That Is What You Have Been Trained For

Another gem from my summer reading.

‘I am with you at present,’ said Gandalf, ‘but soon I shall not be. I am not coming to the Shire. You must settle its affairs yourselves; that is what you have been trained for. Do you not yet understand? My time is over: it is no longer my task to set things to rights, nor to help folk to do so. And as for you, my dear friends, you will need no help. You are grown up now. Grown indeed very high; among the great you are, and I have no longer any fear at all for any of you.’ ~ J. R. R. Tolkien, The Return of the King

I was reminded of  an article I read some time ago, “The Education of the Hobbits.” Long read, but such good stuff for those of us passionate about reforming education in our homes and communities. Here’s an excerpt:

Frodo is not honored by his countrymen in the way the other Travellers are, yet he quietly makes the greatest contribution to the flowering of the Shire. Before setting off for his place of rest and consolation, Frodo commits the Red Book to Sam. The Red Book contains the tales of the hobbits’ great deeds in full, along with Bilbo’s “Tales from the Elvish.” The great story, the story that the Travellers entered, has ennobled them and made them fit to take their place among the great of their times and of history. Frodo charges Sam to make sure that it never forgotten in the Shire. “You will be the Mayor, of course, as long as you want to be, and the most famous gardener in history; and you will read things out of the Red Book and keep alive the memory of the age that is gone, so that people will remember the Great Danger and so love their beloved land all the more. Read the rest at the Imaginative Conservative

Lake Bala, Alphonse Dousseau (1830-1869)

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