My dad always claimed a gardener gets his strength from the earth. “You keep your hands in the soil, Samwise,” he’d say when I was a lad, apprenticing up at Bag End, “and you’ll have strength enough for anything.”
My fingers scrabble desperately at the ground, searching, but there’s nothing left here to lend me strength. Hate leached it away long ago. I reckon my old dad never dreamt of noplace like Mordor.
I slump wearily against a rock and meet your eyes. “Sam,” you whisper through cracked lips, “my dear Sam.”
I’ve strength enough to carry us both, now.