Autumn is here, the time of migratory birds, kites and changing weather. To see them, you have to look up, to the sky. For inspiriation, sky is the limit, and it's also our theme for October.
How would you describe the color of the sky? Is it blue like a clear summer day? Pink like dawn, violet like dusk? Is it the grey of storm clouds or the glimmer of starry night? The sky can have hundreds of faces, each of them different. And each of those faces gives a different mood and atmosphere to the events happening below. Even Sauron relied on that, when he covered the sky with the darkness of Mordor during the battle on Pelennor fields.
The sky of Middle-earth has a specific structure, described by Tolkien: Vista was the lowest layer of the atmosphere, filled with normal breathable air: above it was Ilmen, and above that Vaiya. Vista was divided into two parts: The upper part was Fanyamar, the home of clouds, and the lower part was Aiwenórë, the "land" of birds. Ilmen is the level of the Sun, the Moon and the Stars so it was also called Tinwe-malle (star-street) and Elenarda (Stellar Kingdom). Vaiya was the dark sea surrounding the world of Arda before the fall of Númenor, and after that, it became the upper atmosphere of the spherical world.
Sky is the domain of flying creatures, and to those earth-bound, it inspires dreams of flying. It is where the Eagles of Manwë fly, and where Eärendil sails. Not once did Tolkien's characters look up to the sky with hope, if not looking for the coming of eagles, then at least for a glimpse of light in the darkness: stars or sunrise. A skilled ranger can also look up to the sky for a hint about the coming weather, and plan his journeys accordingly. To a knowledgeable Elf, sky can even give some insight about the events going on far away: “A red sun rises, blood has been spilled this night.”
And the winners are:
Every Moment A Memory by Mr. Bossatronian
Heavy Is the Sky by PSW
I will lift up mine eyes by Linda Hoyland
Of Hobbits, Ships, and Stars by Jessica Kleeberger 2nd place
The Skies I Am Under by lotrfn 3rd place
The Stars, the Sea, and the Dawn by Celridel
What You Were Meant To Be by Finfinfin 1st place
Happy reading and congratulations to the winners!