So many things are bound together by Life’s cycles. The morning sun that rises each day to share with us its warmth gives way to the night, whose gentle light leads us back to our homes to rest and be renewed for another day. This is a most obvious one, as are the seasons that turn, each one with its own gifts to us. Knowing that the beautiful snow will give way to blooming flowers, then to turning leaves, before the snow comes once more gives us a quiet peace and a place from which we can start to build our lives and make our way.

I think that such cycles can be found in how we relate to one another as well. I must have done a decent job on Patch Duty because, soon after, others began to ask me for my aid in their endeavors. I owed these kind folk so much and gladly offered to help them. As I did so, I realized that my sorrow and grief had begun to fade, ever so slightly. It was as if, by helping others, I was helping myself as well. Those from whom I used to receive a polite nod or a smile as we passed each other in the Hall beforehand now began to stop me and thank me for what I had done for them. But the thing was, I had not done anything for them. Not really.

But maybe I had after all. Maybe making the road through the Vale safer by driving off predators did not aid those who never left the Hall directly. But it might just have made their cousin’s, or their brother’s, or their friend’s journey safer. That someone, whomever it may be, might be of a more jovial mood upon their return to the Hall, due to the ease of their travel, and be more likely to favor those they then come across with kindness as well. The cycle is renewed, and my healing is more complete.

Through this cycle of healing, I have become renewed in both mind and spirit. Though I miss my father and my beloved dearly, I have decided that the best way to honor them, and their great sacrifice for me and the others of Archet, is to return home and offer my aid to my old friends, as best as I am able. Again, the cycle is renewed.

My journey homeward begins by heading down the stairs leading away from Thorin’s Hall and into the Vale with its bordering mountains in sight, so imposing and yet reassuring as well.

With Light,
Kaleigh

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