The young woman’s thick heavy duty but simple grey linen tunic draped over her slim body as she lay deep asleep on the edge of the Wood of the Dawn of Dreams. The familiar ticking and constant sounds of its creatures steadied her sleep. Before laying down to rest, she had been wandering in this Wood, encountering, befriending and healing shadows of herself who had become entrapped in its wilderness. In her state of total relaxation she was unaware she had reached an edge of this world and now lay only a few yards away from a tall stone wall which enclosed another.
As the hours passed, soft moonlit scents of lavender and rose mixed with dew wafted off the luminescent flaura on a gentle breeze which ebbed and flowed. The night was warm, but cool enough for resting.
Soon, the silvery light of the night transformed into soft yellow sun and the sounds of the haunts of the wood were replaced by joyful sounds of creatures of the day greeting the dawn. The fragrant smells of the forest become bolder and stronger, more concentrated and less delicate. It was these tickling her nose, the soft golden rays of sunshine warming her face as well as the sounds of creatures with which she had become unfamiliar that awakened her from her reverie.
At first she was disorientated and unsure whether what she was seeing, feeling and hearing was a dream. But she coaxed herself to sit up and once she was seated that she realised that what her senses were registering was real.
She glanced to her left and saw the high sandstone wall. She now wondered about it. She thought to herself that there was a strange sense of familiarity about this place. It was as if she had been here in another life, one in which she had been more whole and contented; a life that lay deep within her memory and herself but one that until now she had almost forgotten.
She did not know what lay on the other side of the wall. She decided she would like to find out. Gathering her modest possessions contained in her small handmade purse made from the same material as her tunic, she rose the ground and softly moved towards it. She raised her left hand and touched its surface. The cool rough stone surfaced confirmed the reality of its presence. She glanced to the left and to the right. A few yards between the wall and the wood were clear in each direction and the grassy path invited her. She chose to walk to find if it had an edge. She turned to her right and strolled along beside the wall dragging the fingertips of her left hand along it.
Overhead she saw a flock of white graceful birds flying in the same direction as herself. She thrilled at being able to see the blue of the sky where they were flying and took comfort in their purposefulness and direction. The sounds and smells of the day continued to bolden and they energised her mood. She had been feeling in herself that she was contented and free but her energy levels had been low. She started to feel hungry and wondered at the prospect of being able to find something along her path to eat. This excited her. She did have a small amount of supplies, but these were bland.
The grassy path hardened into rock. Small pebbles crunched under her heavy-duty walking boots. About a hundred yards in front of her she saw a shimmer of white and blue laying across the path. She wondered what it could be. She continued on her way and as she got closer saw a small stream of water. It was flowing from a small acquaduct carved out of the bottom of the wall. When she arrived at its edge she crouched down beside it to study its texture and form. Small white bubbles frothed from within it. She knew she could not drink it. It was water that had been used. Within the wall must be some form of civilisation. This excited but terrified her as well. She decided to rest for a few moments. She took out her own supply of fresh water, quenched her thirst with this and took her boots off to refresh her feet, dabbling them in the small stream.
As she was standing in the stream she looked in towards the wood from where she came. She saw the dark flaura of the forest’s edge. The wood’s magical cloak of darkness ensured she could not see more than about ten yards beyond its edge. She did see that the small stream in which she was standing had some flaura littered within it. One of these pieces was a tree about double her height. She knew it did not belong to the forest as its wood was light, its leaves light green. She saw it bore fruit that was round and orange, red and pink in tone. It beckoned her invitingly. She decided to accept its summons.
She walked with her feet within the steam towards the tree. She reached for one piece of the offered fruit with her white hand. Its soft furry surface tickled her hand as she closed it around it. As she pulled the fruit towards her to remove it from the tree she felt a sense of gratitude for what the day was offering. She also felt a slight sense of sadness that in a way she may be stealing from the tree and robbing it of its beauty. Just as she thought this the breeze caused the tree to nod towards her. It was as if it said to her “my purpose is to please you, it gives me great pleasure to provide you with this small gift”. She then snapped the fruit from its connection to the tree and drew it to her mouth.
As she bit into the fruit its sugar and sweetness delighted her tastebuds. Its texture was smooth and cool on her tongue. The pleasure of the taste caused her to sit down so that she could fully enjoy the experience. She sat on the rocky edge of the stream and let her feet dangle in the water. The fruit tree continued to periodically nod approvingly towards her.
She listened to the sounds of the day. Every now and then the wind would blow sounds from beyond the wall. The young woman thought she heard ghosts of muffled chatter, babies laughing, moving objects, people walking, laughter.
She now also sensed on this breeze smells other than those from the trees and flowers of the forest. Delicious smoky scents of cooking meat, freshly cooked bread, hot butter, jams and spreads.
Just as the daylight had energised her, the sugar from the fruit soon filled her with a buzz. She decided it was time to leave this delightful resting space and move on to see if she could find the edge of the wall or indeed an entrance to what it enclosed. She retied her boots and rose to leave her welcoming tree.
She continued along the pebbled path with the wall to her left. It was not too long before she saw a patch of clear blue about a mile in front of her. She realised she must be on high ground if the opening in front of her revealed a patch of the sky. She moved forward swiftly, her excitement of what the day had in store for her gaining momentum.
She noticed to her right that the trees of the world beyond the wall increased in numbers. More welcoming trees sporting red, pink and orange fruits nodded acknowledging her presence. There were also bushes of the same height, thick and thin branches and leaves bursting with rich red-blue bulbs and canary yellow flowers covering the forest floor intermingled with ones of a violet hue but identical design. The young woman’s heart leapt with wonder at the vibrancy of the colours that were being presented to her.
When she reached that part of the path where she expected she would descend she was surprised at what she saw. To her right the forest was dominated completely by joyfully coloured trees and flowers. This was the edge of the forest. Beneath her were vast rolling bare hills covered by bright long green-yellow thin fresh blades of grass. The wall curved to the left and its oval design was revealed. In the middle of the face of wall overlooking the valley was what looked like a grand entrance to the world enclosed within. It was closed. Cut into the sandstone were three archways filled with large dark wooden plank doors.
She stopped at the edge of the plateau to take in the beauty of the valley. A strong gust of wind hit her in the face and glorified her pearl and gold hair. Another hit her again a few minutes later and this time she was hit with the freshness of the scent of the grass dominating the land beneath her. These gusts she realised were regular. The energy flowing from the valley beneath was great. She had a closer look at what lay beneath and beyond her.
Then she saw him – a dazzling dark haired man on a white horse. Although he was quite a distance away, at least six hundred yards, she perceived that his gaze was focused upon her. It was attentive, as if a little concerned. A deep feeling of joyful fear rent her being with the next gust of wind. This feeling was not a feeling of lust or romantic excitement towards the man. However, the feelings did come from her reaction to this man’s presence. She felt overwhelmed by a feeling that he cared deeply for her, could provide her with powerful protection and love. However, the intensity of these feelings caused her fear and she decided she was too scared to go any closer to this man – not just yet. She decided she would contemplate the prospect, while also waiting to see whether the entrance to the wall would be opened.
It was around noon anyhow it was the right time to find something more to eat. She looked over to her right where the flowers and fruits were plentiful as well as colourful. She also saw quite a tall tree with strong beckoning branches. She decided she would find some fruit to eat and have this with some of her own supplies of plain crispbread. She would relax and eat it in the arms of the sturdy tree.
She did not have any trouble finding fruit to eat. She had more of the same type of fruit she at that morning. This time she had more than one piece and combined this meal with some purple and blue berries. She climbed the tree and as she sat on one its branches she contently swung her legs.
The man still waited for her. She did not find his continuing presence creepy but rather comforting. He did not beckon or gesture for her to come down from the tree although she knew by his stance that he would very much like to be graced by her presence. In no way did she feel he was pressuring her to join him. He was being patient and respectful of her space and need for time. After she finished the meal she hugged the tree in a manner of thanking the world for the gifts and excitement she was experiencing this day.
She knew what she must do next. She descended from the tree and walked down the valley towards the man. Her soul become more and more uplifted and confident as she approached him. Her physical beauty also became more and more magnified. She felt as if she was been drawn into a forcefield of love emanating from within him. Her heart beat faster and stronger and she became slightly flushed in the cheeks.
He descended from his white horse when she was no more than twenty yards away. His eyes were filled with so much light that they dazzled as he turned back around to look at her. He smiled and extended his hands to greet her when she was only a few yards away. She was almost beside herself in excitement and extended both of her hands as well. He took them and an strong jolt of positive electric energy jolted through her body.
“I have been waiting for you,” he said.
“Do you know how gorgeous and beautiful you are?”
His body language indicated that he did not require a response. She remained entranced by his eyes.
“I have a gift for you, you will need it for your glorious entry into your new kingdom.”
He turned to draw out from a nap sack attached to his horse a gift wrapped in golden paper with a red bow. He turned back around and presented it to her.
“Go on, open it,” he said.
The young woman opened the present and in it she found a beautiful white sun dress, an emerald green sash and in a plain cardboard shoe box shiny emerald green shoes.
“Thank you,” the young woman said.
“But, where am I?”
“I think you already know that, or at least you soon will,” the horseman replied.
“Go, he said, go get dressed and have a good time! I will be watching and will always be with you. But, I cannot come with you. I must go now.”
With that, he kissed her on her left cheek, turned, ascended his horse and rode off into the distance.
The young woman was left with the gift and wondered where she would change and how she would know when the gate would be opened for her – questions she had not had time to ask the man. She stood for a long time shocked by all the passings of the day. She was so distracted that she did not see the young girl until she was standing right in front of her.
The young girl was about five years old. She looked like a younger version of the young woman. She had the same coloured hair, although the young girl’s was lighter.
The young girl beamed up at the young woman. She was not shy at all about stating why she was there.
“I have been sent to collect you,” the young girl said.
“Today is the day of your glorious entrance,” she continued.
“I will take you to a place where you can change and then we can enter your new world.”