Tiffany Gee Lewis: A return to the Shire and how it’s never quite the same

Pierre Vinet, New Line Productions

In this file photo originally released by New Line Productions shows actors, from left, Dominic Monaghan as Merry, Elijah Wood as Frodo, Billy Boyd as Pippin and Sean Astin as Sam in a scene from New Line Cinema’s “The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring.”

A year ago this month we watched the sun rise over our Minnesota home for the last time.

Driving out of our idyllic suburban cul-de-sac, the one with 30 neighbor kids, home of water balloon fights, Nerf wars, Fourth of July parades, corner lemonade stands and backyard marshmallow roasts, we paddled West on a river of tears toward the unknown.

When we arrived at our new rental in Oregon, the boys looked around.

“Where are all the neighbor kids?”

My heart broke afresh. There were no neighbor kids, not the kind that played outside in untethered masses. We were alone.

I’d moved enough in my life to become acquainted with loneliness. I knew what it felt like to walk into a school or a church building as the tentative newcomer. Even in my mid-30s, the feeling wasn’t easier. What had changed was my understanding of the process.

When God set Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, he did not intend for them to stay. A place that brought forth flowers and fruits spontaneously would never allow for the kind of…

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