Wandering Heart: Chapter One
"Daddy! Daddy!" I call, running down the hallway to the room at the back of the house where my father Cennanon sits behind his potter's wheel, shaping a clay vase.
He looks up and smiles at me. "What is it, Indiel?"
I twirl around, spreading my arms wide. "Spring!" I sing out happily.
"Come, my little one. We will go see spring together," he laughs, standing and washing the clay off of his hands. He takes my small hand in his own large one, and we walk outside together.
He takes a deep breath of the fresh spring air, and I mimic him, breathing in loudly. He smiles. "Yes, Indiel, it is surely spring!"
I cheer, then dart away, giggling. "Catch me, ada!"
He chases after me, letting me get ahead of him. "I'm faster than you!" I tease, making the mistake of looking over my shoulder. I trip on a rock, landing hard on my bottom.
Cennanon picks me up and dusts me off, his eyes twinkling. "Ah, but I'm wiser," he teases, and begins to tickle me.
I giggle helplessly, squirming to get away. "Daddy! Stop it!" I beg.
He grins and sets me down, but I run away again. He chases me, and we run around and around the house until I'm too tired to run anymore and let him catch me. He sits down on the grass beside me, and I crawl onto his lap. The spring sun is warm on my face, and I am tired.
"Tell me a story, ada," I murmur sleepily.
He is quiet for a moment. "A true story," I demand.
"A true story," he repeats slowly. He gives a long sigh. "This," he begins, "Is a story about your grandmother."
I look up at him curiously, and interrupt, "My grandmother? But Daddy, I wanted a story about..."
He glares at me playfully. "Who is telling this story, me or you?"
"You," I say, giggling.
He nods. "No interrupting then, daughter."
He coughs importantly. "Your grandmother's name is Silmarwen Anwamanë. She lived in Gondolin, and is of the Noldor. When Gondolin fell, she escaped through Idril's Secret Way, and then took shelter at the Havens of Sirion, where she wedded your grandfather, Aravalon. They had a son."
I smile. "You?"
He nods. "When the son was grown, he took the name Cennanon and chose the way of the wanderer."
I frown. "But you don't wander, daddy!"
He laughs. "Yes, because of you, little one. When you are big enough, we will leave here and begin our wanderings of Arda."
I shake my head stubbornly. "I like it here though!"
He sighs. "Be quiet and listen to the story. Cennanon, in his wanderings, gained much wisdom and learned many useful skills. And one day, he found his heart's desire."
"What was it?" I ask curiously, no longer sleepy.
"My true love," Cennanon answers absently.
"Mother?" I ask excitedly. Cennanon has never told me about her. Perhaps today, he will.
My father smiles sadly. "Yes, little one. Your mother. Meril."
"Was she beautiful? Did she sing?"
"She was very beautiful. And her singing was more beautiful than any other maiden of the Eldar. I loved her more than anything. And...she loved me back."
I sigh contentedly.
"We were wed in the summer. And then we had you."
"Yes." I say happily. "But father...what happened to grandmother, grandfather, and mother? Where have they gone? Why...why is it only you and I?"
A cloud of darkness and sadness passes over his face. "They are in the Blessed Realm, Valinor."
I wiggle nervously. Sadly, I ask him one more question. "Why didn't mommy stay with us, daddy?"
He doesn't answer me, he has retreated into himself, and I cannot draw him out again. I slide off his lap and go into the house, leaving him sitting on the grass alone, his face twisted by pain and grief. Maybe someday he will tell me everything.
But I remember what he has said. When I am big enough, we will leave here and begin wandering Arda. I am not sure what I think of this.