The girls spent the next few days together baking, sewing and creating decorations for the first Christmas they would all share in The Muse. Will felt Patrick’s presence around him most of the day, even when he ventured up into the old quarry to cut down a small pine tree. In this more secluded area Will felt comfortable enough to let his guard down, allow his imagination to go a little wild, pretending as he did as a child, interacting with the invisible friends he would play with. It was then that Patrick began to materialise, Will was able to catch glimpses of him as he faded in and out of the Physical World.
“How do you do that?” he asked Patrick, resting in the shade of the trees from the hot summers sun. Patrick’s image flickered and faded. “It takes the two of us to want it to happen, to experience me being here in the Physical World with you in this moment in Time. It is like wishing for it with all of your heart. I must want the same too. Let’s give it a go, shall we and see what happens? Close your eyes, focus with strong desire right now, in this moment and hold that thought, know it in your heart that it is happening, that I am here with you,” Patrick guided Will. Will took a deep breath and closed his eyes. He could feel the hot and cold of the dappled sunlight through the canopy of trees become more exaggerated. It was almost like he could hear a conversation between the trees. Maybe it was more a sensation, that he was feeling their conversation rather than hearing verbal words. Then he felt a warmth in his chest, strong enough to take his attention. It had a feeling of expansion, of energy radiating out from it, it rippled throughout his whole body. Like a child wishing for a Christmas present, he became aware of his desire to actually see Patrick, to be able to see him as the girls can. And then he felt the light touch of a hand on his shoulder, which made him open his eyes, startled he turned to see what it was. There right next to him, was Patrick! Will was as excited as a child finding that wished-for present under the Christmas tree, his face lit up, and an intense energy coursed through his body. He had never felt so alive! “Wow, man, so this is you, it is really you Patrick! Can I touch you?” Will asked, unsure if his bubble would burst and Patrick would disappear. “Yes you may. Did I not just touch you?” Patrick laughed at Will’s animated behaviour. Will reached out his hand to feel Patricks arm, the sensation sending a new message to his brain, one of belief, faith and trust. Here before him was a man from a different dimension sharing the same space with him in the Physical World.
“How does it feel Will, tell me what it is like for you’” Patrick enquired.
“Well, it sorta tingles, um…. yeah, it almost zaps like static electricity. And yet there is a weird kind of solid feel also, cos my hand does not go through your arm. Oh man! This is awesome!” Will was unable to keep still. “Can you stay like this now, for me? Am I able to continue seeing you like this?”
“Only when we are both focussed on me being here,” replied Patrick. “For now, we will just do it in short intervals.”
“Hey… Patrick, can you join us for Christmas lunch, you know, we could surprise the girls. And can Lucy come too? It would be so nice to meet her as well. And of course Grace!” Will said, his excitement growing.
“Well now, Grace has a bit of a different story. She is what we call The Gate Keeper of the Portal, and she has made an agreement, a sacred contract of sorts, that she will not venture past The Attic, keeping that doorway between worlds guarded,” Patrick explained.
“Could she join us if we were to have the lunch in The Attic? I would love for her to be able to share Christmas dinner with us.”
“I think that could work. I will check with her. But let’s keep it a secret, a surprise for the girls. You and I could set up a dining table, somehow distract them, get them out of the house on Christmas Eve. There is a table up there already, we just need to add a few more chairs. The rest can be done without their attention. We will ask Grace to help us.”
“I like this, sounds like a plan.” Will agreed. He couldn’t wait to get the tree back to the house and tell Molly about his encounter with Patrick at the quarry. As soon as he thought this, when he turned to talk to Patrick, he was gone, but only visually. Will was still able to hear him.
So with Patrick’s help, Will loaded the tree onto the roof of the car and secured it with a rope. Back at The Muse, the girls had a large clay pot ready for the tree, with big river rocks and water, and had prepared a space by the bay window in the lounge room. Will wanted to wait until he and Molly had gone to bed, when they had some time on their own before he shared with her about his afternoon with Patrick. This Christmas was going to be something very special, they could all sense it. It had a magical feel to it, a tangible tingle in the atmosphere around and in the house. The gardens looked amazing and the house was looking like it had been completely restored, its appearance being that of when it was a new house. Will’s loft studio was almost complete, he only needed to decide on the type of floor covering he wanted to use. This could wait until they returned from the South Island.
Lying in bed that night, Will was wide awake. “Molly, I don’t feel like sleep at all, my mind is busy and my body buzzing. Had such an awesome day today,” and he told her of his encounter with Patrick earlier on. Molly sat upright in bed her eyes wide with excitement. She was so happy that Will was able to see Patrick too. They chatted long into the night, until finally sleep got the better of them. Contented, they slept until after 11am. It was the day before Christmas Eve.
Molly and Anna had several projects to complete, not even thinking of visiting The Attic. Patrick took advantage of this and went upstairs to meet with Grace. He was pleased to have some one-on-one time with her. Since Molly and Will had been living in the house, their “living” arrangements had changed, being respectful to the new owners of the house, and giving them time to grasp an understanding of the significance of this building.
“Mornin’ M’am!” Patrick greeted Grace, removing his hat and bowing courteously.
“Good morning Patrick, how nice to see you up here. It has been awhile. Come, take a seat. How was your trip away with Anna?” Grace invited him to join her at the table, handing him a cup of tea.
“Oh Miss Grace! What an amazing experience it has been! Since returning to the Spirit World, I have never done anything like it!” Patrick’s eyes sparkled as he spoke of his journey with Anna. After telling her how it had been for him, Patrick asked, “Miss Grace, do you think we could share Christmas lunch with you up here in The Attic? I do understand your commitment, and the limit to your presence in the Physical World. But our new family would really like to share this occasion with you. And a nice way to say ‘thank you’ for sharing this house with us all. And, an opportunity for you to tell more of your story with Captain Forrest. You don’t think, maybe he could join us?”
“That sounds like a wonderful idea Patrick! Is there anything I can help you with?” Grace offered.
“Oh yes Miss Grace! Will said the girls will need distracting on Christmas Eve, whilst we pretty up the room here as a surprise. Could you weave a little magic?” asked Patrick. Grace smiled at him, with more than a twinkle of mischief in her eyes, Grace replied “Indeed I can Master Patrick, indeed I can!”