I discovered this awesome holiday last year, during my Year of Firsts. This day, September 22, is recognized as the birthday of Bilbo and Frodo Baggins, uncle and nephew Hobbits, from JRR Tolkien’s Middle Earth sagas. Yesterday kicked off Tolkien Week, and there are all kinds of delightful celebrations taking place throughout the upcoming week.
In honor of these two courageous Hobbits, I listened to the soundtracks of the three Hobbit movies as I ran errands today. The music of Howard Shore not only stirs my soul, it triggers my memory so that scenes from the films unfold in my mind as I listen. Such epic stories, brought to life by the brilliant Peter Jackson. My life has been enlarged because of the unusual partnership of Tolkien and Jackson. I am forever grateful.
Last year I concluded Hobbit Day with a Icing on the Cake flavored ice cream cone. I didn’t want the sugar today. My celebration took a wonderful turn when I came across a post on Middle Earth News. They shared the following quote, from chapter three of Fellowship of the Ring:
“In the evening Frodo gave his farewell feast: it was quite small, just a dinner for himself and his four helpers. When they had sung many songs, and talked of many things they had done together, they toasted Bilbo’s birthday, and they drank his health and Frodo’s together according to Frodo’s custom. Then they went out for a sniff of air, and glimpse of the stars, and then they went to bed.”
And there was my journey for the evening, right there. I didn’t have a feast or sing but I hummed along today with the music from the movies. I chose a non-alcoholic drink to toast Bilbo and Frodo, creating an unsweet iced tea with luscious fresh strawberries and blackberries added.
I took my drink out into the backyard garden, in the dark, for a “sniff of air and a glimpse of the stars”. In the quiet, surrounded by warm air scented with herbs and flowers, seranaded by tree frogs, I couldn’t imagine a more Hobbit like space in which to offer a toast. Those earthy folk valued growing things and food and drink and simplicity.
Looking up, my glimpse of the stars was limited, as clouds covered most of the sky. The moon, hazy in her nightclothes, was the only object I could see in the sky. Good enough! I took a sip of tea, and raised my glass in tribute. “Happy birthday Bilbo and Frodo.” I smiled in the darkness. My life has been so influenced by these two Hobbits, adventurers who discovered who they were and what they were capable of as they journeyed. Their courage and wisdom and the friendships that they formed have provided inspiration for my own journey. Yes, they are fictional characters. No matter. Some of my favorite people are not flesh and blood yet live boldly in my imagination nevertheless. Long may they dwell there and live on in future generations.