This One's for My Sis.

I have a beautiful sister. Her name is Julie. She is one of the most well-read and most sharply intelligent people I know. She served an LDS mission in New York City (speaking Spanish, no less), and has a master's degree in Education Administration. She is teaching at an amazing charter school in AZ called Great Hearts, and I am stinking proud of her

Tolkien is the Man.

She and I have a few things in common, and one of them is an unabashed love for all things Tolkien. I think it's only she that probably beats my record for the most hours spent dived in to the lore and - especially - the language of the Lord of the Rings. The words that Tolkien puts into the mouths of his characters have a bone-deep ring to them that transcends time and distance, and even race (speaking here of hobbits, dwarves, and elves, of course). 

And the girl even got a tattoo in Elvish. So badass. So nerdy. So nerdishly badass, which is even MORE badass than just plain badass. That's right.

And so it was that she told me one of her favorite lines, from a speech given by humble Samwise Gamgee, friend and servant to Frodo, and companion on his long journey. A gardener by trade, he's the stalwart and sturdy and earthy one, and the one who in this case speaks of hope in a gorgeous metaphor.

And so I did what any good Photoshopping sister would, and made her a poster like so, and surprised her with it:

Here's the entire piece from the book:

It’s like in the great stories Mr. Frodo, the ones that really mattered. Full of darkness and danger they were, and sometimes you didn’t want to know the end because how could the end be happy? How could the world go back to the way it was when so much bad had happened? But in the end it’s only a passing thing, this shadow, even darkness must pass. A new day will come, and when the sun shines it’ll shine out the clearer. Those were the stories that stayed with you, that meant something even if you were too small to understand why. But I think Mr. Frodo, I do understand, I know now folk in those stories had lots of chances of turning back, only they didn’t. They kept going because they were holding on to something.

Frodo: What are we holding onto, Sam?

Sam: That there’s some good in the world, Mr. Frodo, and it’s worth fighting for.
— J.R.R. Tolkien, The Two Towers

For me, the most touching part of this, is that of all the amazing lines in that trilogy, this is the one that she chose as her favorite. I won't go into details on her life, of course, but I will say that she's had it rough in a lot of ways.

But she hopes.

She hopes fiercely, like Sam, in the knowledge that future goodness, just like the rising sun, will arrive to banish the current darkness. And when that darkness DOES disappear, how bright the sun will be! 

You can grab this Tolkien quote poster from my Etsy store if you'd like to put one in your own home. It ships flat, and is unframed. 

Your Turn

Do you have a favorite line from The Lord of The Rings? Post it here! You might just see a poster of it!