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Hello and welcome to my site.  This site is my collection of useful and interesting web links and also a collection of my thoughts on religion, politics and whatever else I feel like commenting on.

On Rangers…

In the meantime, let me explain the site title “Ranger of the North”.  In J.R.R. Tolkien’s masterpiece trilogy The Lord of the Rings, the Rangers were a mysterious group of noble warriors who patrolled the borders of the Shire so that the Hobbits could live in peace.

Writing about rangers, Tolkien said:

Few remember them…yet still some go wandering, sons of forgotten kings walking in loneliness, guarding from evil things folks that are heedless…

(The Fellowship of the Ring, “Fog on the Barrow-Downs”)

But in the wild lands beyond Bree there were mysterious wanderers. The Bree-folk called them Rangers, and knew nothing of their origin. They were taller and darker than the Men of Bree and were believed to have strange powers of sight and hearing, and to understand the languages of beasts and birds. They roamed at will southwards, and eastwards…but they were now few and rarely seen.

(The Fellowship of the Ring, “At the Sign of the Prancing Pony”)

Other Tolkien wisdom from Lord of the Rings

Much wisdom and inspiration lie buried in the Lord of the Rings books and films. One strong theme of the books and movies has to do with courage to do what is right despite seemingly overwhelming odds. Here are some of my favorite quotes from Lord of the Rings:

Frodo: I wish the Ring had never come to me. I wish none of this had happened…

Gandalf: So do all who live to see such times, but that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us.

Gamling: Too few have come. We cannot defeat the armies of Mordor.

Theoden: No, we cannot. But we will meet them in battle nonetheless.

The day may come when the courage of men fails. When we forsake our friends and break all bonds of fellowship. But it is not this day. This day, we fight!

All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost.

From the ashes a fire shall be woken,
A light from the shadows shall spring;
Renewed shall be blade that was broken,
The crownless again shall be king.

He has dwelt in the West since the days of dawn, and I have dwelt with him years uncounted . . . and together through ages of the world we have fought the long defeat.

Other related wisdom…

Since naming my site after Tolkien’s Rangers, and after reading David Grossman’s comments on sheepdogs, I have come to the realization that the Rangers were the sheepdogs of Middle Earth.  And so, there is more wisdom to explore…

“Honor never grows old, and honor rejoices the heart of age. It does so because honor is, finally, about defending those noble and worthy things that deserve defending, even if it comes at a high cost. In our time, that may mean social disapproval, public scorn, hardship, persecution, or as always, even death itself.

The question remains: What is worth defending? What is worth dying for? What is worth living for?”

(William J. Bennett. in a lecture to the United States Naval Academy on  November 24, 1997)

I like this piece of wisdom warning against the toxic acid of liquid modernity that tries to dissolve all ancient wisdom and tradition as somehow keeping us in “bondage”:

Emancipation from the bondage of the soil is no freedom for the tree.

Rabindranath Tagore