Several days had passed whilst driving through to Blenheim and back westward across Golden Bay to Kaihoka Lake, where Molly had booked accommodation in a farm cottage for several days. Set on 3000 acres at the base of the Farewell Spit, bordering onto the northern tip of the West Coast, it was a landscape that Molly had never before seen. Will said he could imagine dinosaurs stepping out amongst the rocky outcrops which framed the small valley.
Molly felt a presence the moment they entered the house, like they had walked in on naked, unexpected tenants. She silently acknowledged the spirit people as they unpacked their bags and settled in for the first night.
The next morning after breakfast Molly and Will went out to explore the countryside, walking out towards the coast. In the cottage there was a hand written information booklet, outlining local walking tracks. There was also a warning of an area that was not recommended to visit, that it would require permission, and to take care traversing the sand dunes. The owner had told them that the beach was ‘just over the hill’, so they headed off on a track towards the coast. They took a detour and immediately Molly began to feel unwell. “I think this is the wrong track Will, let’s turn back at that last fork.” Changing directions and walking towards the sand dunes, she felt instant relief. Will wanted to walk to the top of the sand dunes where there was a row of Nikau palm trees. “Oh come on Molly, imagine the views!” He pleaded. Unable to find an easy access and not wanting to walk directly on the sand which would cause erosion, they decided to continue on towards the beach. The path led them across the floor of the valley, the sand dunes to one side and a very interesting sculptured hill on the other. It had huge rocky outcrops in the shape of faces like The Ancient Guardians of the land were watching over this area. What caught Molly’s attention at the top of the sand dunes was a sandstone ledge and caves and a large grove of Nikau palms. This area was sheltered from the westerly winds.
The beach was visible for quite sometime before they actually reached the sandy shoreline, the wind was wild and the huge waves were crashing on the shore in all directions. Molly was feeling dizzy and Will had developed a headache. By the time they returned to the cottage, they were both feeling quite unwell. She made a pot of tea and the put Will to bed. Molly had never seen him like this before and knew that a visit to The Attic was necessary. After getting Will more comfortable in bed with a heat pack under his head and a cold lavender compress on his forehead, she got herself comfortable in one of the arm chairs in the lounge room. Drifting easily into meditation, Molly was disturbed by a noise just outside of the glass sliding door which lead onto the verandah of the cottage they were staying in. She saw glimpses of a young boy, almost a teenager looking through the glass at her. But this was a little different, he was aware that he was in Spirit, a Time Traveller himself. She closed her eyes again and invited him to join her, to come to The Attic too.
Breathing deeply and slowly, the vision of the stairs appeared before her. Molly had the oddest sensation, like she was going to the Principal’s Office, in trouble for something but not sure what. Opening the door, The Attic had transformed into exactly that – a Principal’s Office! She had no idea where this was going and hesitated slightly before entering the room. She was suddenly pushed from behind and steered towards a seat in the corner and a rasping voice whispered, “Watch!” A cold chill raced down her spine, and she felt the hair on her neck prickle in fear.
As Molly watched on, the silent observer of a story unfolding, her heart began to race. In the office she watched on as the Principal paced the floor, awaiting the arrival of a student. There was a grave look on his face as he paced the floor in front of his desk. This boy Samuel, 12 years of age and his 10 year old sister Clara had gone missing for two days and he had returned home without her. Where was she and why would he have left her? But the story he had to tell was not of an acceptable nature. Actually, he didn’t have much to say at all. Yes, they did go across the fields without telling anyone where they were going or why, up into the steep rocky outcrops.
What Samuel didn’t tell the Principal was that he and Clara were going to explore an area they had both had had a dream about. Neither of them had spoken about this dream, but Samuel had overheard his sister’s conversation with a friend, who had brushed the dream off as just that, a dream. However he too had had the same dream. It was of the wise old people who once lived in the caves high in the hills, they were the guardians of the area, overlooking the lake and the coastline from up there. They had been there for a very long time, before the arrival of The Maori or the Europeans. These elders had appeared to both of the children, calling to them. They had each shared the same dream…of walking across the fields and up into the steep sides of the mountain ridge, their curiosity taking them higher and higher. Of seeing a fire burning in the entrance of one of the caves. Unbeknown to them, the area was a very strong energy field, where one is able to travel through Time and Space. The young girl felt no fear, only the strong pull for her to visit this place. The vivid dream haunted him and the young boy had felt alone with this information, until he overheard his sister’s conversation. After discussing this in private together, they decided to follow what they had been shown in the dream and see what was waiting for them up in the caves. They felt no fear, it was just an adventure to them.
The children had agreed to leave early one morning before the sun had risen for this walk up to the caves. The land was familiar with them so walking in the dark was easy. What awaited them was beyond the vision in their dreams, Within the caves there lived a Tribe of Elders who transcended the limitations of Time and Space…here they had dwelt since Time began, overseeing the formation of the land and the erosion which had formed the valley below them. The only remaining part of this ancient land now visible were the caves and rocky outcrops from which they safely did their work of overseeing this area. From time to time they saw the balance of nature disrupted and they would create weather or earth movement that would bring the momentum of this unwanted situation to an end. But what was the purpose of their dreams and the strong urge for them both to visit the caves?
The children had the ability to “know” things, before they occurred. Others found this spooky or unbelievable (until this event occurred) and not well accepted by their peers. Adults put it down to over-active imaginations. But now this boy was about to be questioned because he had returned from the caves alone, and there was some explaining to be done. How could he tell them what he had seen? Who would believe him?
The vision continued, Molly waited on in bated anticipation, unsure of what was unfolding here. As she watched on, there was a knock at the door and Principal Kennedy invited the tall boy and his parents into his office. Awkwardly, the boy sat down, his parents stood behind him and the Principal took a deep breath and sighed. He wanted to know the truth of this event, of what had really happened and where this boy’s sister was. He was hoping the boy would be able to give him some information to assist in them finding her. So he had to let his guard down, and decided to trust in what the boy had to say. He told the Samuel he was willing to listen with an open mind, that he just wanted to know the truth and how together, they would be able to find his sister.
Sitting on the edge of his chair, silently he recalled the experience in his mind, Samuel tried to find the words to retell the experience to Principal Kennedy. He appeared to be in a trance as he recalled climbing the steep incline to the caves being hard work, and it had been a hot morning. The sun now sat low on the horizon, hovering above the ocean like a glowing orange ball. Having not brought water with them, they were both feeling tired and dizzy. The urge to reach the caves had over-ridden the desire to turn back or search for water. As they got closer to the caves, the angle of the limestone outcrop protected them from the hot sun and the wild westerly winds. With daylight fading, exhausted, hungry and thirsty they were relieved to reach the caves. Knowing it was impossible to return in the dark, they looked around for an area to sleep. Just below the caves, off in a different direction to that from which they had come, came the sound of dripping water. Seeping out of the ground and dripping off the rock ledge was a small spring of water. With nothing to gather it in other than their hands, it brought welcomed relief, they wet their faces and quenched their thirst. A little revived, they clambered up into the cave and curled up together on the soft sandy floor. The children were woken during the night to the sound of hushed voices and of a fire crackling. Sitting up, they were greeted by smiling faces, comforting and somehow familiar to them. The Elders wrapped the children in furry seal skins, and placed in their hands a bowl of hot soup. Hunger took over their fear and with little encouragement they drank the strangely flavoured broth. It warmed them from the inside and gave them the ability to see these ancient beings more clearly. Looking out beyond the fire they caught glimpses of the clear nights sky. The stars so incredibly bright, larger then ever before, as if they had been lifted up closer to them. One of The Elders pointed to a star cluster, Matariki or also known as Pleiades, and tapped his chest with his other hand in a closed fist, implying that this was his home. He indicated for them to finish the soup. As he began to talk, they were now able to understand him. He told them that they were both from this same star cluster, as was he, and the other people with them now. Late into the night he told the young ones of their history, which went back way before that of their current lives. In the reflective surface of a rock pool within the cave he showed them a vision on the water of what it was like then. Both of the children’s eyes lit up with recognition. It was something they had only thought of as dreams, and now they understood this with the wisdom of remembering who they really were. Contented and sleepy from their adventures that day, feeling safe with these people, they snuggled up together and fell asleep by the fire.
The sound of dripping water stirred the boy from sleep. On waking he looked around for something familiar, for his sister. But he was on his own. There was no fire and not a trace of his sister Clara and none of The Elders. Where were they? Had it all been a dream and if so, why was he in this cave on his own? What was he to do now? All he could think about was how was he going to explain this to his parents. He had lost his sister. He heard the whisper of Clara’s voice, “I am safe. Go tell them I am safe, that I have gone Home. Oh Samuel, it is so beautiful here!” The words caught in her throat as emotions overwhelmed her, of the beauty that defied words which surrounded her.
“Great Clara, how am I going to explain that one? They will never understand.” He exclaimed helplessly out aloud.
Listening to Samual, Molly felt so helpless. She understood what was happening for these children, but was unable to intervene, having no idea why this story had been brought to her attention. Patiently, she watched on.
It had been a long trek home for Samuel. The weather had turned and the cold rain fell in torrents, almost horizontal in the driving wind. Over and over in his mind, he tried to find the words to explain to his parents what had happened. When he eventually reached the house, his parents were relieved to find him safe and sound. But where was Clara? He was unable to find the words, dumbstruck by his experience, he decided to remain speechless. They all thought it was shock. Realising that he was not physically injured, his mother ran a bath for him and warmed some soup. Saying nothing was what he had chosen to do.
Molly’s heart ached for him and she could feel emotion tightening in her own throat. Despite feeling frustration at being unable to do anything to help, she remembered her purpose in this encounter, of the story that she needed to be taking down. The vision had such clarity and definition, she was able to see both aspects of the story, of what was happening for Samuel both in his mind and the situation unfolding around him.
After a long sleep, the next day Samuel was still unable to utter a word, even to his mother. This was how he had come to be in the Principal Kennedy’s Office. The Principal had an amazing ability to communicate with troubled children and Samuel’s parents thought that he would be the best person to help them now. Samuel sat silently in the chair. Principal Kennedy asked his parents to leave the room, hoping that this would encourage Samuel to talk about what had happened. Principal Kennedy handed him a sketch pad and pencil, hoping that this may be an easier way for him to start communicating. Samuel looked at the blank pad for a long time. In his mind, the vision was still clear, and he felt the presence of The Elders in the room with him. He asked for their help, for he did not know what to do or say. Automatically, with his eyes closed, he drew the star cluster of Matariki. He drew a simple sketch, an outline of The Elders in the rocky outcrops when looking up towards the caves. He pushed the sketch pad across the desk towards the Principal and ran out of the Office, down the hall, out the door, across the playground, up the road, across the fields… he ran and he ran and he ran…all he wanted to do was return to the caves and find Clara. By the time he reached the bottom of the mountains, exhausted, he was barely able to walk. How was he going to make that last climb? He closed his eyes and imagined Clara in the cave waiting for him, The Elders with her, also waiting for him. This gave him the energy he needed for him to complete this last part of the climb. On reaching the cave, he found it was empty. Completely exhausted, wasted of all his energy, dehydrated, he collapsed on the sandy floor sobbing hopelessly and fell into a deep sleep.
Molly caught herself holding her breath. She so wanted Samuel to work this out, she could feel herself willing him to keep going, in her heart knowing that he would find Clara. Transfixed, she looked on.
Samuel felt himself being gently rocked, someone was trying to wake him. His sleepy eyes opened to be met by a familiar face – Clara! Surprised, he sat up and hugged her, so glad to see her and that she was safe. She too was pleased to see that he had returned. Just behind her, he could vaguely make out the silhouettes of The Elders in the shadows on the stone walls created by the fire in the cave. Clara had so much she wanted to share with him, about how she had gone Home with The Elders, just for a visit, travelling with them through the stars, across Time and Space. She had so wanted to take him too, but The Elders had not allowed it. It was just for Clara. They were to return to their position as guardians on Earth for now, and that this experience was to influence the lives of these children as adults, to help show them the directions they needed to take. But for now, how were they to explain this to their parents?
“Say nothing,” The Elders whispered, “You can come to visit any time and as you grow into adults. Know that this moment will guide you. All solutions are found here, when you visit here whether you come physically or in your dreams. Go now, for they are concerned about you.”
As the children descended the steep climb they could hear the sound of barking dogs and in the distance from their elevated view they could see people scouring the fields and bushes, coming towards this area. Both the children vowed silence to each other, a promise they kept for ever. They had agreed to say that they could not remember anything, that they had just gotten lost.
Molly watched on as the children were reunited with their parents. Samuel looked over his father’s shoulder directly at Molly, smiled and waved at her, holding his finger up to his lips, not saying one word.
Feeling the heavy weight of the sensation of her physical body return, Molly found herself leaning forward and collapsed back into the chair, relieved to be back in the
holiday cottage, and that the children had been found safely, understanding completely what they had experienced, knowing that she was to capture this story in her book Lost Souls and Forgotten Stories. But for now, she needed to rest herself, and snuggled into bed under the covers next to Will. Tomorrow they were to pack up and begin the drive back towards Picton and catch the ferry to the North Island.