Settling into a new chapter of their lives together, with Will no longer travelling overseas, they needed to create a studio for him. Together they looked around the house to see where the best place could be. First they sat in the living room and then they went into the spare bedroom – the only two obvious options, and neither of them felt right. Will had been using the far end of the large living room, but he needed his own space too. With a twinkle in her eye, Molly took his hand and led him down the hall. He stopped at the bottom of the stairs, looking up at the closed door longingly. ‘Uh ah! Nope, The Attic is my space!” Molly laughed, tugging at his hand, she lead him through the kitchen, out the back door, through the gardens…to the old barn! In the barn was a mezzanine floor, an area which they had not yet explored. The rustic ladder provided the only accessible way up into the loft where sacks of grain and hay had once been stored. The only other entrance to this space was by the two small wooden doors which opened outwards on the outside wall where a beam and pulley remained in place, from where the sacks of grain would have been winched up for storage.
Will’s face lit up with excitement, creative ideas flooded his mind. Loving the idea of a new project, he was ready to do a little building and renovating. With the house seemingly taking care of itself (neither of them ever mentioned this, of the mysterious changes in the house, almost like it was renewing itself), the idea of a loft studio was more than appealing. After breakfast, they climbed up the ladder and sat in the dusty loft, sunlight filtering through the cracks between the rough sawn external weatherboards.
“Oh Molly this is brilliant! I think a large skylight about here would bring in the natural light over my desk,” Will said pointing at the sloping gabled roof. “And a large stained glass window in that far end wall. And maybe we could create a window using those two wooden doors as shutters….” The ideas effortlessly tumbled out of his mouth. “And I have got the time to do this now,” he added. Will spent the rest of the day drawing up plans for the loft conversion, leaving Molly to return upstairs to The Attic and work on Grace’s journal.
She sat at the writing desk with the journal opened in front of her, not really knowing what or how she was to work with this, to create it into a book for Grace. She closed her eyes and felt the texture of the paper gently with her fingers. She could actually feel the ink lines of Grace’s writing. How could this be, this bizarre connection with a ghost that had transcended the concept of Time and Space? She let her mind wander, her fingers playing with the grain in the pages of the journal, guiding her, allowing the information she required, some guidance or inspired thought, to come to her. Reality seemed to dissolve around her, and she began to sense what it must have been like for Grace sitting here in the captain’s chair writing all of those years ago.
Opening her eyes she noticed the date on the first page of the journal was 25th October, 1891…exactly 125 years ago! Looking around the room, it appeared slightly different, somewhat brighter. Molly realised that she had returned to the vision, witnessing Grace’s story as it continued. Sitting in the captain’s chair, unaware of Molly’s presence, Grace continued writing.
When Grace received the handwritten message from Callum, she began to write a journal to him. She told him of the goings on in the house and village. Day after day, napping in the daybed, she would write. Lucy would bring her meals and remind her to come down for a break, to walk in the gardens and visit her hens, or take a hot bath. Patrick continued his good work maintaining the beautiful gardens and the house, taking care of the production in the extensive vegetable beds and orchards. The abundant quantities of fresh food enabled them to share the produce with the village through the local market where Lucy would take the excess of eggs, fruit and vegetables to sell or exchange for other necessities. Occasionally Grace would ask Lucy to make up a hamper and deliver it to a family in need in the village. And there was always at least one of those at any given time. But this day that Molly was now witnessing, back in Time, was the day that Grace had prayed for assistance. She wanted to do something with a greater purpose. Lying down on the daybed to rest, Grace quickly fell into a deep sleep and experienced a vivid dream. In the dream she saw magic happening in her little office in The Attic. In the night fairy-like creatures as tiny as fireflies danced about the room. Then someone else came to visit. Grace named her The Muse, not knowing what else to call her. She was the answer to her prayer, her writing angel. The Muse would come and sit with her, smiling at her knowingly, would not say a word but impressed her mind with inspirational thoughts and creative ideas. That was when it began, this extraordinary journey through these visions or daydreams as Grace preferred to call them. And her fingers would write and write and write, through the night and into the next day. In her dreams she was shown a machine, one that produces letters into words. The next day Grace was guided to a workshop in the city of Hamilton where she discovered her first typewriter. Somewhat difficult and awkward at first, she managed through repetition to train her fingers. Once they memorised the layout of the keys, she was able to reproduce her thoughts, which came to her so quickly, much faster than she could write them with an ink pen. It was liberating! And so the journal rapidly grew.
Each morning she would sit in the quiet of the rising sun, listening to the crescendo of the morning bird chorus, taking her into meditation, where she would at first acknowledge Callum and then her Muse. The following days revealed to her an ever-growing awareness of a whole new world. At first, she was able to have conversations with Callum, and these she wrote down. He would instruct her with solutions to any of the problems she was experiencing. Then one day he said that he would be away for a while, and that when it was Time, he would return to take her Home. He told Grace that her Angel, ‘The Muse’ would take care of her for now, and continue to help with her writing.
The following day, Grace decided it was time to return to her bed for sleep, feeling the need to take a break from writing. Being back in her own bed at first gave her a restful, peaceful sleep. And then she began waking at 3am, same time each morning. So she decided to go up to The Attic and write. This first night, she felt a tingle as she walked up the stairs, slightly less than a shiver, but still noticeable. When she opened the door to The Attic room, her Angel, The Muse, was sitting in one of the arm chairs by the fireplace!
“Good morning Grace,” she greeted her casually as if this was the most natural thing to do (which to her it was, of course!) However for Grace, it took her completely by surprise. “Tea?” The Muse casually offered her, to which all Grace could do was nod her head in agreement. How could this be? “Oh I must be dreaming and have been walking in my sleep,” she laughed at herself out aloud. But what she thought was a dream continued. The Muse, having poured two cups of tea, invited Grace to join her, offering her the other armchair.
Molly continued to watch this story unfold before her as a silent observer, stunned by the appearance of Grace’s Angel, The Muse, because it looked just like her! The story in the vision continued. The Muse explained to Grace as they drank tea, “Grace, you prayed for assistance, for purpose and help with your writing. And God sent me. Do you wish to block the Divine by disbelieving? Doubting the answer to your prayers?” She enquired. Grace thought about this for a while. She contemplated the truth in what her new companion had shared and began to be a little more at ease with this unusual situation she now found herself in.
“Oh we will have such fun, you wait and see! There is Magic in this little room Grace, I know you have seen a glimpse of it. But there are far greater things yet to come for you. Are you ready? Of course you are, otherwise I would not be here having this conversation with you. You wanted a purpose, you wanted to write with purpose. Well, here it is! I am here to take you to places you have never been before, to see things you have never seen before and to meet people you have never met before. They will come from far and wide to visit you here. People will say it is your imagination, and that is fine. They will brush it off as eccentric, an ‘author thing’, you know, those ‘creative types’! Let them think this way. These Spirit People will come here to share their stories with you, across Time and Space they will come. They will have lived in times you have not witnessed and some may even be angels waiting for their assignments…no matter who or when, they are wanting you to take down their stories. This will help them to either accept what their new purpose is, or move on to a higher realm of Heaven,” The Muse continued to explain.
Molly stifled a gasp, as she realised the similarities in what she was hearing to her own experiences. Was she to pick up what Grace had left unfinished?
“As you will begin to understand, the Universe is a very, very big place. And what this attic room provides is an access between worlds, between Heaven and Earth. The Lost Souls will find their way to you. Do not question the information that comes, just write. And at the right Time, in right way, the right people will come to help you create it into a book. For now, let’s get you used to typing the information which will come. The Spirit People will come to visit you here, to share their stories or to ask for help. Relax and enjoy the experience and write! Write! There may be more than one book, let’s see how we go, yes?” The Muse waved her hand in the air, ending the conversation and shifted her focus to sipping tea politely from her cup.
Grace sat in her chair, mouth flapping like a dying fish, trying to grasp what she was experiencing here. She must be dreaming, how else could this be happening? How else indeed! And this was just the beginning!
“I believe you have a book to write my dear!” The Muse encouraged her light-heartedly. Grace sat at her typewriter, and allowed her fingers to go to work, capturing her thoughts into written words.
The vision began to fade and Molly realised she was actually still sitting at the desk, the journal beneath her hands. Having only read the beginning of it, she found the line she had last read and got lost in the world of The Life of Grace Forrest in 1891. Grace’s spirit appeared behind her, not wanting her presence to be felt, she quietly watching on, pleased with their progress. It was now Grace’s turn to help Molly. They had swapped roles, and who was then known as ‘The Muse’ was now re-incarnated into the body of Molly Ferguson, and Grace was her spiritual guide!