All My Stars Still Shine|
At last at long last I begin to feel truly that I am home, that I have returned, I am Legolas once more. Legolas with no need for more, no need of explanations, of titles, of all the words and complications with which mortals surround themselves.
A day of hunting, walking, running, through this my Forest, a day with my elves, my group, a day of being nothing more than one of many.
No longer the outsider, the strange elf, the uncultured, unlearned wood-elf Sindar by blood, Silvan by choice the only elf among the strangeness of mortals.
No longer journeying, moving on and on, never learning the song of a land, never the time to watch the green things grow. No longer tied to a Quest, to deeds which must be done and are great but so wearying.
No longer playing the part of a prince returned, no longer a need to keep up appearances, to be what I am not, can never be. No longer walking the Halls of the Palace, attempting to behave as the son of Thranduil should.
Today, today I am simply joyous to be here almost my song is full returned, almost I feel myself again.
Now the light begins to fail, and we stop moving, we sit, we light the fire and roast the days kill and I know myself to be free once more of foolish mortal convention as there is no pretence of manners, no slaughtered plants, no heavy baked goods and no slowness of eating. Simply hungry elves, gorging themselves on bloody meat, drinking from the wineskins, laughing and singing.
No need to leave on clothes that feel now restricting in the heat of the fire, clothes that take washing for the blood, the fat, the wine spills and cannot always be caught, be licked up. No need for such false foolishness we are the creations of Eru, why hide our skins any more than the other creatures of the Forest?
No need to look for sleeping mats, or blankets no need to sleep, or pretend to do so, or find some lonely way to while away the wasted hours. Tonight I am among elves, Silvans, and we will sing and comb, talk as only elves can talk, watch the stars through the branches of the trees, and rejoice that we we few are together again, we are alive where so many are dead.
Later, when the food and wine are gone, when combing and singing have relaxed us all, the dancing will begin.
There will be first the slow handclap, the rattling together of sticks, the singing will become wilder, words lost in the joy of sound, of melody, and then the stamp of feet, the movement of bodies will begin. We will dance, all of us together, celebrating life as we know it, as we live it, as elves should.
I will dance showing them I am still their prince, I am returned, I am whole and he, my second, will challenge me with knife and speed, throwing and interlacing our dance with danger.
With seeming danger.
He would not harm me; he would cut off his own ear before he would harm me, and I know it yet still, still we will dance this dance of challenge, of acceptance.
And the dancing, the relearning of each other, of ourselves as a group, of the movement and scent of us, will continue until the stars fade and dawn comes again. Dawn that brings another day, another hunt, another song dawn after dawn, day after night after day, season upon season, year upon year. For elves, time is without end.
I am home, I am escaped from the ways of mortals, from the confusion and complexities of their short, convoluted lives.
This is freedom, this is all I ever wanted.
Is it not?