Embracing Our Inner Hobbit: Life lessons from Tolkien

Tolkien quotes, Denise D. Young, fantasy, simple living, author

I love hobbits, and I love the Shire. There’s something very hobbit-like about my version of the writer’s life. I curl up with a cup of tea, maybe something yummy to eat (croissants from the bakery down the street are a favorite), and I set to writing. I sip Earl Grey while I get lost in a book I’m reading. My husband and I laugh and share stories about our days. I walk the dog in the park, enjoying the beauty of nature right outside my door. Friends visit. No wizards, yet, but I’m still hoping.

Of course, I have, on occasion, gone on strange and wonderful adventures. The world’s oddest tea room in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where the proprietor, upon seeing us eyeing the menu, asked, “You want food?” A stay in a little red cabin in Germany, where chickens awoke us and friends awaited with food and conversation.

I stumbled across this quote from Tolkien, and I wanted to share it because too often we get caught up in destinations. I do this all the time. I think, “Someday we’ll buy our house in the country”—forgetting that our little townhouse, with all its quirks, is a perfectly delightful home. I forget the rose bush I planted last year, with its brilliant magenta blooms, or the little amethyst room where I can curl up and write, or the vibrant blue walls in our living room, or the dining room table, not even second-hand, but probably third-hand, which has seen so many wonderful conversations had and meals served. Yes, the kitchen faucet leaks, but it works. Yes, the bathroom tile is hideous pink, but the space still functions.

dreamstime_xxl_82995729 creative commons stock photos dreamstime
Creative Commons Stock Photos | Dreamstime.com

Food. Cheer. Song.

And stories, of course.

We need stories—the ones we write, if we’re writers, and, all of us, the stories of our lives, the little, everyday ones. Like my memory of the night we brought puppy Leo home, and how everything in the house startled him. Like the memory of curling up on a cold night in an unheated cabin in Germany, my husband’s warm body pressed against mine. And waking in the morning and sipping French-pressed coffee with a beloved friend. Like the time we bought solar eclipse glasses and glimpsed the event from our front yard, and how we shared them with our neighbors so everyone could take a peek, and got to know people just a little better.

This is life. These small moments. A dinner with friends. A croissant and a cup of coffee while an author takes us down a wending path of adventure and magic.

We talk about the process. We talk about the goal.

Let’s not forget the journey. Let’s not forget the small, sweet moments that unfurl every day.

Let’s not forget to turn our eyes to the wheeling stars, gaze at the watercolor panorama of the sunset, watch the dog play with one of his canine friends, listen to our children or significant other tell us a story about their day, sing in the kitchen while we do the dishes.

In the midst of doing, let’s not forget to be.

In the midst of making a living, let’s not forget to live.

So far this week, I’ve focused on revamping the website and taking a blogging workshop over at WANA International. I also revised chapter two of Spellfire’s Kiss. No work on my novelette Spun Gold yet this week. I’m also in the process of redecorating the living room. I found a couple of gorgeous art prints on Etsy to add some color, and bought a new lamp and mirrors from Target to improve the lighting. Not much else to report!

Are you a Tolkien fan? What life lessons have you taken from his work?

Blessed be.

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Fantasy & paranormal romance author. Witch. Tarot reader. Possibly a woodland sprite. Debut release TANGLED ROOTS now available. Magic awaits at www.denisedyoungbooks.com.

13 thoughts on “Embracing Our Inner Hobbit: Life lessons from Tolkien

  1. What a lovely post, Denise! It makes me feel all calm inside. I love Tolkien. I reread The Lord of the Rings every year and most of his other stuff just as often. It’s hard to choose a specific life lesson as his writing infuses a lot of my thought processes. My brain is usually like a sieve, but I never seem to have trouble remembering passages from Tolkien!

  2. So wonderfully said! Sitting back and appreciating those quieter moments has been more difficult for me lately, I must admit, but I couldn’t agree more about how important it is to do so. You’ve recalled so many lovely ones!

    And wow, you’ve been busy! Been in the process of putting together a new website for my comics, so I can just imagine how time-consuming it must’ve been for you to revamp yours. Good luck with all your writing and redecorating!

    1. It has taken me a long time and much thought to get to a place where I can appreciate the stillness without constantly striving. It’s not necessarily something we’re trained to do in our society. I suspect a great deal of untraining must occur, actually.

      Yes. The website is very much a work in progress. I recently took a blogging workshop and it’s made me see that I need to create a site that encompasses both my blogging style and my books. So, changes will be ongoing for a while.

      Thanks! 🙂

  3. This really resonated with me, there’s so much joy to be found in appreciating what we already have and noticing the simple things and moments we often take for granted. Lovely post, thanks for sharing. 😊

  4. I love this post, and am sharing it. As for Tolkien, it’s been a while, but this was one of my favorite bits, too.

    Because I knew my life was going to shift during the course of this round, I separated my goals into doing and being goals from the outset, and will continue to do so in ensuing rounds. It’s been a measure of peace and calm in troubled times, and will be nourishment for my soul as I move through the journey that is my life.

    I wrote this some time back, but think you might enjoy it…


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