It is possible to be homesick for a place you have never seen or been to. I know this because I have felt it. I've been homesick for Ireland, for Australia, for so many countries and states. But most of all, I've been homesick for the Shire.
When life slows down enough for me to collect my thoughts, I often find myself wishing I could live in the Shire, or in Rivendell. I feel a longing, deep in my heart, to go to one or both of these places and never to leave. To spend my life there.
Some would say I'm an absolutely crazy fanatic who obsesses over fantasy. Maybe I am... but that doesn't change the fact that I feel homesick for these places I have never been.
But... am I - indeed, is anyone - homesick for these places, really and truly?
Or are we homesick for what they represent?
To me, the Shire and Rivendell symbolize beauty, peace, hope, light, and happiness.
The friendly, one-big-happy-family atmosphere of the Shire; where everyone knows everyone, and everybody helps one another. All the Hobbits seem so oblivious to things like pain and darkness. Everything is light and happy and warm.
The serenity and safety of Rivendell; the Elves, who can be ever so gentle, but fiercely loyal when the need arises. The quietness, and the feeling of never having to face danger or pain ever again.
And yet... maybe we're not quite homesick for the places themselves.
Maybe we're longing for the peace, beauty, and happiness that these places bring. The happiness, the warmth, the serenity, the gentleness.
Sometimes, I find myself sad. The realization strikes me that these places aren't real. The Shire and Rivendell can only be visited in one's imagination. Even if it was a set from one of the movies that you visited, it wouldn't be the same thing. The feeling of longing and sadness deepens as I tell myself that there is nowhere on Earth like the Shire or Rivendell; nowhere that peace and total happiness can be found.
Yet... lately, I've been thinking. Yes, that's right - nowhere on Earth can be as beautiful as the Shire or Rivendell.
The key words there are 'on Earth'.
Our world is broken, our world is fallen, our world is dark. Yes, there are places with light - as Sam says, "There's some good in this world... and it's worth fighting for."
But nowhere here on this planet will ever be a place of peace.
But when our Father takes us Home, we'll be in a place more beautiful than we've ever dreamed - a place more wonderful than we ever imagined the Shire and Rivendell would be. And while even places like Rivendell and the Shire must fall and vanish someday... we will be able to spend eternity in Heaven, at complete peace, with our Father.
We won't have to hurt anymore. We won't have to be afraid. We won't cry. Broken hearts will heal, scars will disappear, and we will be filled with total peace and happiness.
There's nothing wrong with being homesick. Just take heart in the fact that one day... one day, we will be Home with our Father.
“There, peeping among the cloud-wrack above a dark tower 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"
~ Theodora Ashcraft