Chapter 3 – On The Road Again.

The following weeks passed quickly as Will and Molly commenced work on the first project of Tom’s new venture which had officially taken on the brand name of ‘In The Company of Friends’. It was rapidly building momentum as a new inspired business concept of Investing In Your Staff.  It was a work in progress for Tom, evolving it as he came across more ideas to add.  He was now creating a format for staff selection. The basis of the concept was for a company  to view their staff as company members and that the wisest investment which any business can make is in their own staff, paying them well and taking care of them. Engrossed in their individual tasks, the completion of the first stage of gathering the necessary information, the interviews and photographs had been completed for the company in Wellington. The time for Molly and Will to head south had arrived. But before leaving the North Island, there was one more thing they wished to do. A catch up with Tessa and Angus. Molly had decided to invite them to stay a night at the house in Wellington. 

Tessa and Angus arrived just before lunch. Will was taking care of the meal, Molly had suggested something light as she was planning to play in the kitchen with her mum, creating an evening meal to be shared with Tom and Kelly too, enabling Molly, Will and her parents to share the afternoon together, and maybe even the presence of Grace Simpson…

Angus left the girls to explore the house and kept Will company whilst he prepared lunch. “What an awesome house Will, it feels so welcoming, homely.” Will was interested in getting to know this intriguing man. Meanwhile, Molly took her mum by the hand, lead her through each room like a child showing off her new toys. “Mum, can you believe this? I still have to pinch myself some days, to realise just what we are doing!” 

“I am so happy for you Molly, you deserve a good man, and a wonderful life….” Her voice trailed off as she paused at the bottom of the stairs, something catching her attention in one of the rooms above them. She grabbed Molly’s arm and whispered excitedly, “Molly, did you see that? There is someone upstairs. I thought there was only you and Will staying here.”

“Umm, well, there is someone else Mum. I was not sure if you would understand…” Tessa looked at her quizzically. “Whatever do you mean Molly Ferguson! Explain yourself now.” Tessa’s mind was running wild with exciting possible scenarios, to which Molly replied, “Maybe it would be better if I showed you.” Taking her mother’s hand again, she lead her upstairs to her office. “Sit down here on the bed and get comfortable. Close your eyes, and focus on taking 10 slow breaths,” Molly instructed, sitting herself down in the Captain’s Chair, and silently inviting Grace Simpson to join them. When Molly was able to see Grace, she asked her mother to open her eyes. There before Tessa and Molly was a beautiful woman, eloquently dressed in a 1920’s style dress, made of cream satin, the neckline traced her collar bones ending in wide off the shoulder straps. Embroidered with beads which reflected the light in tiny rainbows, the dress outlined her shapely figure, fitting snuggly to below her hips where it fell in soft pleated folds of dusty pink chiffon, to just above her ankles in tapered lengths. Her dark hair was cut short stylishly, a diamanté headband accentuated the curve of her hair around the beautiful features of her face. She wore a blue sapphire pendant and matching earrings, which complimented the colour of her eyes framed by her dark lashes and brows.

Tessa was speechless, captivated by the beauty and presence of this amazing lady. Grace Simpson smiled at her, bowed her head respectfully, holding out her elbow length gloved hand to Tessa. Spellbound and speechless, she could not move. Grace laughed, the sound was like the tinkling of crystals, winked at her and disappeared. Tessa sat transfixed. Molly started to giggle, which seemed to break the silent spell. “Oh Ma, you look so funny! If only you could see yourself. Seen a ghost?” Molly teased her, to which Tessa looked at Molly blankly, blinking and then burst out laughing, not able to put two words together to describe what she had just seen. Both of them laughed at themselves, and finally Tessa was able to speak.  “That wasn’t Grace Forrest, was it?” She asked, a little confused.

“No Ma, that…. was Grace Simpson, the lady of this house.”

“Oh, no but she had the same eyes as Grace Forrest. As the same as you do too!” She realised. “Molly Ferguson, what is going on here?!” Tessa demanded. 

“Lunch first and then I will tell you about Grace Simpson,” Molly replied and guided her mum out of the room and downstairs to the kitchen, where Will and Angus were setting the table for lunch.

“Oh Tessa, are you alright? You are so pale, like you have seen a ghost,” Angus said looking concerned, he put his arm around her and guided her to the sofa. “I’ll get her some water and Rescue Remedy,” offered Molly, stifling a giggle. She was as amused about this as Grace Simpson was, whom she could see standing in the corner of the room, watching. After sipping the water, Tessa relaxed back into the sofa, the colour returning to her cheeks, she began to giggle and shake her head disbelievingly.

“Come sit at the table and I will tell you a story over lunch,” Molly suggested. 

After lunch, relaxing on the sofa in the sunroom at the end of the kitchen over looking the garden, Tessa smiled enigmatically, sensing the presences of other-worldly people in the room. Curled up next to Angus, they looked like the couple Molly had always imagined her parents as. Life was just so good, and was about to get even better. The afternoon passed all too quickly, Molly played in the kitchen with her mum, creating a wonderful meal. And to have with coffee after dinner of course, Molly’s specialty – raspberry jam tarts! Will and Angus were lost in conversation about other dimensions, the room was filled with an atmosphere of contentment. A knock at the door announced the arrival of Tom and Kelly, and Grace Simpson continued to watch on…

Molly was so happy to be bringing some her favourite people in the world together. Conversation flowed easily with Tom and Kelly over dinner. Grace decided it was time to intervene with a little magic and wriggled her index finger at the guests seated around her dining table. Empty plates and full bellies, together with a little wine (except for Kelly), they were all lulled into an easiness, and the topic of Grace Simpson slipped in. With Molly having brought Tessa and Angus up to speed, it seemed like the most likely thing to be talking about. Tom suggested a seance and the room fell silent.

Then they all heard it, that deep, dusky voice, “Do you really think you still require a ouija board to converse with me?” It was Grace Simpson, wearing the same beautiful dress Tessa and Molly had seen her in earlier. She stood in the corner of the room, and gently drew on a long-stemmed cigarette holder, the smoke forming perfect rings from her full, pink lips. She held her audience’s attention easily. Speechless, they all stared at her. “May I join you?”  She politely enquired, to which Molly stood up courteously and replied, “yes of course Grace, please do!” Pulling out a chair for her to be seated. Anyone looking through the window would have thought the guests at the dinner table had just received an unannounced visit from the Royal family! 

Grace laughed lightly, the same sound of tinkling crystals, ‘Oh please! Relax! I have been in the room longer than you are obviously aware of. Now, what were you all talking about?  Kelly, you are looking so well, motherhood is obviously agreeing with you?”

“Th-th-thank you  Grace, umm… yes it is,” Kelly stuttered nervously.

“So is that belly holding twins or is it the result of Tom’s excellent cooking?” Grace teased lightheartedly, wanting them to relax into conversation. Kelly, sipping some water, spluttered, slightly embarrassed.  ‘Oh please, relax everyone! I am so keen for conversation, do continue!” Grace casually swung one leg across another and drew on her cigarette, puffing more smoke rings into the air, and then realised that her smoke was actually present in the room. “Oh darling, do forgive me,” she directed at Kelly, and took her cigarette outside extinguishing it in one of the pot plants on the balcony outside, and placed the cigarette holder on the edge of the pot for later. Grace paused briefly on the deck, savouring the moment, she turned to the others and said, “My how the trees have grown, it is so good to see. They were not much more than seedling when I planted them myself. Everything looks so different when I shift my energy and focus on this dimension. I can observe it from the World Between Worlds, but it is not the same as when I visit here with you now. Everything has so much more…colour and vibrancy to it.”

And so the conversation began to flow more easily, and late into the night as Molly and her family felt more at ease with the presence of Grace as their guest. Or where they her guests? It was not until Kelly began to nod that Grace excused herself, insisting that Tom take her home, much to Kelly’s protests. Grace reassured them that they would see each other again.

Monday morning Molly and Will were sent off in style after a morning tea at the office. Before heading across by ferry, there was one location they wished to visit whilst still in the North Island – Cape Palliser. It was not a long drive from Wellington and they headed off around midday, before the afternoon traffic became hectic. A beautiful fine day, the perfect weather meant an easy drive over the Rimutaka Ranges to the Wairarapa, stopping at Martinborough for a late lunch, after which they drove through farmland out to the coast and Cape Palliser. Molly had arranged for them to stay three nights in a holiday Bach not far from the Lighthouse. The road was not for the faint-hearted. Carved into the side of the land, it was narrow, being of a metal surface it was slippery in places with sharp bends which made the road almost come back on itself. It wove between the hills and the waterline, with not much grass verge between the road and the edge of the surf which crashed on to the road in places. This area was a rugged, wild, windy, wet environment, and it rained most of the time they were there, with small windows of fine weather that enabled them to explore outside. The weather was inclement in this part of the country and had taken a turn not long after they arrived at the Bach. Snuggled down for the night, they fell asleep listening to the wild winds and heavy rains, the crashing waves sent rumbles through the ground beneath the Bach.

The next morning there was a knock at the door. It was the owner of the Bach, come to let them know that due to the heavy rains over night, the road was cut at the causeway, and asked if there was anything they required. Prepared to stay put for three nights, they had brought with them everything they thought they would need. He said the weather would clear after lunch, and that they were welcome to climb the Pa (site of a fortified village) on the hill behind the cottage, that the view was spectacular and well worth the climb. As the winds settled, Molly could hear what she thought was the sound of children playing. “In this weather?” she thought, “well, it is New Zealand!” The sound continued after lunch and as the weather cleared she wanted to go exploring to see what the source of this sound was. Was there a remote school close by? As she and Will walked down the unsealed road, the sound became clearer and louder. They followed it across the field to the waters edge to discover a colony of seals! The sound Molly had heard was of the larger pups playing. Delighted, they stood still watching the seals interact, swim and fish in the waters off the rocks which crashed dramatically onto the ground at their feet, the sea spray soaking their clothes. At first the seals were well camouflaged, the dark brown coats blending into the rough dark brown rocks which covered this part of the coastline. And then she noticed the ‘rocks’ move. Feeling privileged, she stood motionless as Will took photos of these wild, curious creatures with the liquid brown eyes framed with long, thick eye lashes

Back at the Bach, Will asked if Molly would like to take a walk up to the Pa. She had already thought about this, and being aware of the cultural significance of these special pieces of land, she respectfully felt a hesitation. She replied, “I think I will ask Grace about this. I am not sure if it is a good thing to do. I mean, if I were a casual tourist, it would be an awesome thing to do, but considering the nature of our adventures now Will, I feel there is a need to ask permission.”

Later that night, Molly settled down to meditate. Will was keen to do this with her, but she felt it best to do it on her own as she required focus on a particular question – did they need to visit the Pa? Feeling her body light and relaxed, through a misty vision, she was able to see the bottom of the stairs to The Attic. Excited she started up the stairs and felt that familiar ‘zap’ before going through the door. Something felt different this time, as if she were being watched. There was Grace sitting at the table, smiling, awaiting her arrival. Next to her was a Maori woman, who nodded a greeting to Molly. 

Grace introduced Molly, “Molly, this is Manaia, a Guardian of The Pa. She has come to escort you. Please, take a seat.” Grace pointed to the chair next to Manaia, who took Molly’s hand and held it tightly, indicating for her to sit still and pay attention. Molly closed her eyes and felt the room spin, nausea rising in the back of her throat, her head swooned. Manaia touched Molly gently on the third eye with her finger, and a clear vision appeared to Molly. She felt herself standing on the Pa and could feel the wild wind, taste and smell the salt in the air, whipping at her face. The view over the coastline was impressive and took her breath away. The wild ocean, deep green in colour, white crest rode the tops of the waves. The coastline highlighted by the contrast of the dark, jagged rocks along the shore, and sweeping wheat coloured fields of late summer grasses leading up into the steep hills which guarded the area.

“Now you know why we chose this place, or rather it chose us. It called to us from afar, across the ocean, and we answered The Call, The Call of The Ancient Ones, whom were already here. No longer in the physical but in the Spirit World that resides over this part of the land. As you can see, there are many of us here,” Manaia drew Molly’s attention with her hand, as she pointed out over the land and the sea before them, where there were many Waka (canoes) out on the water fishing and numerous people busy on the land, tending the crops which were neatly planted between small rocky outlines. “None of this existed visibly when Kupe arrived here many years ago, although he was well aware of their presence in Spirit. For he had received The Vision. The original settlement had already transcended into the Spirit World, and is accessible to those whom ask to see and know the way of the Ancient Ones.” She was showing Molly that the presence of human beings had been here for a very long time. It was a harsh environment, but it was one that they were familiar with, their ancestors having come from a  wild place, much colder than this, originally.

“Come! They are waiting for you.” Manaia led the way sure-footedly down the steep track through the Manuka bushes towards a small group of huts built amongst the shelter, the canopy  made of a combination of the very tall trees and shorter scrub-like plants, all of which leant towards the hillside, sculptured by the relentless winds. A fire burned within a stone circle, and it was warm here out of the wind. Four elders sat quietly waiting around the fire – two women and two men. One stood to greet them, acknowledging Manaia and  gestured for Molly to sit with them by the fire. Manaia handed Molly a cup of hot herbal tea. It felt wonderful as it thawed her cold hands, warming her from the inside as she sipped carefully at the hot brew, the steam from the cup thawing the icy tip of her cold nose and cheeks.

One of the men sat up proudly, cleared his throat, and looked at Molly intensely. “We have called you here, as we were called here too, many years ago. We know that you  are able to see into our world and communicate with the Spirit People. We are the Guardians of The Pa and we oversee the happenings in this whole area and have done so for many…many lifetimes. When we are unhappy with the goings on, or there is something that is needing attention and the people in the Physical World are unable to hear us, we ‘poke our finger in’ to stir things up and get their attention (he waves his hand in front of him, drawing circles in the air with his finger, the others snicker mischievously). What appears to them as extreme weather, or when the land moves and causes blockage of their trails, it is actually us poking our finger into the Physical Dimension, creating the necessary change. We want you to let them know that, most of the time we are happy with what they are doing with the land, even more so now. We will guide them through their inspired thoughts, their intuition, giving them ideas of better ways to do things, of how they can take better care of the land. It is not about trying to regain what has been taken or fix what has been changed, it is to grow into something new, for you cannot preserve the past as it was, as evolution is the innate nature of the planet. Plants will grow, trees will grow and once again become old trees, eventually. Like the many lifetimes passed, when nature needed to regenerate again. This is not the first time the land has been stripped bare! We too had taken advantage of the land, and we learnt from this. The access to this area must remain limited, to help hold the integrity of this sacred area. Many of us dwell here in the hills along this coastline, and have done so for a very long time – beyond the keeping of records. We have seen many people come and go.” He sighed quietly and paused, closing his eyes like he was listening to someone, nodded his head, looked up at Molly and said, “That is all.”

With a flash of bright light forcing Molly to close her eyes against the glare, the vision was gone and she found herself sitting back at the table in The Attic with only Grace. Molly stared at Grace, blinking, not quite believing what she had just seen. Grace leant towards her across the table taking her hands and looking deeply into her eyes said “Believe, Molly, it is real. Just as real as me!”  she giggled.

Molly felt the heaviness of her body like someone had suddenly turned up the gravity. Excited, she was keen to get writing about her otherworldly adventures. This was the essence of what she wished to capture for her next book –  ‘Lost Souls and Forgotten Stories’.  What she was unaware of at this moment in time, was the significance of the collection of not only these stories, but the lost souls themselves wanting to return Home….

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