reward for a life restored.
As Parm tamped earth around the base of the stem, he, sang softly over the flower.
Slowly a mist to form, like a watering cloud. Now the flower it could drink in rich moisture
for the journey ahead. This exercise in condensing the air around the flower to water it
did not drain Parm as he had¥ believed it might. Instead, Parm found a growing warmth,
a rising energy spread within him and move up to his jaw and down into his fingers.
This is the blessing of the Valar, Parm remembered.
He had done a good thing. At last, he had done a good thing.
Spring...hmmm....I've seen that word before...