At Autumn's End
It was nearing the end of autumn and the world was a mixture of yellow, orange, brown, and a million different shades of green. It was a time of beauty and unimaginable change for the forces of nature, and yet Kelda was always sad to see the transition. She had always taken great pleasure in the warmer months, for life was plentiful and the world seemed brighter. But at the cusp between summer and winter, Kelda found her spirits low, knowing that all the lovely colors would soon be gone. Leaving only gray and white until spring of the next year. But for the first time since she could remember, Kelda didn't feel sorrowful about the change. This year something was different. . .
The beautiful woman was currently in her garden, watering her herbs and flowers with care, as she sang them a little jaunty that had been stuck in her head all day. Kelda knew that the song had come to her because of what she had planned for later on that night when her husband returned home, but she smiled despite herself as the familiar tune escaped her lips in the soft, whispering form of a lullaby.
"If I had money enough to spend, and leisure time to sit awhile.
There is a fair maid in this town, that surely has my heart beguiled.
Her rosy cheeks and ruby lips, I own she has my heart enthralled,
So gently rise and softly call, "Good night and joy be to you all."
It seemed like a lifetime ago that her husband had sang those same lyrics to her, embarrassed when she asked him about it, claiming that he had written it for his little brother. Kelda blushed at the memory of when her lovely Bofur had first admitted that he had composed the song for her. It had been a simple enough ditty, but one that she held very close to her heart. And now after several years of marriage, the song meant more to her than ever. For it was the perfect proof of how Bofur felt. He loved her.
And not one day between them had passed where the handsome dwarf hadn't professed his love and given her one of his trademark grins. Even on days when he was tired or troubled, Bofur took the time to tell Kelda how blessed he was to have her. And all those years ago, when he had finally made his feelings for her known, Kelda had given him her heart and had loved him more than she had ever loved anyone.
As the woman finished watering her colorful plants, she slowly looked up at the sky and couldn't help but smile. It was nearing sunset. Bofur would be home any time now, and she would finally get to share her surprise with him! Finally she wouldn't have to keep her thoughts to herself! It was such a wonderful notion that she laughed aloud. Kelda had been silent about this certain surprise for almost a week, and keeping quiet had almost killed her. But the wait was over!
The woman went into her small cottage house to check on the roast she was cooking, planning how to break her news to Bofur. She couldn't just say it after all. . . This subject required tact. . .
"After he has eaten his dinner I will tell him," Kelda decided. "Then I'll have his complete attention and not have to worry about his mind wandering to food."
Kelda, pleased with her plan, began to set the table, happy that her husband would soon be home.
The woman of Dale had waited patiently throughout the meal, but as Bofur took his time enjoying her cooking, she began to grow anxious. After what felt like an eternity, Bofur finished his supper and Kelda rose to clear his plate and her own. She could barely contain her excitement, and she chided herself at her inability to act normal. Bofur seemed to sense that something was bothering his wife and followed her into their small kitchen, with a raised eyebrow.
"Kelda love, what's eating you? You're acting jumpier than a mother squirrel."
Kelda trembled as her husband talked, focusing more on one of the words that he said, then his actual message. Did he already know? No that was impossible. Kelda, trying to recover, shrugged her shoulders, as she put the dishes in the sink to wash. But when Bofur continued to study her, she gave up on pretenses. She couldn't hide anything from him, even when it was a surprise.
"Bofur. . . I have something to tell you, and I don't quite know how to say it. . ."
The dwarf looked at her calmly and after a second came to wrap his arms around her from behind. Kelda instantly relaxed into him and sighed. She loved it when Bofur held her, it was truly the best feeling in the world.
"What's wrong, me lovely?" He asked in a hoarse whisper, as he gently nuzzled her ear, making Kelda smile.
"I'm fine," she promised, before tenderly taking one of his hands in her own. "Bofur. . . I went into town today and talked to the healer. I've had some bad aches lately so I thought I could consult her about it and see what she thought."
Bofur stood frozen behind her and said not a word, his anxiousness obvious to his wife even though she couldn't see his face.
"The healer said that nothing was amiss," Kelda said to which Bofur sighed.
"Well that's a relief." He smiled.
"Yes. . . But she found the reason for my aches."
The dwarf looked confused. "What was it, lass?"
Kelda took a deep breath and whispered, "I'm. . . I'm with child."
Bofur was silent for a moment. "You're pregnant?"
The dwarf immediately broke out into a soft sob, resting his head on his wife's shoulder as she confirmed the news. "I'm gonna be a Da!"
Kelda began to cry too as her husband placed his hands, palms down, on her stomach and kissed her cheek.
"I'm gonna be a Da!" He repeated joyfully.
"Yes, my love," Kelda said laughing through her tears. "We're going to have a family of our own."
Bofur turned his wife around so that she was facing him, and Kelda couldn't remember a time when he had looked so happy. His dimples were more noticeable than usual and his eyes shined brightly.
"Is it a little lad or lass?"
"It's too early to tell," Kelda said and then she smiled. "What do you wish for it to be?"
Bofur grinned, "I don't care either way, me love. Nothing in the world could make me happier than this has!"
Kelda leaned forward and hugged him then, crying for joy and relief. The Valar had answered her prayers. She would be a mother and finally have a child to call her own. And her lovely Bofur was just as excited as she was.
Bofur and Kelda continued to hug and kiss, cry and laugh, for hours afterward. Knowing that their dream would come true. In only nine cycles they would be parents. And as the two made their way to bed that night, Kelda held her stomach with a coy smile.
"I know what I want to name the baby if she's a girl."
Bofur watched his wife lovingly, knowing that he was the luckiest dwarf in the world. And when Kelda looked at him, he prayed that their child would have those same beautiful light blue eyes.
"What do you want to call her, lass?" He asked curiously.
Kelda rubbed her tummy and a single tear slid down her cheek.
". . . Bofana."