Sitting by this pond, I looked at the trees reflected on the surface and also at the green of the pondweed. Where would looking at these things - in the enclosing atmosphere of this forest - take me?
I saw a mossy turf before me and walked across it as if floating on air. A path wound down through trees to the bank of a river. The water in the river seemed to be flying rather than flowing and rushing onwards between two great rocks. I cast away my fear and flew on the water stream through the gap and out onto a wide plain which both had trees on it and yet was wide and open at the same time. Mountains in the distance soon came close. Everything, however far, could as soon become close. Everything close-by may take days to journey to. Or not.
What did I want from this place? It was important to know to avoid being lost here forever. But the will could not be imposed here so much as merged with the will of the place itself to gain desired effects which must be in accordance with the will of the place. It was a technique that had to be learned. Navigating here requires a strong will, but not the desire to dominate.
It is important to know, too, when to ask for help and how to ask for it. Who is this on the road before me? I don’t know. I look beyond and the figure fades. And another? She is familiar, though I cannot place her, and she comes bearing a token I recognise. I take her hand and we walk together through starlight. She brings me to my destination and hands me the token, which is our secret.
Then she is gone and I am alone again before a mossy bower bejewelled with dew in the starlight. This is where I will sleep tonight and awake with the dawn and the knowledge I seek. There will be dreams that are not always pleasant. Things to confront that will challenge my fear. But I have the token.
The next morning I walk out of the bower into the dawn carrying my token and a way opens before me. The bare trees reflected in the water shimmer as if in a light breeze, yet there is no breeze. The mossy sward gives way to pondweed on still water. It may have been no more than a blink of an eye ago that I last saw the pond. Or it might have been an eternity.