Time of the Ancient Mariner
“Another year upon us.”
Glorfindel turned around to see Cirdan the Shipwright standing behind him. The ancient elf came next to Glorfindel’s side and looked over the sea. The moonlight reflected off the water and shone in the elf’s silver beard.
“I am surprised you still count the years.” Glorfindel said. Cirdan’s legendary time on Arda were a famous tale even in Glorfindel’s first life. He often marveled over the determination it took for an elf to remain on Arda, so far from home for so long a time.
“The years must always be counted, Glorfindel,” Cirdan said, “they pass whether or not we want them to. Other elves dismiss the passage of one year when we live so many, but we can never be certain which year will be our last and therefore must hold reverence for each one that passes.” Cirdan smiled as he watched the waves churn in the sea. “Life is nothing but change.”
Glorfindel laughed, “Yes, I am quite aware.”
Cirdan touched Glorfindel’s shoulder, keeping his hand there until Glorfindel raised his eyes to meet their gazes. “Are you?” Cirdan asked. “It seems to me you are doing your best to relive your past life.”
“How so?” Glorfindel asked.
“Isolating yourself from everyone else; hiding behind the claims of duty and only finding purpose in the fight and the blade.” Cirdan sighed, “There is so much more to you than the warrior, Glorfindel, and I think you need to remember that.”
“I doubt the Valar sent me back to whittle at wood.” Glorfindel said.
“How do you know?” Cirdan asked. He stroked a hand through his beard, “For all you know, the Valar brought you back to carve all the tables and desks for the High-king.”
“He is not my High-king.” Glorfindel hissed.
Cirdan shook his head, “He is, Glorfindel, for now, for this life.”
Glorfindel turned his back to the sea and rested against the carved balcony. The sea breeze felt good as it swept across his back. “I did not think it would be this difficult.”
Cirdan remained silent and staring at the sea.
“Do you not offer any words of advice, all-knowing Ancient Mariner?” Glorfindel asked.
Cirdan smiled and spoke, “You will live your life however you wish, Glorfindel. Whether you decide to live it like your last, if you find no regrets in your past existence than that is your prerogative. I may offer you the old words of an old elf, but I have seen the world change, Glorfindel. I have seen the tides wash away shorelines and boats bring as many to my coast as they have taken back. I have seen life and death and now with you, re-birth. The only advice I can offer to you, Glorfindel, is to consider the year.”
“Consider the year?”
“It is a cycle. We are born, we learn, we thrive, we begin to wane and we die and we are born again. The year lives much as you do, Glorfindel, but no two years are ever the same, nor are two lifetimes, even if they are lived by the same elf.” Cirdan tapped Glorfindel’s shoulder as he turned and walked out of the room.
“Consider the year then?” Glorfindel asked as Cirdan approached the doorway.
“It is what I would do.” Cirdan said.
“Well,” Glorfindel pushed off from the balcony and walked towards Cirdan, “I am not fool enough to turn away the advice from one so much older than myself.”
Glorfindel threw an arm around Cirdan’s shoulder and walked with him to the celebration banquet below.
A/N: Title is, of course, a play on the title of Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s famous Rime of the Ancient Mariner.