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Section LXXIX-Galadriel’s Garden

An indescribable restlessness settles over me. I wonder if I shall ever be allowed to acquaint myself with contentedness again, for it seems a stranger to me now, though I am certain I knew it once, long ago...

It matters not at all the words have not been spoken, there is no doubt we soon must take our leave of fair Lothlórien; this haven of peaceful protection from waiting foes... Orcs and the Eye... I shudder, inwardly.

Some quiet corner of my heart confides: before we leave, I wish I might see the Lady of Light one last time...

I start awake, something walking through my dreams. Before my sleep-filled eyes, so near, strides the Lady Galadriel, graceful, resplendent. I rise and follow, enchanted, drawn as though beckoned. All the world around me pauses, hushed. I wonder at this, remembering Elves do not sleep. No matter, my footsteps tread her path, eager and hesitant, vaguely aware of the lush vibrancy of the grass beneath my feet.

She leads me to a flight of cut stone stairs, shallow for an Elf, but not so for a hobbit, yet I descend without conscious effort. At the outmost edges of thought, I note the lovely stone Elf maidens, bearing plates of fire; are they sentries for the entry to this garden?

As I finish my descent, I am wholly unable to avert my eyes from the Lady as she dips her silver pitcher in a pool fed by a gentle waterfall. Finally, I alight upon the patch of grass, the center of this alcove, and move forward several more steps. Still, not a word passes between us as I enter what surely is her own private garden. My gaze is inextricably captured by the Lady. Do I trespass, unwelcome?

The Lady faces me and asks, “Will you look into the mirror?”

For only a moment, I search her unrevealing eyes, for what? I do not know. Assurance? Comfort? “What will I see?”

Do my eyes deceive me? Does the slightest hint of a smile touch her serene, ageless face?

“Even the wisest cannot tell, for the mirror shows many things; things that were, things that are, and some things that have not yet come to pass.” Even as she speaks, she pours the water from the pitcher into a large silver bowl set atop a pedestal of stone, carved with interwoven vines.

I almost smile at her answer; how very Elvish it is. I approach the pedestal, cautiously. No more adventure do I desire, not even gazing into a magical mirror, and yet I feel compelled. My heart whispers the Lady offers a rare gift, not idly or thoughtlessly proffered. My gaze shifts uncertainly between her mirror and the glorious lady herself as I step up onto a small shelf, as if built solely for the purpose of allowing a small hobbit to see.

Gradually, I release the Lady’s steadfast gaze and fix my eyes on the still water before me. There is nothing there but my own reflection. I glance at her in confusion. She peers down at the mirror, drawing my gaze as well, and I again search the mirror before me.

I start, ever so slightly, as the water ripples without a breeze.