Chapter 5 – An Unexpected Encounter.

Neudorf Inn *

The next morning when Molly and Will left the Bach at Cape Palliser, the weather was fine and sunny, a good day to be traversing the road back to Martinborough and across the Rimutaka Ranges to the Wellington Ferry Terminal. Despite the weather being fine, the ocean was still feeling the effects of the storm which had passed through the day before and it was going to be a bit of a wild crossing, with large ocean swells. Checking in and waiting to board the ferry was always exciting for Molly, she had already done this once before and loved to watch the different kinds of vehicles, and people preparing to board the boat.  There had been a large earthquake the year before which had cut access to the township of Kaikoura on the east coast of the South Island by road and rail. This was a popular tourist destination and the earthquake had devastated the small tight knit community. Usually there would be train carriages boarding the ferry also. She noticed how there were people from all over the world here, some local people who travelled by ferry frequently for work and some for whom this was the first time. Molly recalled the previous crossing she had done many years ago on a school excursion, the weather had been beautiful and they had had a calm crossing.

After parking the car in the queue ready for boarding, Molly and Will walked back to the Terminal to get a coffee and something to eat. There was still another hour before they would drive the car on board. On their way back to the car, they stopped to take in the view of this amazing city. The water at Wellington harbour sparkled in the sunlight and it was hard to believe that it would be anything but a calm crossing. As they drove the car up the ramp, Will waited for instructions from the Crew, as they took their turn to park the car inside of the large boat, alongside of double trailer cattle trucks, horse floats, courier trucks, motor bikes, even dogs and cats in cars. It was such a tight orchestration from the moment the boat docked – unloaded the vehicles, directed in the next load, secured the vehicles and be ready to sail, all within an hour in between docking and sailing. On board there is plenty of options for seating and even a small movie theatre, cafeteria, restaurant and dining area. The boat cruised out from Wellington and it was some time before they passed the heads into the Cook Strait where it did indeed become rough. Settling in to comfortable seats looking out the window across the water. Before the ferry reached the heads of the harbour and into Cook Strait, Molly thought she had it handled and got out a book to read. Big mistake! Very quickly the nausea hit her as the boat began to rise and dipped, making her stomach wretch. Staff handed out paper bags and cups of ice, lots of people laid around the lounge area, trying to sleep, to switch off from the motion. Looking out the window she saw another ferry passing, coming from Picton in the opposite direction. It was very dramatic, with its bow dipping into the huge waves that crashed over the deck, saturating everything. Were the passengers on that ferry looking at them and seeing the same thing? 

After what seemed like a very long time, but was actually less than half an hour, they reached the mouth of The Marlborough Sounds and the water instantly became calm, sheltered from the rough waters and wild winds of the Cook Strait by the many coves surrounded within the  hills of the Sounds. She and Will decided to go out onto the deck and get some fresh air. Well there was plenty of that! It nearly blew them off the deck! Molly giggled as she gripped Will’s arm tightly and watched a man trying to have a cigarette. Kind of seemed pointless she thought, no sooner had he lit it, it was burnt to the butt! Returning inside it was peaceful and calm, and the passengers had come to life again. It took another hour sailing through The Sounds to reach the port of Picton, a quaint town with some remnants of it’s buildings of its earlier days of a bustling sea port. It was such a pretty scene coming into the Port, like it had opened its arms in welcome, and embraced the boat. They were to stay overnight in a motel before driving to Moutueka the next day. 

Will opened the door to their motel room and Molly ran through the door and bounced excitedly on the bed. “Oh Will! The South Island! I wonder what adventures are waiting for us?” She laid back enticingly on the bed. Finding her irresistible, Will put down their overnight bag, shut the door and looked longingly at Molly lying on the bed. He gently snuck a kiss in under her jersey, nuzzling his way between her breasts, kissing her neck and finding her lips, as he pulled the jersey over her head.  Molly   wrapped her legs around his body pulled him in tight, as she returned his kisses. “Do you think they will do room service?” she mumbled in-between kisses. 

“Let’s find out,” said Will, as he reached across to the bedside phone, but Molly pulled him back and said, “Not now. What I am hungry for is right here….”

The next morning, they had breakfast at a cafe along the waterfront, where they enjoyed the warmth of the early autumn sun, the last fading remnants of summer. Later as they drove along the winding road, the views from Queen Charlottes Drive were breathtakingly beautiful, so many small coves and beaches hiding amongst the winding road, edged by lush green rainforest. Where the road was elevated they were able to look down over the calm waters, tree covered hills and surprisingly saw quite a few remote houses, some of which were only accessible by boat, others by a long drive on metal roads. In places the road come down to the waterfront and they stopped to walk along the tiny beaches, admiring the tiny bachs of these small remote communities, taking in a different perspective of this amazing landscape, and another unique area of New Zealand. On they drove on through the city of Nelson, the main road wound around the edge of Tasman Bay.  Before reaching the township of Motueka. they turned down a road which took them inland. Molly had booked 3 nights accommodation in a small cottage on a property 25kms inland from the town, in Moutere Valley, the Southern Alps forming a dramatic backdrop to the small farm. 

The Fishermans Cottage was perfect, set amongst 25 acres of farm land, surrounded by mountains, not far from the Motueka River. It was quite remote with no mobile phone reception or reliable internet service, it was very peaceful and there were few distractions.  The weather was warm and sunny with  beautiful clear blue skies. They enjoyed having some more time to recharge, enjoying local walks and creating simple healthy meals. On the third day they felt like exploring further and decided to go for a drive. There were many narrow windy, tree-lined country roads to explore. As they drove by an old derelict building, Molly grabbed Will’s arm, making him stop the car and turn around. She had to explore this some more, the pull was too strong to ignore. Although the building was right on the edge of the road, the original road would have been much narrower being nothing more than a bridle track. On the front door was a faded printed letter offering information about the old Inn. It was known as the Neudorf Hotel, which provided meals, alcohol, beds and stabling for tired travellers and their horses on the way to the gold fields during the 1870’s. Molly was fascinated, but neither of them had any desire to enter the building. As she peered through the dirty window pane, she saw a vision before her, it was like looking back in Time. She was able to glimpse a moment in the life of a family, in days gone by, which still existing in Spirit, in a parallel dimension of sorts. Appearing happy, content and not causing any unrest for anyone else, they continued to play out an energetic loop. It appeared to Molly that they were stuck, but the contentment that she felt watching them helped her to realise that some Spirit People are happy doing what they are doing. Up the narrow stairs she could see a mother settling a child ready for sleep. They played quietly on the small double bed, with a cot beside it, and a tiny single bed against the far wall where her older child slept peacefully. Downstairs, her husband is serving drinks to travellers in the room in the front of the house. The lights within this building provide a  very welcoming sight for people from around the world on this road to the gold fields. Particularly in the late afternoon, early evening of the cold wet days of winter, and even sometimes in summer, when a southerly could bring a severe drop in temperature, or offering a break from the relentless heat of the day.

As the vision faded, the clarity  and detail Molly was observing diminished quickly and she found herself looking at the remnants of this old building. The only tenants in it now visible to the physical eye were the bees which had made their hive inside and the large wisteria trailing up the inside wall. Nature was embracing it and will eventually consume the structure. Until then and maybe beyond, this family will continue to exist in a time forgotten by most, but still very real to them. Content, they dwell in a place in Time in a memory of when they were happiest, leaving Molly contemplating how little she knew and understood about this World Between Worlds. She could hear Will’s voice in the distance, calling her. He sounded so far away but was actually standing right next to her. It was her who had gone far away, slipping through a crack in the fabric of the Universe. She felt him squeezing her hand, and smiled at him with an understanding she was yet to find words to describe. He laughed and kissed her, wrapping his arms around her waist and pulled her body into his. Everything suddenly felt accentuated, the sun on her face, the coolness of the shade of the building, the tingling of Will’s lips and tongue, the warmth of his body against hers, and the car tooting its horn as it drove past them. They both laughed. But something had shifted in Molly and there was a heightened state of awareness active in her, in that moment she saw the world around her very differently.

She and Will had originally planned to drive to the West Coast from here, south to Haast and across to Queenstown via Wanaka, then further south to Invercargill and   northwards to Dunedin, Oamaru and Christchurch, but since they had agreed to do this project with Tom and Delilah, they were now to change their direction to Christchurch on the east coast, heading south in the opposite direction, on to Oamaru, Dunedin, Invercargill, Queenstown, Wanaka, Haast and north along the West Coast back to Picton. They had enjoyed three nights of star-lit skies and warm sunny days at The Fishermans Cottage, which had given them the chance to relax and let the path ahead unfold for them. Molly was keen to visit a tiny town called Reefton which was at a road junction where the main roads either took you east through the Lewis Pass to Christchurch or further on to the West Coast. From what she had heard Reefton was a well-preserved old town, a piece of living history, reminiscent of the gold rush era of late 1800’s. 

Having arrived at Reefton, and checking in to the Motel, she was eager to go for a walk and explore the town. From what they had seen when driving in, there were many old and well-cared for buildings and cottages. Looking up the main street it reminded her of a scene out of an old Western movie. Having unpacked what they needed for the night, they went for a walk around the carefully laid out town before dinner. But as they walked through the streets, Molly began to feel increasingly unwell. First it was a mild headache, and then moments of dizziness which developed into nausea. Will took her by the arm and walked her back to the motel. After a rest and something to eat, Molly felt better and they ventured out to continue their walk. This time it was just waves of dizziness and rushes of heat that came and went. Sleep that night was restless but not disturbing enough for her to get up. She woke in the morning with the sensation of someone watching her and as she drifted in and out of sleep, she heard a voice say very clearly, “How did she get in here?” Giving Molly the feeling that she had stumbled into someones home and remembered that she had not asked spiritual permission to visit this town. She knew she needed to talk to Grace about this.

With Will still asleep in the bed next to her, she sat up leaning back against the pillows. Getting comfortable, it was easy to drift into meditation. Seeing herself at the bottom of the stairs to The Attic came easily. She ran up the stairs and was met at the door by Grace, inviting her in. “Please come on in and sit down Molly.” There was a tone in her voice Molly had never heard before, so formal, so serious. “There is someone I would like you to meet….Le Lumiere The Great, may I introduce Molly, Mrs Molly Ferguson.” Sitting across from her at the table was a well-dressed older gentleman, his dark hair handsomely streaked with silver, clean shaven except for a fine moustache, he wore a tailored suit, a black vest over a white shirt with a stiff round edged upright collar, his jacket draped over the back of his chair,  a top hat sat to his side on the table.  He stood up and bowed towards her, looked up at her intensely through his well-groomed (like everything else about him) eyebrows. What made Molly catch her breath was his piercing blue eyes.

“Aah, bonjour Madame,” he greeted Molly in a rich French accent, taking her hand across the table and kissing the back of it. “I am indeed Monsieur Le Lumiere, Keeper of The Light, and how quaint that you are visiting the town of Light known as Reefton. Sit, sit, my dear, there is much to discuss,” he pointed to one of the Bentwood chairs beside Grace. “Allow me to explain, I am Le Lumiere The Great, formally known as a magician in my past incarnation, but I am oh so much more than that! (he waggled his finger at her), “I am an Illusionist, in it’s truest form. An Illusionist can open the door to many other realms, realities, dimensions. It is not false or of “illusion” having the implication of being dishonest or fake or make-believe, but rather I am the holder of the keys to the many doors into other realms of the Spirit World and I light the way, illuminate what needs to be revealed. And that is still so, even now, with me being completely in the Spirit World. Oh but I do love visiting the World Between Worlds, where we can have fun with an almost physical body!” He patted his sides firmly.

“However, my dear, now, you are here with me to learn an important lesson. Pay attention!” he said, drawing Molly in closer with his beckoning finger across the table “First thing to remember is that before entering any dimension of the Spirit World, beyond what you call Grace’s Office, you must ask permission, and show some respect!There is no room for ignorance, it will bring you undone every time. The Spirit People of Reefton* have told me that they are suspicious of you, guarded because they do not often get visitors in their world, this level of existence. Your feeling unwell and dizzy was where you were passing between physical and non-physical ‘hot spots’ or active areas, a fluctuation in the frequency of the Universe. 

*Reefton is a small town on the West Coast Region of the South Island of New Zealand. It was the first town in New Zealand and the Southern Hemisphere to receive electricity in 1888. It’s streets were lit by commercial electricity and some of these original lamps are still in use today, hence being known as the Town of Light.

Because you had not asked for permission, you were not able to adjust easily to this variation of vibrational frequencies and move smoothly between these worlds or hold your presence here in the World Between Worlds. When we have finished here, find a place to sit and listen, not here in the Motel for there is too much electrical interference, although this is what has enabled you to sleep last night.”

“It was restless but yes I did sleep. Although I feel unwelcome here Le Lumiere.”

“No wonder mon cheri! For you did not ask permission to visit. Of course they are guarded and suspicious, being able to see a visitor who can see them, this does not occur often for them. Have breakfast and take the time to listen and write, see how they respond to this. You will know because the information will flow or not. But remember – show respect – and always ask permission!”

With a flash of light, he vanishes. Molly looks to Grace who replies, “Someone’s got some work to do. Tea anyone?” Grace’s voice sounded weird. Molly could hear a combined tone in it, like two voices, one masculine and one feminine.

Opening her eyes, she found that Will had gotten out of bed, was in the kitchen through the door, and that it was actually him offering tea. Smiling to herself, she replied, “Good morning! Yes please, I’ll be up in a minute,” and closed her eyes, to tune into these intriguing Spirit People, and ask permission. She sensed the presence of a small boy about four years of age. He was standing next to a woman, possibly his mother, holding her hand tightly. She was wearing a simple woollen corseted dress, a style typical of the mid-1800’s. She looked worried and ill at ease. The little boy’s face was beaming as he realises that Molly is able to see them. This was the first of the Forgotten Stories which Molly was to collect – The Little Boy And The Rabbit Hole…

From Reefton they drove to Christchurch through the Lewis Pass. The road wound through endless spectacular views of lush green mountains, steep gorges, beech and pine forests and wide, rocky rivers of crystal clear blue waters. The next few days were booked tight with Molly and Will meeting the staff of a boutique chocolate business. This family run business imported the cacao from Sth America, where a couple of members of the staff were from. The owners Sam and Emily, had spent many years backpacking in this area during which time they met and stayed with Joaquin and his sister Sofia working on their father’s cocoa bean farm. Intrigued by the process of making chocolate, Sam and Emily had learnt the traditional ways. When Emily became pregnant, they decided to return to New Zealand for the birth of their baby, together with Joaquin and Sofia, to begin chocolate making in their own way, starting in their home kitchen, which then grew into a commercial kitchen they had built in the garage of their home. It grew in popularity so quickly that not long after the birth of their first child, they opened a street front shop in a renovated warehouse. It all happened seamlessly, despite the city being rocked by a major earthquake in 2011. This devastated many businesses and families, leaving a large amount of homes unliveable and businesses with no buildings to operate from. Thousands of people left the area in search of a new beginning, for some the heartbreak and devastation too much to bear by remaining. Sam and Emily were fortunate enough to have been unaffected by this, and to their advantage, but the possibilities of renting a commercial property was a challenge. Initially they got themselves mobile with a chocolate cart, similar to a coffee cart, where they sold handmade chocolates, hot chocolate, iced chocolate, chocolate ice-cream and coffee made with raw organic milk, at the local markets and had a strong following on social media. The Adorable Chocolate Cart did more than provide exquisitely made chocolates products, they brought a smile to everyone who tasted them, uplifting their spirits and of those around them. Six years later the company now had 12 employees and distributed their products around New Zealand, Australia and were just making a name for themselves in parts of Europe, which was a huge step. Their products were made consciously, care was taken from the growth of the plants and fruits directly from Alejandro’s farm, and made by happy, inspired people. They had created a awesome environment to work in and looked after their staff like family.

The day before visiting Sam and Emily in Christchurch, Molly and Will checked-in to a B&B where they would be staying for the duration of the interviews at  ‘Adorable’. With 14 people to interview, they had every day booked back to back. After settling into their new ‘home’  Molly felt a pang of guilt. She had not spoken with Annabelle since leaving Wellington, and sent her a text to organise a video chat later that evening. 

“Hey Bay-bee!” Anna’s sang as her happy face appeared on the laptop screen. Molly’s pangs of guilt twinged in her stomach again, and her smile was slightly forced. Anna picked up on it immediately. “Oh Honey, what’s up buttercup?”

“Ummm…I am sorry Anna, for not being in touch sooner. I am feeling a tad guilty…” Molly’s voice faded, unable to hide this emotion at all now. I guess I am feeling emotional, it has been an extraordinary experience and we have only just begun!” Molly unable to hide her tears, cried openly in front of her dear friend.

“Oh Baby, it’s ok.” Anna crooned. “Wish I could give you a hug. Hey, maybe we can meet in the Attic in the morning?”

At this suggestion, Molly’s face lit up. “Brilliant idea Anna. Let’s do it! Now?”

“Why not!” Anna replied, her excitement matching Molly’s. “See you on the other side!”

Both girls prepared themselves for meditation. There was a comfortable lounge chair in the corner of their accommodation. Leaving Molly undistracted, Will was able to continue with his work, preparing an introductory talk for the staff of ‘Adorable’ they were giving tomorrow at their first meeting. Still feeling slightly restless, it took Molly awhile to settle into meditation. When the fidgeting stopped, her mind eased and her body became numb, she found herself at the bottom of the stairs to The Attic. Her heart began to race with excitement. It felt like it had been such a long time since she had been here, all the days that they had been away had been busy, even at Cape Palliser. She ran up the stairs, feeling the familiar tingle half way up and pauses at the door, taking in the details of the door itself – the stained timber, a rich port-wine in colour, the porcelain scratch plate with its tiny pink and gold roses forming a border around the white china. The white porcelain door knob, slightly crazed by the years, mounted on a fine brass filigree where it connected to the door. Below it in similarly fine brass work was a key hole. She hesitated, wondering if she should knock and almost in immediate response to this, she heard Grace’s voice, “Come on in Molly. (And as she entered the room) Welcome Home.” Grace’s face was as animated as Anna’s, who was standing just behind her. Unable to contain herself, Anna pushed past Grace to hug Molly, “Opps, sorry Grace!” The sensation was electrifying for Molly and Anna, almost a zap, to which they both laughed, reminding them of where they were, in this magical space of the World Between Worlds. Kissing Anna on the cheek, she turned to Grace, taking both of her hands and relished the moment before she hugged her. She noticed that it felt no different to hugging Anna.

“Wow!” said Molly. “How long has it been? Must be nearly a month, or more? I have lost track of the dates, one day blended into another. It has all flowed smoothly, but oh my god, what an experience! Some days I want it to slow down, but I know that I just need to come up to speed with everything that is unfolding, to keep the momentum. Ah, that’s what it is, when I am feeling flat or blah! I get it now! I am not keeping up the pace, because if I stop or slow it down, I will lose the rhythm. Ohhhh….” Molly sits down, slightly dazed by this realisation. 

“Anyone for tea?” Grace offers, squeezing Molly’s hand to bring her back to the present moment. “Stay with us Molly!” And Molly knew exactly what Grace meant, because if she lost her focus, she would cease to be in The Attic and the physical slam of landing back in her body unprepared is extremely unpleasant. “Tea! Yes a cup of tea is just what I need!”

Grace reminded Molly of a very important job which required her attention. The little boy and his mother that she had caught a glimpse of whilst they were at Reefton.  Another drop of guilt rose to the surface as Molly realised she had forgotten about this. “Remember there is no factor of Time here Molly, however we do require your undivided attention for the first of the Forgotten Stories. Please make time in your evening tomorrow to return to The Attic and I shall guide you through the process of meeting with these Spirit People and listening to their story.”

 As the three of them continued chatting in The Attic, back in their accomodation, Will looked up from his work to check on Molly as she sat quietly in the arm chair across the room from him, a blissful smile on her face. In that moment he thought of Patrick and how he had not done any meditation himself since leaving home. Could he visit with Patrick as Molly does with Grace and Anna? His curiosity aroused, content with what he had achieved with his work, he saved the document on the laptop and got himself a glass of water before returning to get comfortable sitting up in the bed.

What did he need to do? How would he do this? Does he need to ask Patrick? It’s not like he can send him a text message! Or can he, without a cell phone? Maybe he can….his mind started running away with all the possibilities. And then he remembered the words of his famous meditation mentor – “Just breathe”. And so he did. Focussing on his breath, he felt the delicious sensation of his body going numb and his mind calming down. And then he heard it, a familiar voice with a soft Irish accent,  reminding him to just breathe. He felt the energy next to him shift, a sort of heaviness impressing on the bed. At first he thought it was probably Molly, but he decided that regardless of who it was, he would continue to hold the calm sensation of meditation. Then he heard the voice again, “it is not just Anna I can travel with!” The surprise of the meaning of these words and the audible sensation of them, jolted him back into his body, leaving him with the sensation like he had fallen from a tall building. Then he heard, in more of a whisper, “Oh I am sorry Will, I didn’t mean to startle you. Practice each morning, remember!” And then it was gone and the room fell silent, the buzz of the energy diminished like someone had turned a noisy fan off. Will felt exhausted. It was a combination of the busy couple of weeks they had had, the travel and the sudden shift of energy from the non-physical world back into the Physical World. Seeing that Molly was still blissfully meditating, he decided to clean his teeth and slip into bed.

When Molly left The Attic, she took her time to feel comfortable in her body before opening her eyes or moving out of the chair,. Checking the time on her phone, it was 2am! She looked around the dimly lit room to see that Will was sound asleep in the bed. Quietly she got up, drank a glass of water, cleaned her teeth, undressed and gently got into the bed next to Will. Quietly moaning in his sleep, he automatically snuggled up against her body and Molly quickly fell into a deep sleep, woken all too soon by their alarm. It was 7 am and they needed to be in Christchurch at 11am for the presentation with the Adorable Chocolate Company.

*Please respect Copy Right All Rights Reserved Original Artwork by John Page 2017.

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