As far as I can remember, the gate has always stood open. Not held open by a tangle of brambles, old car tyres or other urban rubbish, nor rusted open, hinges refusing to swing the other way. It is simply open. The grassy ride beyond is short and inviting. Not mown short or worn by passing vehicles, just short as if rabbits or sheep have been busy on it. It is a gate nobody uses in a wall nobody notices around a domain without a big house. The high wall, in perfect repair, encloses trees, tall and stately, and the rabbit or sheep-cropped turf. Nothing else. No ruins show where a once proud house once stood, no charred remains the evidence of a devastating fire. The grass rolls unhindered to the far walls and back again, unchanging, day after day.
At night, the gate stands open still, and the grassy sward is silver beneath the moonlight and the starlight. At night, the tree-lined ride leads to a house of silvery stone, with a graceful perron and tall, airy windows. From the open windows come the faint sounds of music and laughter, and your heart will yearn to join the happy crowd. But you must not enter through the gateway, nor walk the grassy silver sward, for the ghosts will take your hands and lead you in their never-ending dance of forgetfulness, and from the inside, the gate is always closed.