Flotsam and Jetsam
In today’s Lord of the Rings passage we read:
‘He has not,’ said Merry. ‘But Ents only drink, and drink is not enough for content. Treebeard’s draughts may be nourishing, but one feels the need of something solid. And even lembas is none the worse for a change.’
‘You have drunk of the waters of the Ents, have you?’ said Legolas. ‘Ah, then I think it is likely that Gimli’s eyes do not deceive him. Strange songs have been sung of the draughts of Fangorn.'”
And in today’s Scripture we hear:
Jesus told a parable: ‘His son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you; I no longer deserve to be called your son.’ But his father ordered his servants, ‘Quickly, bring the finest robe and put it on him; put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Take the fattened calf and slaughter it. Then let us celebrate with a feast, because this son of mine was dead, and has come to life again; he was lost, and has been found.’'” (Luke 15:21-24)
The water of the Ents is the sustenance of nature: it is nourishing and refreshing, encouraging growth beyond what’s normal and causing change that cannot be ignored.
The lembas of the Elves is the perfection of the culinary arts: it is sustaining and invigorating, allowing action and perseverance beyond what’s normal in a small, accessible form.
The meal at Isengard is the embodiment of dining: it brings contentment and pleasure, regardless of what’s provided, because it is shared among companions.
Ent water, Elvish bread, Fellowship meal: they themselves are something, both perfect and incomplete. But they also point to something more, a type of nourishment causing inescapable change, sustaining beyond expectation, shared among companions. The triumph of bread and wine, the heavenly food: Eucharist.