Topic: "Adjusting the Clock"(8)
There is a point in the story of Forrest Gump whereby the protagonist takes out a'walkin', and a'walkin', and a' walkin', and just when it seems he can't go any further, he turns around and walks back. Frodo admits to the fact that he never really understood that part of the story, so he decided to concentrate on whether or not life was simply a box of chocolates. That is, until the loss of Mick, the Wonder Dog. Frodo finds himself walking almost everywhere alone, and when he reaches an appropriate location he simply turns around and walks back the way he came.
Frodo used to talk to that dog a lot during their walks together. Most of the time Frodo found that the conversations, although somewhat one-sided, were very helpful in overcoming the challenges of Mount Doom. It is not surprising is it that the Hobbitt continues his conversations, even though he now walks alone? Frodo notes that innocent passersby view him with the glances of one who sees the need to protect his children from the older gentleman talking to himself. Perhaps that is why Frodo keeps walking further and further from the Shire, a la Forrest Gump?
That dog adopted Frodo while Frodo was still comparatively young, and they seemed to age together. Now Frodo is confronted with another great challenge, he will probably age even faster than the one who will eventually follow. Can he put another through the same heartbreak, or should he run the risk of an older companion who leaves him as emotionally bereft as these past few days have done.
Sam suffers too, but it is not the same. Sam is perfectly content to wait for the proper set of circumstances and fails to see that Frodo's very being is challenged. It is likely that it will be October at the earliest before the void in the Shire is filled by a new companion for the Hobbit. They will be days of interminal length, and paths that lead endlessly across the land bridge of the Bering Strait perhaps, and back again.
Perhaps Bilbo left such a message for Frodo, and back again.