The Road Outside My Door
Bilbo: I’ll be fine. Just let me sit quietly for a moment.
Gandalf: You’ve been sitting quietly for far too long. Tell me. When did doilies and your mother’s dishes become so important to you? I remember a young hobbit who was always running off in search of Elves in the woods. He’d stay out late, come home after dark, trailing mud and twigs and fireflies. A young hobbit who would’ve liked nothing better than to find out what was beyond the borders of the Shire. The world is not in your books and maps. It’s out there.
This piece of dialogue is found in the “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” but not in Tolkien’s book on the same subject; yet the tone of it works very nicely. I, for one, was struck by the conversation and have been mulling over my life’s comforts and how easy it is to get attached to them and to settle into a quiet life of ‘being old’. Why am I afraid to “go out my door”? What am I holding on to in my life? Is it security, comfort, a set routine, fear of the unknown, dislike of uncomfortable surroundings or temperatures?
Is there some adventure waiting for me that I am missing because I would rather sit in front of a nice warm fire in my hobbit hole? Is there something I am missing because I am in a routine of doing a “few good things” and not willing to look outside of the very firmly drawn boundaries in my life? I know for most of us, life is made up more of ordinary days than days of extraordinary adventure, but I’ve been wondering if maybe it’s time to ‘stretch’ a little again, reach outside of my comfort zone, learn something new or touch the lives of some of those around me who do not have nice little hobbit holes. No telling what I will find down the road!
On the Journey …. Valerie