Sleep was slow to come to Faramir. His heart still ached for the loss of his brother and because of the manner of his father’s death. Many good things had happened too; the coming of the King, his love for the Lady Éowyn; the defeat of the Dark Lord, and his own rescue from the Shadow, but when he was in his room late at night, alone in the silence and darkness, sometimes his mind was troubled by all that had happened within the past months.
Inwardly berating himself for his low spirits, Faramir decided that the best remedy for brooding was to be found in work. He rose from his bed, lit the candles and pulled on a shirt and breeches, then settled down at the small desk in the corner of his chamber to study a report concerning repairing the main gate of the City.
A tap came at his door, so softly at first, that Faramir thought he had imagined it. Then again, louder, accompanied by the sound of someone softly calling his name.
Faramir went to the door and opened it. To his amazement the King stood on the threshold, holding a lantern.
“My lord!” Faramir exclaimed, bowing low. “How might I be of service?”
“There is no need for such formality, Faramir.” The King smiled. “I trust I did not disturb your rest? I saw your candle burning and hoped you were awake. I should like to show you something, if you would care to come with me. Bring your cloak, the night air is quite chill.”
”Of course, my lord.”
Faramir hastily snatched up his cloak and blew out the candles. He followed the King as they softly made their way through the almost deserted corridors, nodding a greeting to the guards on duty.
Once they were outside, it was almost as bright as day in the clear moonlight. Earlier rain had left the air fresh and clean and faintly perfumed with spring blossoms. It was the kind of night that poets sang about.
Somewhere in the distance an owl hooted seeking her mate.
“Come!” said Aragorn leading the way towards the Court of the Fountain. “I came out earlier for a breath of air and saw this. It is too fair to keep to myself, and I thought at once, that you were the man most likely to appreciate it.”
He hurried ahead with great long strides, which the Steward, still recovering from his wounds, found hard to keep up with. He understood now why the Hobbits referred to the King as Strider. Their footsteps echoed on the flagstones.
Aragorn paused and waited for the younger man to catch up. “I am sorry,” he said contritely. “Sometimes I forget I am no longer alone in the wilds!”
Faramir could think of no reply. He still did not quite know what to make of his new lord. Already he loved and admired him, but the King also baffled him at times.
“Look!” said Aragorn as they rounded a bend. He stopped and gazed upwards.
Faramir followed his gaze and gasped in awe. The new White Tree had blossomed the day before. Faramir had thought that one of the fairest sights he had ever seen when the flowers, bathed in the fountain’s droplets, sparkled in the sun. But the moonlit tree looked not only beautiful, but also truly enchanted. The white blooms had turned to silver and seemed to glow against the midnight sky. “Surely Nimloth itself could not have looked fairer!” he exclaimed.
“I thought you would enjoy seeing our new White Tree thus,” said Aragorn. He gripped Faramir’s shoulder.
The Steward felt a surge of warmth and healing, not only for himself, but his beloved land, already beginning to blossom beneath the Returned King’s touch.