That evening reminded me of a story imagined long ago, not so much in words as in visions of a house near the lake, with gardens not as precisely made as the French ones, yet more elegant. These visions were reoccurring from time to time and I didn't know if they reflected some kind of lost reality, future bliss, or simply daily dreams. For years I tried to suppress them, thinking they could be distractions in the real world. Yet I tried to cherish them, because I never fully understood what the real world is, and thought that deeper beauty and reality are not measured by the obvious or by our usual perception of it.
It looked as if the whole day was a preparation for this special evening, when I faced the reality of visions that always seemed unreal and too blissful. Invited to dinner by the parents of a lady I recently met, the evening finally came.
From the moment my car passed through the gates, I felt the strange feeling of something we like to call déjà vu, recognizing my visions in the path leading to the house, in the trees, in the gardens and, above all, in the white house sitting by the lake, with an elegant white fountain in front, sprinkling water in the air. I heard the same birds that sang long ago in my visions and I saw the same people, impeccably dressed, walking by the fountain. Many people were invited, and I was surprised. Was it all an accident or was I undeservedly honored?
The lady of my dreams greeted me first and showed me the place I already knew. The closer we moved toward the lake, the more things I recognized. I expressed gratitude and gave compliments but I did not disclose the secret kept unresolved for so long.
After, as a ten-year-old child, I woke from the dream, promising not to tell anyone about it and not even try to interpret it, I considered it an omen, a precognitive dream. I decided to wait as long as necessary to discover if it is a reality waiting for me or just an illusion borne out of desire. I learned how to be happy either way, because I knew I was enriched by it and considered it a real experience. It stayed in my memory as something stronger than real experiences, and I knew there had to be a hidden value in it, if for nothing else but this enrichment feeding my soul for years with untranslatable beauty.
That was a place from another world visiting our sometimes blind world. I don't know if the place was waiting for me all these years or was I waiting for the place. Nonetheless, I tried to learn to live in it as if it were my birthplace, accepting it as the forgotten place of my own birth.