Going Home by Linaewen

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Story Notes:

Written for the Longest Day challenge, using as an element the song and lyrics of "Going Home."

The day had been cold and grey, made even colder by the strong easterly wind blowing through the valley that brought with it a sharp chill and the smell of snow.  Boromir looked up at the darkening sky and grimaced.

It will be a bleak night of walking if this wind follows us after leaving Rivendell, he thought.  But moving is better than standing still -- and not just for keeping the blood warm!

Glancing about the courtyard, he noted the four halflings waiting patiently next to the pack horse that would be traveling with them.  Gimli the Dwarf was there also, but the others had not yet come out of the house.  Boromir eyed the closed door to the hall and sighed, long and loud.

"What's wrong, Boromir?" Pippin inquired, moving closer to look up into Boromir's face.  "You don't look very happy!"

Boromir looked down at Pippin, startled.  He realized suddenly that he had expressed his impatience audibly, and now the little ones were all looking at him with worried expressions.

"I am not unhappy, Pippin," Boromir said, trying his best to sound reassuring.  "I am simply impatient!  This day has been interminably long and I wish it would end."

Pippin frowned.  "But isn't it actually almost Yule?  That's the shortest day of the year, right?  Why, it's getting dark already and we only just had our dinner.  How could it be a long day if it's almost the shortest day of the year?"

Merry rolled his eyes as Boromir blinked in confusion.  "He doesn't really mean it's the longest day, Pip," he declared.  "He means it seems like it is!  And he wants it to end because then we'll be able to leave.  I guess you're pretty eager to start out, aren't you, Boromir?"

"Yes, Merry," Boromir replied.  "The sooner we begin our journey, the sooner I will be going home."

"Oh, well, that makes sense!" cried Pippin.  "How silly of me!  Of course you want to get going so you can be home again.  It's too bad the others are taking so long, we could be off on the road by now!"

"Indeed," nodded Boromir, looking longingly in the direction of the courtyard gate.

"Maybe a song will cheer you up while you wait," Pippin suggested hopefully.  "Do you know any songs about going home, Boromir?"

Boromir smiled and began to shake his head, but then he paused and thought for a moment.

"Yes," he said at last.  "There is a song we sing in my country, appropriately named 'Going Home.'  It is a favorite song of mine, but I am not certain it is appropriate for...."

"Does it have words?" Pippin interrupted.  "Can you sing it for us?"

Boromir hesitated, but it was too late.  He not only had the attention of Pippin and Merry, but Frodo and Sam also seemed to be waiting expectantly, and Gimli was drawing closer in anticipation of a performance.

"Come now, lad," Gimli said, clapping a hand on Boromir's shoulder.  "I'm as eager as you to be off on this quest, but we can't leave until the others come, so a song might go a long way now towards passing the time."  The Dwarf winked at Boromir.  "Besides, I don't think these fellows will take no for an answer!"

"No, we won't!" cried Pippin and the others added their voices to his pleading.

"Very well," sighed Boromir.  "I will sing for you, and you can judge whether my song is good or not."

Boromir stood silently for a moment, as if gathering his thoughts, then he began to sing in a voice that was rich and deep.

Going home, going home,
I am going home.
Quiet-like, some still day,
I'm just going home.
It's not far, just close by,
Through an open door.
Work all done, care laid by,
Going to fear no more.

Nothing lost, all is gain,
No more fear or pain,
No more stumbling by the way,
No more longing for the day,
Going to roam no more.

Morning star lights the way,
Restless dreams all done.
Shadows gone, break of day,
Real life has begun.
There's no break, there's no end,
Just a living on.
Wide awake with a smile,
going on and on..

Going home, going home,
I'm just going home.
It's not far, just close by,
Through an open door.
I am going home.....

When Boromir had finished singing, his audience was quiet for a long time.

"That was beautiful," Frodo said at last, breaking the silence.

"Aye!" agreed Gimli.  "I've not heard that piece before.  'Twas a nice one and well sung, lad."

"It wasn't quite as happy a song as I was hoping for," Pippin said thoughtfully.  "It was supposed to cheer us up, you know.  But it was actually a bit sad."

"I tried to tell you it was not entirely appropriate for the occasion," Boromir chuckled.  "The truth is, that song is often sung as part of the death rites for fallen warriors.  But I have always loved and been soothed by the melody, and the deeper meaning that lies behind the words does not trouble me.  Though it be sad, it is nevertheless a comforting song."

"So it helped you feel better?" Pippin asked hopefully.

"It did, indeed, Pippin," Boromir responded with a smile.  "Thank you for suggesting a song to cheer me.  It was just what I needed."  

"It's true, you'll be going home soon now," said Merry.  "Look, the others are coming now from the hall.  We can be on our way at last.  No more longing for the day, Boromir!"

Boromir's laugh echoed in the courtyard.

"Indeed, no more longing for the day!" he said with a grin.  "Wide awake, with a smile -- I am going home!"

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