Wednesday, March 16, 2022

REPOST: The Quest For The Ring and The Return Of The Ring

On this 20th anniversary of marriage to my wonderful wife, it seems only appropriate to reshare one of the more extraordinary events in our lives - the story of the how I temporarily lost my original wedding ring over the Labor Day weekend in 2009 and the incredible story about how it was found.  

As always, my sincere apologies to JRR Tolkien.

It was a time of unrest and uncertainty. Forces of evil had spread fear and destruction upon the country, affecting every aspect of life. The couple had supported each other through these times, and had decided that enough was enough. There was no more waiting for tomorrow, no more waiting for a decision or permission that would never come, no more reasons to drag it out any longer.

It was not impulsive.

It was not reckless.

It was not irresponsible.

It was time.

The couple mutually agreed to be united, on the plateau south of the city under the rising harvest moon.

The couple went to their friend in the diamond business shortly after, and there found the Ring. The simplest of rings, plain in nearly every way. On the inside was an inscription, one that matched the date of their union and marked the Owner of the Ring.

On a blustery spring afternoon, nestled in a secluded garden of the bustling sounds and sights of a land known as the country’s playground, friends and family of the couple gathered to witness the completion of the union and the placing of the Ring. All was well.

Days passed into weeks. Weeks passed into years. The couple survived many tests, many changes, many trials. There were moments of profound sadness, and moments of great jubilation. Whispers from the darker places marveled at the success of their union, bitter from the apparent failure of their negative prognostications. They traveled to many lands, had many victories, and were known throughout the lands for their quirkiness and abundance of happiness. All was well.

Not everyone was happy, though. The doctor argued that a profound love of beef was probably not conductive to a profound love of life, and that, although it would be a difficult choice, a choice must be made. The Man made the difficult choice, choosing to extend his life to live out more of his days with his Woman, and lessen his intake of the greatest of foods. This brought significant changes to the Man, both in habits and in clothing, as the extra weight he had carried because of his love of beef started to slip away. But quietly, almost unnoticed, another change was happening.

On one of their many adventures, the couple traveled to the prairie lands north. They were attending the annual fellowship of companions in the waning days of summer that they had always attended. One of the traditional activities of this fellowship was floating down the lazy river. This year, the river was stronger and higher than in previous years, due mainly to the abnormal monsoons that kept the prairie lands green and lush. The float down the river was relaxing and enjoyable. The companions traded stories of their adventures, enjoying each other’s company, while basking in the warmth of the mid day sun.

As the river sojourn reached its end, the Woman jumped off of her float, only to be swept by an underestimated current. The Man, realizing his Woman was in distress, reached out to assist her. In grasping for his hand, the other change was realized. The Man had lost enough weight that the Ring was loose on his finger. In the process of helping his Woman, the Ring was pulled from his finger and lost to the river.

Profound sadness overtook the fellowship once it was realized that the Ring had been lost. But there was a glimmer of hope. The river’s flow was controlled up stream, and the flow of the river would be reduced to a trickle in the coming weeks. Since the Man knew almost exactly where the Ring was lost, there is a chance that he would be able to find the Ring on the riverbed when the waters receded.

A desperate hope, but hope nonetheless.

--- And the Conslusion - or The Return Of The Ring ---

A desperate hope, but a hope nonetheless.

The couple would have to travel a great distance in search of the Ring, but they also wanted to begin the Quest before the autumn snows covered the Ring’s resting place. Also, the couple had to wait until the flow of the river had been stopped. Companions of the couple kept a vigil on the river’s flow, watching for the day when it would Ring’s resting place would be exposed.

Finally, the day had arrived. At daybreak on a crystal clear morning in early autumn, the couple set out on the Quest for the Ring, traveling back to the northern plains to the supposed resting place of the Ring. They were well prepared and well clad, as had been the Man’s motto since his most early years. The Man had sent heralds to distant companions and family in search of the tools required to assist the couple in finding the Ring. So the journey began.

The journey north was uneventful – a wayside to break their fast, fuel for their mighty silver steed. They encountered dromedaries and llamas and bison. There were antelope too numerous to count, roaming the plains, enjoying their morning meal under the cloudless sky.

As they approached the village next to the river, the Man spoke to his Woman.

"Dearest," he said, "do you feel that the luck will be with our Quest today?"

"My Love, I do", replied the Woman. “Though I am not usually the most lucky of persons, I feel that we will be successful this day.”

They stopped for several minutes in the village to purchase a warm beverage, and saw that the flow of the river was indeed reduced, hopefully enough to allow for a search for the Ring. The couple arrived at the edge of the river, and dismounted the silver steed. They started walking to the bank of the river, approaching the dock near where the Ring was lost. They would first look at the area, before bringing out the equipment to aide them in the search.

The riverbed was grey and mottled. The rocky moss had withered and dried since it was deprived of water. To find the Ring, the simplest of Rings, colored very similar to the rockbed of the river, was going to be a challenge. The Man and Woman looked for a moment, walking down the riverbed, identifying exactly where the Ring was believed to be lost.

The Man was about to head back to retrieve the searching equipment, when suddenly, the Woman shouts “Husband! Is this what you seek?!”

PROFOUND JOY!! The Ring had been recovered. It had fallen to rest at nearly the exact point that the Man had remembered. The Woman handed the Ring to her Man, and there was great happiness! No hurt had come to it, except a little crusted silt from the riverbed. The Ring had been found!

The Power of the Ring, the union that it symbolized, remained. It proved to be a greater Power than the river. It had survived a great trial, but came out victorious! The Ring had been found! The Ring had returned! It was the Return of the Ring!

The couple, overcome with happiness, returned to their lands, heralding their divine providence, and informing their family and companions of their successful completion of the Quest for the Ring. The daughter of the couple commented that it must be taken as a sign – a sign that you should remain united for all time.

So ends the Quest for the Ring and the tale of the Return of the Ring.

Happy 20th Anniversary to my wonderful wife. I hope to have many more years of laughter and adventures with you!