There were three parts to his dream, though they did not always come together.
There were stars burning, burning and falling, lighting up a place that
seemed to be deep inside his heart, a burst of brilliance, heat and light,
until he rose like a phoenix trailing the scent of cinnamon and gold.
There was a wave that moved more against the sky than the sea, reaching
for the stars, reaching to quench the lights that lay scattered like campfires
dotting the plain after battle. It was a living wall of tears; salt and
water mingled in an onward rush to lift him or engulf him, he had
yet to find out for certain.
And there was the dome of the heavens; blue, dark blue with a border of
stories that spun in an ever changing tale around the hub that was himself;
standing, reaching for lights that twinkled above him, up the darkening
dome of the sky, up to the black of the night outside the skylights, dark
and light and diamonds scattered across the glass, and the raindrop tears
that glistened after the wave had passed.
When he was young, the dreams would sometimes frighten him, and he would
wake, heart pounding in his small chest, wanting to cry out for comfort,
but how could you tell anyone you woke afraid of the wind or the wave
or the stars?
And over the years he had learned to wake calm, and close his eyes and
recreate the dream, slowly learning its secret places, slowly learning
to read its heart.
He had almost lost the stars in the dark, but since he woke he had never
been without them, knowing at last that there was a north star with him
- that the burning was the fire of his passion for life, that the wave
was meant to lift him to the stars, and that the dome had been built to
protect him while he grew into his own heart.
Tonight the dream had come again, and left him sitting wakeful on the
wall in the starlight, like an elf, seeing in the patterns of the stars
a pattern forming on the surface of his life. Tonight the pattern had
a deep voice, and deep, deep eyes, now green, now grey that had taught
him as a child to love the sea, and a sense of honor that could not have
come from anyplace but love.
He startled almost imperceptibly at the touch on his shoulder, and looked
up to greet his lieutenant as the watch changed. Did you dream about
the stars, Captain? the soft voice asked. No, he answered,
smiling, about my Grandfather.
The clouds scudded across the pale, just washed sky like a hand learning
to use a pen bold one moment, secure with a letter it knew well;
and then a little hesitant over a new shape it was only practicing. There
was the brackish smell of seaweed tossed up by the uncertain weather,
and he heaved the big book he was carrying onto a bench inside the courtyard
and clambered up to peer down at the place where the great river Anduin
emptied into the sea, the exact place where the sun was sinking into the
Everything was grey the twilight sea, the dimming sky, the air
becoming visible around him as its own grey nature was revealed, his own
eyes slowly becoming a match for his entire world. He stood watching the
lights in the harbour come slowly to life, each one a star lit with a
gift from a hearth or torch, each mirroring a spark growing slowly to
life in the gently darkening sky above him. He stood until a star moved
gently toward him out of the gloom, swaying in his grandsires hand.
He hopped down and ran to carry the lantern to the wall, setting it carefully
above the spot where the big book had been placed.
Were you waiting for me? the deep voice asked. His laughter
bubbled to the surface.
Yes, you know I was! the child exclaimed.
Not tired of our lessons yet?
Tired! How could he tire of learning the stories of the sky; how could
he tire of looking up and seeing the pieces of the puzzle begin to fit;
how could he tire of the surety of his grandsire promising he would be
No, he grinned, not yet. I still have so much to learn!
They settled on the bench together, one on each side of the great book,
and poured over the possible lessons in the spill of glow from the lamp
until the sky was dark enough to read. Then Adrahil tapped a page knowingly
and smiled, and they shuttered the lantern and closed the book, moving
it aside so the child could sit next to his grandsire and lean back against
his strong thigh as they looked up in wonder at the glitter of another
I know you can find the Swordsman by yourself now but did
you know he has a brother? Would you like to see Gondors other defender?
The little head was shaking, no; and then nodding, yes
The swordsman is easy for most people to see both his stars,
and his warrior way for the swordsman fights proudly in the open.
But over here, in the shadow of the trees, his brother waits in cover,
watching everything. That is the way of the world, Faramir some
dangers are seen, and some unseen
and some weapons as well, but
they must still be used with honor if a man wishes to remain a man. Tthe
Archer is not just a fighter sometimes he is a soldier, sometimes
he is a father, defending his family and sometimes he is a hunter, hoping
to bring home meat. In all he does, he has come to depend on his honor,
his skill and his bow.
Do you see the bright star, just there? Adrahil held the boys
hand, finger extended so that he sighted down the length of it.
I do, sir! It is like a bright blue eye!
Very good! That is the eye of the archer. He moved the childs
hand slightly to the east. And here look for a bright place
again. He waited until the little ones excited Yes!
let him know it had been found.
Now, look at how you are sighting down your arm to focus on the
stars, and imagine him doing the same
imagine your arm is your arrow,
and sight down your arm again
He noted with amusement that the child was not only peering along his
arm, he had unconsciously drawn the other hand back, fingers curved in
excitement as though he were bending the great bow. Look for the
see the curve, now, bending up and down from the point
of the arrow
he moved the pointing finger
east again, and then, just here
Oh! Grandfather! Here he comes, out of the dark!
Adrahil could not help but smile at the way the young one spoke. He remembered
himself as a boy, asking his own father if the dragon could stay in the
sky all year if it wound its tail tightly around the high tower of Dol
The little one had continued on in an excited way, pointing to various
stars that were making pictures for him. His grandfathers reverie
lifted in time to hear him say
and Boromir and I will be
the brothers who fight for Gondor, wont we? But we will both have
swords, and we will both have bows, and
A cold chill touched the old mans heart as he listened to the martial
dreams of the boy. ..and you will both have honor, I hope!
And then, a little softer, remembering his own childhood games and carved
soldiers and wooden horses, And honors! Honors aplenty, I expect,
The little one smiled in the dark, not really expecting a grown-up to
take his games seriously. His grandsire was more willing to listen than
most of the adults he knew, and he pressed on, taking full advantage of
Of course, we will fight with honor, sir! But boldly! And our swords
will shine in the sun
and our arrows will be swifter than the wind
He stopped swooping his arm about in the dark and sat up and looked into
Adrahils eyes, a little puzzled by the expression he saw there.
We will be soldiers of Gondor
will you be proud of us, Grandfather?
The prince of Dol Amroth thought his heart had stopped beating, but he
smiled at the grey eyed child, and brushed the raven hair back from his
brow. Very seriously, he answered, I will be proud of you both,
Faramir. I am proud of you now.
The smile on the childs face finally reached his eyes, and Adrahil
found himself the target of Faramir-as-an-arrow as the little body launched
itself into his arms and hugged him.
But, Faramir, he said softly into the dark, I hope you
will always remember that the sword and the bow are tools men use. They
can use them wisely, or they can use them ill.
He stroked the dark hair, and Faramir settled next to him again, looking
up into the well-loved face. The sword and the arrow can be beautiful
if the man who wields them understands what he fights for. Never use such
tools thoughtlessly, for someone always pays a price. Let the beauty of
your weapons come from the strength of the heart that wields them.
He looked into the shining young eyes that were fastened on his with such
attention, and sighed. Do you understand, Faramir?
The little one nodded, and settled back into his newly accustomed place,
cuddled at his grandsires side. I will, grandfather,
he heard the soft voice answer.