I love the scene in The Fellowship of the Ring, when Frodo says to Gandalf; “I wish the ring had never come to me. I wish none of this had happened.”, to which Gandalf responds; “So do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us.” I’ve seen this quote shared around in relation to the current pandemic, but I think, it can definitely be related to any difficulty we go through. This is a sentiment I express in the bridge of this song; “You can’t choose the hand you’re dealt, life is how you choose to play it. Feeling sorry for yourself, or trying to find a way to make it.” When bad things happen, and it is beyond our control to change the circumstances, the only choice we have is how we respond. So in this current crisis, let’s choose hope over fear, joy over bitterness, and reach out to our family and friends so that this time of physical distance does not become a time of social isolation.
And here is another quote from The Lord of the Rings which expresses the idea in the chorus of this song, though I wasn’t thinking about it when I wrote the lyrics; “There, peeping among the cloud-wrack above a dark tor high up in the mountains, Sam saw a white star twinkle for a while. The beauty of it smote his heart, as he looked up out of the forsaken land, and hope returned to him. For like a shaft, clear and cold, the thought pierced him that in the end the Shadow was only a small and passing thing: there was light and high beauty for ever beyond its reach.” J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King
Even amid the fear and anxiety we might feel in this dark time, we can still see the stars, we can still see moments of light and joy. These might be the extra time we get to spend with our families, the conversations we have with friends we haven’t contacted for a while, the opportunity to to do things we’re always complaining we don’t have time for. And while we’re all looking forward to the time when this thing is over and we can go back to normal life, let’s not miss the moments and opportunities we have every day to draw together, so that we come out the other side stronger, and more grateful for the things and people we often take for granted.