I tried to stay, but so much has been lost to me. After helping to put out the fires, caring for the wounded, and seeing both Father and Beckham, as well as countless others laid to peaceful rest, I tried to start anew. But with much of the crops burned, and most of our animals slain or lost, as well as…

…will there ever be an “our” again for me, I wonder? I love so many in the village dearly, but they are not part of me as my family was, or as I hoped Beckham might be.

And so, in the end, after much consideration, I have decided that I must leave my home and the shadows cast upon me here. I walk the road east of Bree, having just passed through the Combe gate. The sun sets over the town with such beauty, I am taken by the thought that, one day, I may return to see the only home I have ever known.

I have a vision of the village rebuilt, children playing again in the spring-time sun, green fields growing with the promise of the bountiful harvest that lies ahead. Everyone has left that day behind them and surfaced again from the depths of despair that held them fast. The sun has set for them and, with the new dawn, hope is born.

May the sun set on these dark days for me as well. The thought stirs me, and I feel something more that just the sadness I have borne lately. I cannot go back, not yet. But, for now, one last look…

With Light,
Kaleigh

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