Aear; Nan Aearon!
by Aranel Laerien
Many years have I lived among these Elves and I have to confess, I have never completely understood the attraction of the Sea.
The first song I learned was A Elbereth Gilthoniel and Lindir, who first taught me this when I was barely four had sung the last line with such a tinge of sorrow and longing and hope that no matter how hard I tried to imitate, I could only bring tears to his eyes. Ada – Lord Elrond – had then looked over in a mixture of sympathy and understanding and led Lindir gently away.
That night had I crept to the Hall of Fire and tried to imagine what a Sea would look like. Glorfindel once said that it looked like every stream and river, pond and lake, all joined together like blue cloth. I did not understand how that could make any Elf forget the trees in Ennorath. But at that moment, ada came over – somehow he knew, as he always did – and sat beside me.
"Ada, man Aear?" I had asked. What is the Sea?
"Estel," he had smiled and ruffled my hair, "the Sea is the water that separates us from Valinor. There lies the true home of all Elves and sooner or later, when we tire of this world, we sail there, across the Sea on the Straight Road."
"But why does Lindir say I should never speak with Elves of seagulls?"
Elrond paused a moment. "I am an Elf, Estel."
And so the years wore on.
I remember our first meeting, Legolas. I confess I should not have mixed your conditioner with blue dye but that was a long time ago, and I believe you have forgiven me.
All these years, time has surely flown by. Do you recall our adventure to the lands near the Grey Havens? Círdan had looked so surprised to see you.
"Ernil Legolas, anírach revia?" He had asked in disbelief. Prince Legolas, You wish to sail?
And you had replied, "Hîr nîn, reviathon Amar na hen 'wador nîn, na dû e thinna."
My lord, I will wander the Earth with this my brother to the night he fades.
We had laughed at the way you punned on "revia" but deep down, I truly hope you meant what you said.
Aníron and go-lû, gwador nîn. I desire more time together, my brother.
The Sea, the Sea! Aragorn, do you hear the Sea? Do you hear the gulls, do you hear the Elves calling from the other shore? The very thought of joining my people thrills my soul.
The trees here pale to that in Lórien, the air there is so much sweeter. And there, you can lie on the grass, watching the sun rise and the moon follow, listening to the song of the stars sweetly humming as the waves wash the shore.
Nan Aear, gwador nin, nan Aearon reviathon!
Na Ethuil, mellon nîn, na Ethui anuir reviathon!
Na vereth-dôr,na linn velui, na îdh. na hîdh,
A Eldamar, le linnathon,
nef Aear, sí nef Aearon!
To the Sea, my brother, to the Great Sea I will sail!
To Spring, my friend, to eternal Spring I will fly!
To joyous lands, to sweet songs, to rest, to peace,
O Elvenhome, I will sing of you,
On this side of the Sea, here on this side of the Great Sea!
My heart longs to sail, Aragorn! It finds little pleasure in the woods of Ennor, nor the birds singing in the Tewair. Yet, I remember my vow – I must remain on these shores for a Season. O, how torn I am! Each sunset brings to mind the calling of the gulls, the splash of foam…
I hear Hîr Elrond share his agony, how he had endured in Ennor longer than most other Elves could – all because, weary as he was, he could never leave while Evil still flourished. And he understood how, by his leaving, he would condemn Arwen to her doom for she must leave with him, or not at all. And in the end, he had chosen to bear this grief and sail.
I hear adar speaking with me of his choice. He said that beautiful though Mirkwood is, there is little joy left for him. He spoke of how he gazed daily at the Forest River and thought of the ship that awaited him. He must journey, he said, he must leave and find naneth and there await my coming. Naneth. I barely remember her soft hair, her loving embrace, the way she laughed so merrily. If I leave with adar, I would see her again!
But I hear you too. I hear your whispers in the night. I feel the unshed tears in your heart as you think on our parting. My friend, my brother, here is my word to you: if you remain on this good earth, there is nought that can call me over.
O Estel, save me from myself!