The smell of flowers and soft sound of music could be heard as she opened her eyes. Violins? She was not sure yet the song sounded familiar as if it was one she had heard before and often, yet she could not place it. She rose and walked to the window. Below the grounds of the manor stretched out before her. Beautiful groomed trees, multicolored flowers, and a labyrinth of pathways throughout the neatly cut hedges of holly & ivy.The beauty was breathtaking. Then she saw them. At the entrance to the wooded forest stood what appeared to be 4 tree trunks. They had been cut approximately 4 feet from the ground. They stood as if guards to the forest’s entrance and glistened in the sunlight for they were the color of snow. A man suddenly appeared from the forest walking between 2 of the ivory trees. His hair was as white as the trees themselves and came down past his shoulders. It was accompanied by an identical flowing beard. He carried a slender staff in his hand as he walked and wrapped around him was a cloak of grey.
As he made his way through the maze of hedges which eventually led to the opening of the garden, his face rose until his eyes met hers. Although she stared at him from a great distance, she could tell he knew her and that his eyes were fixed directly on her. Just then a small figure appeared, running towards the old man. It appeared to be a young girl. The old man took the small child up into his arms swinging her around. Her auburn curls danced on her head as she allowed herself to spin in his arms, her facial expressions making it quite obvious that she was enjoying herself. As the old man sat her back down to the ground she too turned her face up towards the huge window which Grace stood behind. As Grace returned the little girls gaze she was astonished to realize that she looked very much like herself. Unable to take her eyes off of the child what happened next astounded her even more.
The little girl reached for a necklace which hung around her neck. She took the object hanging from its center in her hand and held it, all along not breaking her gaze with Grace. Then Grace realized that she too was holding tightly to the amulet which hung from her neck.
Grace jerked suddenly, awakening from her slumber and still clutching to the necklace which she wore. She had been dreaming all this time. The sun still shone brightly yet just a bit lower in the sky. She quickly rose and went towards the window she had only previously been gazing out of in her dream.
As she looked down, the trees were not as groomed, the flowers were few and not anywhere near multi-colored, the faint path through the hedges could barely be seen. Yet the 4 white tree trunks which stood in guard of the forest entrance were still solemnly in place. Still they glistened in the sunlight as before. Then just as in her dream only moments before, the old man with white flowing hair and beard and clothed in a grey cloak with staff in hand appeared. And just as before his eyes were fixed on her.