Sean and Rumil exchanged a brief farewell, and the American made his way to the stables where Jex was stabled up. His white horse looked beautiful with his mane shiny from grooming and polishing. Sean ran his hand across the horse’s silver neck.
“Well, my friend. I guess we will be here for much longer than I thought.”
The horse gave a slight whinny in reply, and Sean opened the stable door letting the horse out. He climbed aboard the horse’s back and released a small kick to the horse’s side. Jex took off at a canter though it would seem a gallop for Sean’s horse was quick and rapid. The soft terrain of the forest was much easier to navigate as well. The trees were tall with not many branches but beautiful golden leaves. Sean was directed by Orophin the previous night on how to reach Cerin Amroth. It was the perfect quiet place Sean needed to escape and paint. Orophin’s words did not bring its beauty to justice. Scattered about the hill were tall beautiful trees of silver bark and golden leaves but narrow and with more branches. The hill seemed as white as snow for the lilies and daisies were in full blossom and seemed to glow upon the Meadow. Sean picked one of the flowers from the ground and looked at its beautiful shape and then proceeded to set up his easel and paints. Soon he began to sketch out the hill and the trees around it. He found the perfect color for the flowers and let his paintbrush flow. When well nigh an hour had passed, Sean sat down upon the hill and took out his notebook and began jotting down some thoughts while he rested in the fair place. Sean’s pen began to flow rapidly. He did not realize it, but he was writing about Lira.
Did I not see you in the path of dreams?
My heart knew you though my mind did not
We came together in light
Fought the darkness
And danced in victory
I remember your beauty and laughter
You wore stars upon your head
Your voice was sweet and clear
As you sang sweet melodies and vowed your love
We danced to the same rhythm
Flowing from our hearts
Our souls entwined
Did we not touch and did we not share?
Where else can I find you now?
For you seem gone
Must I wait and linger?
So that your heart and mind may battle
Is there any left to save?
If we are not in a dream now
Why have memories been forgotten?
You have chosen to forget
“Dreams are powerful,” he spoke. “They can happen at any time. There are many kinds of dreams. Silly ones we make up, night visions we think of in the day, memories of some forgotten time, visions, and pieces of a puzzle we try to work out, but always seem to fail for the loss of our memory.”
He continued to write down his words. It is so easy to live in the real world to get busy and forget about the time to come, the past, and the unreal. But there is much to see much to behold, but time seems to sweep us away, and we forget. We all search for one thing, and that is purpose. And can we possibly have a purpose in another world? My soul now holds a key to a place where everything could be retrieved even if for a moment. A soul entwined with another can weave a truth. But if those souls lose the light, they disappear like a forgotten memory bits and pieces scattered in unreachable places until the true souls come and remember the way. If this is a dream, I must find the way. I must find the missing piece. And I must help her find the way as well…
Sean’s mind returned to the Meadow as the voice called to him. He turned catching the familiar sight of Orophin running up the hill. Sean closed the notebook and stood up as the elf ascended the hill.
“Greetings, Sean,” Orophin said. “My brother sends word to you that lunch is served.”
“Very well. I will be there shortly.”
Orophin stopped to admire the painting. “You are quite an artist.”
“Thank you,” Sean answered.
“Where did you learn to paint?”
“It came naturally. When I was little, my mother bought me an artist set. I never used the crayons or markers only the paints and I created a child’s masterpiece for her.”
“One so talented must find places such as this to paint. For if the world could see what you do, they would change.”
“Perhaps, but it takes more than a beautiful painting for the world to change.”
“Aye, you are right. I shall see you in a short time.”
Orophin descended the hill quickly, and Sean chuckled to himself thinking of the speed of elves. He placed a canvas over the painting glad that it dried in time. He would come back tomorrow and paint again. He would also summon up the courage to ask Lira if she would accompany him. Sean mounted Jex and rode back to the stables. After fixing Jex up with water and hay, he made his way to the white tent where many elves stood chuckling and feasting. Among the elves was seated Lira. Their eyes met instantly, and Sean sat opposite the girl who seemed unusually quiet.
Amidst the lively conversations of the elves, the young man noticed Lira walk out during the middle of the feast. Sean followed her into the courtyard where he noticed her sit beside one of many streaming fountains and run her hands within the drops. Sean approached her from behind though he already knew she was aware of his presence.
“I neglected to mention but I think you looked exquisite today,” he lowered himself onto the bench beside her admiring her choice of clothes for the day a dark blue silk dress with white lace lining. Her dark locks fell long and soft to her waist and were adorned by a few white flowers.
“One of the ladies in the court bid me wear it as a gift. I have been doing some thinking since last night, and I feel I owe you an apology.”
“You owe me nothing, Lira.”
She smiled at the familiar usage of her name but enjoyed the sound of it coming from his voice. “Yes, I said some things last night that I should not have, and I must beg your forgiveness. I was frustrated with my unexpected capture and fatigued from my journey.”
“No apologies are necessary. Come, I want to show you something,” he stood up and offered her his hand, which she took.
Sean led her into one of the elven houses where his room was kept. He opened the door and allowed her to enter one of his most sacred keepings. She widened her eyes amazed at the sight before her. Several paintings were spread throughout the room. There was one of the ocean at sunrise, a deep forest of beautiful silver bark (Lorien of course), Cerin Amroth with its beautiful field of white blossoms, a quiet lake with small white ships she had never seen before called sailboats, a scarlet rose in the full of spring’s bloom, and finally the night sky filled with an array of heavenly constellations.
“You did all of these?” she gazed about the room.
He nodded. “Over the years some more recent than others.”
“They are quite beautiful. You are an excellent artist.”
“Thank you, but I have yet to find a subject willing enough to pose for me,” he grinned crookedly sending the signal which she picked up well.
“Perhaps someday, but not this day. I wish to go riding throughout the forest, but I have no horse.”
“Jex is mellow enough. I’m sure he’d love to take you.”
“My horse,” Sean added with a smile.
Lira wrapped her arms instinctively around Sean’s waist as Jex suddenly jumped over a fallen log within the forest. She had never been galloping upon any horse in her life. Horses were not normally ridden through the streets of Minas Tirith, and she never owned one herself. Sean grinned as they made their way to Cerin Amroth where he finally slowed the horse and helped her climb off though he well knew she did not require any.
“This place is incredible!”
She marveled at the beauty of the scene unfolding before her. The golden leaves, the fully bloomed flowers, and the warm summer sun shining down from above. Lira kicked off her shoes and to Sean’s surprise rolled down the small hill in her loose white afternoon dress. She had changed into one that would be simple to ride in. It was sleeveless perfect for the hot afternoon sun and very light. As she lay in the grass looking up at the trees, Lira threw off her sunhat and left her long dark locks spread out within the soft blades of grass. Sean lowered himself to the ground before her.
“Where do you come from, Lira?”
“We said no questions,” she returned with a brisk tone in her voice as if she didn’t want to be interrupted from her enjoyable moment of pleasure.
“Very well,” he surrendered with a sigh. “You like it here don’t you?”
“Mmm,” she murmured in approval closing her eyes and basking in the sunlight.
What Lira felt next nearly undid her senses as the young man before her softly caressed her hair and brushed his knuckles across her cheek. When her deep violet eyes bore into his, he could not help but speak even if his words sounded awkward to him.
He whispered, “You are so beautiful.”
She closed her eyes preparing for a kiss which never came. Instead, Sean stood up and walked toward Jex handing the horse an apple. He then turned back to the girl still lying in the grass.
“You ready to press on? The elves will be dining in the next hour.”
“You go on. I know the way back.”
“I’m afraid you’ll get caught into another snare, and I wont be here to protect you.”
She sat up narrowing her brows. “Do you think I need protection?”
“I think you can well defend yourself, Lira. But I would not mind having the job,” he gave a cocky grin.
“Well, we shall see about that, painter. But don’t worry. I doubt anything will happen to me so close to Caras Galadhon. As I realized before, these borders are well protected. I will see you shortly.”
“Very well, my lady,” Sean nodded his head giving a little bow.
Lira rolled her eyes watching him pull himself onto the horse’s back and ride away into the forest not knowing that she would not be at dinner to see him shortly.