On Elanor


Elanor (or Pimpernel) (Source)

Elanor (or pimpernel) (Source)

Muse upon the yellow elanor (in the elvish language of Sindarin, “star-sun”), small golden flowers shaped as stars. They shine bright upon the seas of grass, sparkling glimmers of a beauty beyond known beauty. “Not even Solomon in all his splendor was clothed like one of them,” says Christ. Like Aragorn we take a bloom of golden elanor in our hand and wrap ourselves in some fair memory. In elanor there grows a hope out of remembrance and promise.


Niphredil (or snowdrop) (Source)

Muse upon the pale niphredil (in Sindarin, “little pallor”), slender stalks of white and palest green that glimmer like the mist. They twinkle quietly in permanent fragility, winter flowers of profound elegance and soothing fragrance. “All the darkness in the world cannot extinguish the light of a single candle,” writes St. Francis of Assisi. Like Frodo we ever walk the fields of niphredil whenever shadow engulfs our steps. In niphredil there springs a peace that outlasts all chaos and all grief.

Mallorn (or black poplar) (Source)

Mallorn (or black poplar) (Source)

Muse upon the golden mallorn trees (in Sindarin, “gold tree”), birch-like saplings unique to the domain of Lothlórien:

“There are no trees like the trees of that land. For in the autumn their leaves fall not, but turn to gold. Not till the spring comes and the new green opens do they fall, and then the boughs are laden with yellow flowers, and the floor of the wood is golden, and golden is the roof, and its pillars are of silver, for the bark of the trees is smooth and grey.”

Through the silver-smooth branches of the mallorn trees we hear the waves of great seas long ago, the cries of ancient sea birds. In mallorn there endures a timeless dream, and a longing: for the sea calls us home.

In awe and wonder we, like the Fellowship, wander the fields of Cerin Amroth. There is a beauty profound and mysterious in small elanor and simple niphredil and lasting mallorn. The smallest of all things seem oft to possess the fairest beauty. The simplest of all creation seem oft to linger in our memories longest. “Here ever bloom the winter flowers in the unfading grass: the yellow elanor, and the pale niphredil.” Here ever grow the hope, the peace, and the longing that brings succor to our travels.


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