The hobbits sat still before him, enchanted; and it seemed as if, under the spell of his words, the wind had gone, and the clouds had dried up, and the day had been withdrawn, and darkness had come from East and West, and all the sky was filled with the light of white stars. Whether the morning and evening of one day or of many days had passed Frodo could not tell. He did not feel either hungry or tired, only filled with wonder.
(The Lord of the Rings, In the House of Tom Bombadil).
During the first stage of their adventure, the Hobbits meet a mysterious but important character. Tom Bombadil is a sort of incognito angel, a divine spirit who has chosen to live in a fossilized corner of the world. The Hobbits’ encounter with Tom Bombadil is like a temporary return to a lost Eden, and generates, in them, the ‘recovery’ of an attitude dominated by wonder, thanks to the ‘spell of his words’. Frodo will have this same experience in Lórien, home of Queen Galadriel, and, later, so will Merry and Pippin in the forest of Fangorn; these are two analogous ancestral places, two ‘windows on a vanished world’.