I love these leave-taking wishes between Gandalf the wizard and the Elvenking. I keep turning over the implications of the last injunction to turn up ‘where you are most needed and least expected’. I guess if we all followed that, most of us would never turn up for work again.

Regardless, merry be the greenwood while the world is yet young, and merry be all your folk! Recite that to yourself if you decide that, after all, you’d better turn up at work on Monday.

“Farewell! O Elvenking!” said Gandalf. “Merry be the greenwood, while the world is yet young! And merry be all your folk!”  “Farewell! O Gandalf!” said the king. “May you ever appear where you are most needed and least expected!”

Source: JRR Tolkien, The Hobbit (London: HarperCollins, 1995), p. 263

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