Both of them feeling better the next morning, they drove from Kaihoka Lake to the small seaside village of Collingwood, where they stopped for lunch and a walk along the beach. To their delight they discovered a life-sized driftwood sculpture of a whale and two calves which had been a community project over the Easter Weekend. Later that afternoon they arrived in Takaka and organised to stay there for a couple of days to explore the area. The weather had been perfect, warm days, cool breeze, cool nights, with just a little cloud hanging in the rain forrest on the mountains which surrounded the town. The next day they visited the amazing and very magical Te Waikoropupu Springs. This area is very special and considered tapu (sacred). Being a protected area, the elevated boardwalks were built above the waters to minimise human contact. The waters are pristine and some of the clearest and purest sources still available on the planet. Walking along the pathways was beautiful, very peaceful and everyone walking along them was calm and serene. There were many shallow springs surfacing along the walk but the main spring was absolutely breathtaking. The water was so, so clear that they could see to the bottom despite its depth, and the water bubbling to the surface through cracks in the floor of the pools. The plants living at the bottom of these deep waters and the colour of the water gave it the appearance of a calm tropical reef. It held the feeling of being sacred in nature and purpose.
Molly and Will loved Takaka. The town was filled with such a eclectic mix of shops and people from all over the world. Lots of backpackers, new age hippies, old hippies, artists, musicians, farmers. The busy markets had lots of local produce, art and performers. There were even a couple on roller skates dressed as elves playing cello’s! The next day they drove up the hill through the Abel Tasman National Park to a pizza cafe built on the side of the hill overlooking Golden Bay. An outdoor dining area overlooked the water below. The quaint cafe kitchen was a mud brick building with an outdoor wood fired pizza oven. The electricity for the cafe was provided for by their own water generators, and they grew all of the herbs and veggies for the cafe onsite.
Feeling contented from good pizza and a couple of cold beers, they enjoyed the view and the sun on their bodies. Will stepped back from where they were sitting for a moment and took an imprint of the scene before him in his mind, and a photo to jog the memory in time to come. Molly was laid back on the grass, enjoying the beautiful environment, her sarong parted seductively across her tanned thighs, revealing just a glimpse of her bikini beneath, her hair fell softly around her face, over her shoulder and across her breasts. Will could easily have made love to her there on the grass, but there would have been a bit of an audience. He would have to wait until later…
The next day took them on the road again, towards Nelson, Picton and Blenheim where they were to stay for a couple of days on a working farm up in the hills of Blenheim. With no internet or cell phone coverage Molly realised just how much static and vibrational noise goes on in their daily lives. The stillness was remarkable. It provided the perfect place for them to contemplate the past six weeks of their journey around the South Island, and completion of their work for Tom. Will’s artwork was finished, ready for them to visit Wellington again.
The property where they were staying had been effected by the last earthquake which had devastated Kaikoura, cutting off the main highway and main branch of railway on both sides of this coastal town. Minor repairs had been done to the house and the chimney had to be replaced with a flue for the wood fire. The sliding door had a quirky trick to it, as the doorframe had buckled, adding character to the story of this property. The owner loved being a farmer and was passionate about sharing his farm with guests. He took Molly and Will for a drive around the 800 acre property, up steep hills where Molly was not keen to look out the window of the Landrover at the sheer drop straight from the narrow track. She had to keep reminding herself of how well this man knowns the land and just how many times he has driven his beloved old truck up these incredibly steep, narrow, winding tracks. Reaching the highest landmark, where there was a surveyor’s trig, he suggested that they get out of the truck and walk back to enjoy the view, that it should only take them about half an hour to walk back to the homestead. What he didn’t tell them was that they had to walk down the sheep tracks at almost a 45 degree angle! Oh but the scenery was breathtaking, looking out across the steep hills to the Marlborough Sounds and Doubtful Bay and the North Island in the hazy distance across the Cook Strait.
The following day, Molly and Will drove into Blenheim for a coffee and southwards to the villages of Seddon and Ward, on the east coast north of Kaikoura. Large cracks and slips were still visible in the countryside like huge open wounds exposing the earth beneath the fields of green grass, and the road which had been filled in and sealed over creating smooth humps in the surface. They drove as far as the road was usable, the main highway still closed due to the intensity of the damage as it continued to be repaired and in places completely rebuilt. Will saw a side road leading out towards the coast where they stopped and walked along the beach at Marfell, near the Saltworks south of Seddon. It was the kind of beach that made you want to run wildly – wide open sandy stretches, going for miles. The sand was dark and warm underfoot despite the chilly waters, the sun sparkled on the beautiful blue-green ocean, the day was calm and relaxing. To the south they could see Cape Campbell Lighthouse and to the north just visible in the distance was the North Island, from this aspect it appeared as a continual part of the coast line, the Cook Strait invisible from there. Surrounded by clear blue skies, warm sun and cool autumn breeze, they collected stones from the beach, unique to this part of the coastline. Molly watched as three girls on horseback rode up over the dunes and onto the beach. Will was busy taking photos, capturing another memory for them. The sensation of freedom personified by these girls on their horses reminded Molly of her childhood, her contentedness disrupted briefly by a memory Molly could not quite grasp. The energetic jolt of it unsettled her for just a moment and was able to shake it off as if it had been just a dream. She reset her focus on watching Will doing what he loved, recording memories for them both with his camera. She loved where she was in her life right now, sharing this amazing journey with her soulmate. Longingly, she watched the girls canter along the beach towards the lighthouse, and Will was able to capture the perfect photo, of Molly, with her hair blowing in the wind, admiring the girls on horseback riding carefree with the lighthouse in the background. What a perfect moment, what a perfect day!
Later that evening, back at the farm cottage, Will prepared dinner, as Molly took the time to visit The Attic, just for herself. She was in a contemplative mood, reminiscing about the last couple of months, of the amazing events which had been unfolding, and continued to, of taking in this extraordinary life she was sharing with people she loved dearly. She did a little yoga to stretch the tightness out of her legs from climbing down the long, steep incline yesterday and then prepared for meditation. She was excited about visiting Grace just for herself, not for meeting Spirit People, although that had been exciting too. Seeing the vision of the stairs leading up to The Attic, she felt butterflies in her stomach. Pausing at the door, she discovered it was slightly ajar. Quietly, she poked her head around the open door, taking a moment for herself to enjoy these now familiar surroundings. She loved this space and the ability to visit it regardless of where she was travelling on the planet, knowing that this was always available to her. It truly did have the feeling of coming home, whether she was physically in the house or through visualisation, and beyond, of the adventures of what she can only refer to as Time Travel. Of how these visits and experiences felt so real, that she was able to actually feel her surroundings and how real the Spirit People appeared to her.
She saw Grace absorbed in reading something on the table, her glasses sitting at the end of her upturned nose, a faint smile of satisfaction on her lips. She was reading over a pile of papers. “What are you up to Grace?” Molly asked curiously.
“Hmmm, oh pardon. I was lost in the story, umm, our stories….just reading over the manuscript for your new book. It really is quite good Molly! It will need a little tweaking here and there, and the place for you to do this will be provided for you and Will, when the time is right because there are still stories to be added, and of course Will’s artwork. There is the whole of the North Island ahead of us. How exciting, isn’t it?” Grace replied, her eyes sparkling with anticipation.
Molly pulled up a chair beside her and as Grace poured her a cup of tea said, “Mmmm, spiced chai, I do love a cup or two…” Together they read over the stories Molly had written, reminiscing over the different locations they had visited along the way. There was a knock at the door and Molly looked to Grace, who nodded for her to answer it. To her delight, standing in the doorway, was Will! “Precious moments like these should be shared, don’t you think?” Grace said as she poured a cup of tea for Will and pointed at a chair implying for him to join them in reading the stories. “Listening to these with us shall inspire your artwork Will! I do love a good storytelling, go on Molly, you read them to us,” she insisted, removing her glasses and getting comfortable in her chair, cup of tea nestled between both of her hands, she waited eagerly. Molly sipped her tea, aware of an odd taste to it, and closed her eyes for a moment, preparing herself to share a story. But no sooner had she done this, before her she saw a vision.
Sitting either side of her she is aware of Grace and Will holding her hands. Grace whispered,”Thought we would do it a little differently this time! Don’t underestimate the experiences you have both had, all of these places and all of these people, physical and non-physical. You deserve a little holiday!”
They were standing on a cliff way above the surface of the land, looking down over the countryside below. Laid out before them was an animated version of a huge map of New Zealand, highlighted was their little station wagon travelling the road through the Waiarapa and into Cape Palliser, back to Wellington and onto the Ferry to the South Island. The towns flash before them as they look down at the little cartoon car driving the road from Picton to Nelson, Motueka Valley through the Southern Alps via the Lewis Pass to the outskirts of Christchurch. On and on the little car travelled from Rolleston up into the foothills of the ranges of Mt Somers and Peel Forrest. Then heading south through Mayfield, Geraldine to Timaru and Omaru. Following the State Highway south to Invercargill and then heading north towards Queenstown, Arrowtown, Wanaka, through the Haast Pass to the West Coast. On and on the little car drove to the furthest south they could go by car – Jackson’s Bay, then it headed north to Fox Glacier, Franz Josef Glacier, Hokitika, Greymouth, Punakaiki, Westport, then through the Buller Gorge to Murchison, St Arnaud and on to Blenheim. They watched on as the little cartoon car drove across the country, back to Nelson and around Golden Bay to Kaihoka Lake at the base of the Farewell Spit. Then it turned around and drove back through Collingwood to Takaka and onwards to Nelson and into the hill farms of Blenheim. From here it travelled to Picton onto the Ferry and into Wellington. Looking back over the view of the South Island, she could see a net or web of the finest gossamer thread, glistening, which hovered above the land. It was the Spirit Web that Jordana had spoken of. In it were creatures which looked like fireflies – they were the lost souls getting ready for their journey Home, to Cape Reinga and into the Spirit World. This would travel with Molly and Will, as she collected the stories and wayward Spirit People as they drove to Northland. In the corner of the scene before them Molly could see an odometer ticking over, it registered over 4,000kms. She watched the scene before her fade and is aware of her consciousness drifting as they return to The Attic. Grace and Will smile contentedly at her, “Thanks Molly, that was an awesome story!” Will exclaimed. “But I didn’t get to say a word!” Molly whined. “Your thoughts projected a visual for us Molly. It was like a shared dream. Oh there is so much more for you to experience through The Attic!” Grace said, looking at both of them with a glimpse of mischief in her eyes and on her lips. “But for now, you are required in Wellington, Tom and Kelly’s babies are on their way!”