I was walking in a large deciduous forest, mostly oaks and maples, some beech trees. It reminded me of the creek in my backyard when I lived in Saint Louis. There was a slight mist in the air as the early morning sun fell through the leaves in soft pillars of light. The whole scene reminded me of a dream, it was peaceful, quiet, serene. I look to my right and I see Brett walking with me. I smile at him.
As I look past him, I point in delight upon seeing a red fox standing on a path that juts off of the one we are on. The fox almost looks as if he is waiting for us. We approach cautiously, he does not turn away. Slowly I kneel down as I get within arm’s distance. I reach out and he nuzzles my hand. Brett approaches and pets him as well. We spend a bit of time petting him, admiring his fur, speaking softly to him.
After a while, the fox turns to lead us down the path and we follow him. We lose sight of the fox just before coming to the end of the path. At the end of the path is a quaint little hobbit-style house. It looks like Bag End, modest and cosy with a sloping mossy, plant covered roof. There is a big round door, slightly ajar. We walk in, “Hello?” Seemingly no one is home, I can see a large round wooden table inside, set for breakfast. The table has hot tea with honey and biscuits. The plates and cups are plainly ceramic, hand-crafted and painted robin’s egg blue. They are sturdy and well made.
Not fully understanding what drew us inside, we leave out the open backdoor, in hopes of finding the home’s owner only to find a large and lush garden. I make a crack about how much I’d need someone like Sam Wise with a garden like this, Brett chuckles softly, knowing it is entirely true.
As we walk about the garden, admiring it, an odd thing stands out: a seemingly forgotten cup. I pick it up, handle it gently. It is a match to the cups that were on the table. I take it back to the house and leave it inside, then go back to the garden.
Brett and I wander about in the garden and eventually reach the edge of a lake. Weird as it is, I know we must get to the other side of the lake in order to get to where we need to go. I get ready to swim the long distance. I look to Brett and he is ready to do the same. I consider stripping down to my undies because I remember what it is like to swim in clothing. But I go ahead and get into the water anyway, drenching myself completely.