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The record of one woman's journey towards the light, and a guide for yours. Speaks of synchronicity, karma, ancient love, and parallel universes. Lexie, over many years, aided by spiritual guides, travelled from Australia to America, Mexico, Egypt, England and Wales, meeting other pilgrims, known and loved in previous lifetimes. Each pointed the way. Her journey continues.
© C. Green, 2008 Cover design: Sally Thompson (granddaughter) Printed by Lakemac Print, Speers Point, NSW, Australia 2
FOREWORD As Seti states in this book, Lexie would continue to write the book until "the end of your time in this realm." This was indeed to be. Just three weeks after finishing the final draft Lexie was fatally injured on a Sydney road, on 16th May, 2007, and so, we are left to carry on the publishing as she wanted. We mourn our loss but we do see the fittingness and the synchronicity involved with this, and I could scarce imagine the vital and active person that was Lexie growing either 'old' or feeble. She always needed to fly free. She is now living in another parallel universe, I am sure. Over the fifteen years she devoted to writing of her journey, Lexie became aware of many, many prior existences lived on this earth, and those mentioned here are not all-inclusive nor are they chosen for any particular effect, but are an integral part of the development of her spiritual journey. These are the entities that channelled to her this book and the whole purpose of the book was always to 'share the wisdom' of these entities, with those of us who are open to the message they impart. Lexie and I spent days and hours working on this manuscript and she spoke to me in depth of her experiences. I cannot verify that the experiences prove that we are ' reincarnations ' in this life, but I can verify her absolute truthfulness and refusal to have a single word altered from that which she was 'given', and that she had absolutely no doubt whatsoever that what is written here did in fact take place, in time, or rather, 'beyond time'. The only editing she allowed was in spelling and flow, never in content. This adherence to the directions given via Seti will possibly most limit the professional publishing of her book, as it cannot be altered to make it more 'saleable'. However she was assured that it was. Remember, there is no coincidence. Colleen Morgan (Lexie’s sister and dear friend) 3
BEYOND TIME – Lexie Green
08 16 21 61 87 103 108
1991 Mexico 1992 Australia 1993 USA & Mexico 1993 Mexico, Zipolite Beach 1995 Mexico 1995/6 Australia 1996/7/8 USA & Mexico 2000 England/Wales 2000 Egypt 2000/2001 Mexico 2002 Mexico 2003-6 Australia Acknowledgements Contacts
110 143 164 170 239 240 241
“My life as I lived it often seemed to me like a story that has no beginning and no end. I had a feeling that I was a historical fragment, an excerpt for which the preceding and succeeding text was missing. I could well imagine that I might have lived in former centuries and there encountered questions I was not yet able to answer; that I had to be born again because I had not fulfilled the task that was given me.” Carl Jung
Where to begin? No, I cannot begin at the beginning for that was eons and eons ago - long past human memory. But then, maybe that is quite untrue. Is it merely human limitations we accept as truth? Is it possible on this, our earthly plane, to know all we have experienced? Perhaps it is not the lack of ability but rather the lack of accepting our abilities that limits. Right now I do not know but I think it could be the latter. Maybe after this journey I will be able to tell you more. Bear with me - a learner seeking ever goodness and truth. For now I go back only to the first day of February 1991, when I found myself backpacking in Mexico. It was hot in Merida. Sitting on the upstairs balcony of the Hotel Sevilla as I lazily pondered whether to join my friend in our room, or continue to write my travel journal, I glanced up to see a tall, fairhaired man in his late forties striding towards me. The very beginnings of a beard covered his cleft chin and he carried an old, much-travelled backpack slung over one shoulder. As he passed by to check room 22 his blue eyes met my brown for just an instant. He 8
said to the manager following him, "that will do," turned and walked quickly down the stone staircase leading to the hotel foyer. I felt strangely shaken, frightened almost, and didn't understand why, but I knew even then this meeting was important. To what extent I could never have imagined. It was the prelude to both a spiritual and physical journey, which would return me many times to Mexico and change my life forever. The next morning, sitting on the far side of the balcony, I felt nervous of a meeting I knew was inevitable. He crossed to introduce himself. "My name is Larry Adams, but you can call me L.A. It's what I'm known by now." When friends cancelled their joint trip to Costa Rica, he'd made a quick decision to come alone to Mexico. I too, having changed travel plans at the last minute, found myself unexpectedly at this small Spanish hotel. In Sydney my campervan was packed for a trip around Australia when my friend Kath Holmes telephoned from Mexico, and on impulse I decided to join her there. My journey to our meeting place was not without incident. At Houston, Texas, in a hotel recommended at the airport, I'd been asleep only a few hours when I woke with a start-the word 'key' going over and over in my mind. Remembering how careful I'd been when locking the door, I didn't check but felt compelled to ensure the key was where I'd placed it on the dressing table. Disoriented from travel and jet lag, I made quite a commotion knocking over a chair when trying to locate the light switch, and dropped back to sleep leaving the light on. Next morning it was obvious an attempt 9
had been made to enter my room. The door was slightly ajar with the safety chain now holding by only one very loose screw. „Someone up there looking after me‟, I thought lightly, little knowing how these words would become so real to me over the years. During the next three days in Merida, L.A., Kath, and I spent most of our time together. We visited the local beach, the markets, and explored the town, sometimes stopping to buy freshly cooked cobs of corn from a young woman who had set up her tiny stall in the zocalo (town square). They dripped with melting butter and were sprinkled with chilli powder. After wandering in the heat for a few hours, we would return to the hotel for a cool shower before relaxing in the old rocking chairs on the upstairs verandahs. We'd rock gently to and fro, talk and doze in the warm sun before Kath would boil water on her little travel stove and make tea. Occasionally other travellers would join us and sometimes there were cakes purchased from the little bakery at the corner of the street. This old hotel was once a grand mansion but now flaking paint drifts from twenty-foot high ceilings, and tiny leaky bathrooms are jammed into the corners of once elegant rooms. Limited budgets dictated the quality of our accommodation but I liked it there. As the three of us talked, I felt comfortable with this man. It was as if I'd always known him. We spoke of life experiences and he expressed his belief and practice of living intuitively. There was laughter too as he detailed situations where this philosophy had led 10
him. Although he and I spent only short periods alone, as those three days passed we became close. On the third day I wrote in my journal, "I have met a man I know will be my friend for life." As he was leaving on his planned trip to explore the hills around Oaxaca he gave me a warm hug, saying in his South American drawl, "Before you go on to London, why don't you visit me in my beautiful valley in Georgia?" adding, with a twinkle in his eye waiting for my reaction, "I'd better tell you, it's a nudist resort. I work there as the grounds-keeper." Then, in his quiet but forceful way, "You know Lexie, nothing is a co-incidence." And he was gone. Stretch marks from four children and the inevitable all over droop, not to mention my early Baptist upbringing, made this invitation far from attractive. However, I thought of him frequently during the next two months as Kath and I wandered together through Central America. On a bus in Belize I finally made the decision not to visit L.A. I would stay with my original travel arrangements and go to the New Orleans Jazz Festival before joining my flight to New York. Then a small black man hailed the bus, and taking a seat opposite attempted to engage in conversation. Contrary to my usual friendliness, my mood was aloof as I stared out the window. It was Kath who brought me back with a start. "Did you hear that guy?" she exclaimed. "He hit me on the shoulder and said, 'At least you know nothing is a coincidence, don't you'." I quickly looked towards him 11
but he had left his seat and was moving to the front of the bus. He alighted at the next stop. 'Nothing is a co-incidence.' Those words, the last spoken by L.A. before he left, had stayed with me. Now my head whirled; places, events and time spun wildly and held for just a moment. There was an evening a few years ago when my musician son was launching a C.D. A woman I didn't know walked through the door and I felt a strong awareness of her presence. An hour later, passing me in the crowded room, she accidentally tipped her glass of wine onto my lap. Apologizing, she said, "Look, this is really weird, and I don't know what happened there, but from the moment I entered this room it has been as if you are the only person here. I just don't understand it." I laughed at the time and didn't make the further contact she requested although sometimes I wish I had. Why were two complete strangers drawn to each other in that way? Also the memory of my last visit to London flashed to mind. I'd been researching the female line of my family tree and on impulse had decided to alter plans and visit Benenden, a tiny village in Kent where my great, great-grandfather lived before migrating to Australia. After spending a day with the woman custodian of the old church records, I found information pertaining to my ancestors, the Bucklands, dating back to the 1600's. As I was about to leave she walked to a small cupboard, took out a book and handing it to me said, "You may be interested to know another family left this village at the same time as yours to settle in Australia. They sent me this copy of their family tree." Politely, I opened the book at random, 12
then stood mesmerized as my own name, and those of my children, leapt from the page. I quickly looked to the cover. It was a copy of my ex-husband's family tree. I felt shaken. We were unaware our ancestors had lived together in that tiny village for generations. Did this explain why at sixteen, upon first meeting Norman, eighteen, I said to my amused parents, "Tonight I met the man I am going to marry." Four years later we did. Maybe too, it explains why after thirty years of marriage, four children and a divorce we still feel warmth for each other. I thought, is it really true? Is nothing a co-incidence? Is this how karma really works? Do we meet and re-meet again and again, lifetime after lifetime? Maybe, just maybe I‟ll change my mind and visit L.A. in Georgia. Indecision came to an end in Guatemala. While feeling it was quite ridiculous, I found myself at a travel agency changing flights to allow a ten-day stopover in Atlanta. My arrival would be earlier than L.A. would expect. In fact, if he'd kept to his travel plans he would still be in Mexico. However, I sent a message and as I picked up my luggage to exit Atlanta Airport, there he was. For a moment I wondered why I had detoured to meet a complete stranger, but as we sat together at his favourite little restaurant sampling wonderful southern cooking, I again felt the closeness experienced in Merida. I must confess I was feeling quite nervous about the nudist resort. Being a nurse, the nude bodies of others were of no concern but exposing my own was different. L.A. again assured me that would not be necessary, so it shouldn't be a problem. On arriving in the 13
valley, there were no clothes to be seen, not even a fig leaf! I felt really conspicuous and decided to go halfway. Wearing only a shirt, my longest, we visited L.A.'s friend Jeannie. Sitting on the porch outside her caravan we shared home made soup and sandwiches: Trees, flowers, silence, peace. That night L.A. and I slept together. Although he had arranged to stay with a friend, giving me the use of his caravan, I found myself saying, "You can sleep here too if you wish." It seemed a perfectly natural thing to happen, but being most out of character, had me wondering once more. Why was I here in Georgia? Why was I in the world? What was the meaning of my existence? While L.A. attended to flowers and lawns, I spent long lazy hours swinging in a colourful hammock between trees outside his caravan. I would read, think, or just be. Sometimes we walked the nearby hills before soaking in a hot tub at the end of the day, and gradually I progressed from wearing a shirt to wrapping myself in a towel. Within a day or two I could swing the towel over my shoulder, giving what I hoped was a casual look, while at the same time ensuring it fell low enough to cover my sagging bottom. I know all attempts to make nudity appear a way of life with me failed dismally. It wasn't easy but I kept a sense of humour about my modesty, realizing that twenty years previously, with a firmer and more attractive body, I may not have been so concerned. I was forced to recognize it was really another issue I was facing. Although in time 14
I did become a nudist, I was pleased on the night of the Club Dance for the chill in the air allowing me to cover up a little without being too obvious. I left the valley having come to terms with my body image. The feeling of warm sun on naked skin was a joy I'd never known, or long forgotten. Beyond all this, L.A. and I knew we had met for a reason. We talked of many things, including world unity, karma and the importance of group work in the coming Age of Aquarius. I agreed with many of his views while arguing strongly against others. In time I began to reconsider some of my attitudes. L.A. was always quietly sure of his. At the time, humility, in particular, was not one of my attributes, nor one I aspired towards. On the plane to New York I again opened a book L.A. had given me, and with some amusement read the title: "Esoteric Psychology," by Alice Bailey. Two months previously, on leaving my position at a psychiatric centre, I had disposed of my psychology books. I didn't realise just how different this one would prove to be. I read and read; on park benches in New York, in deck chairs at Hyde Park, London, sitting on sun-drenched castle walls in Lisbon and curled up in bed at a youth hostel in Bangkok. Some world trip, I thought wryly, with my head in a book most of the time.
Home again in Sydney it was months before a letter arrived from L.A. "There is work to be done here, could you help?" was all it said. How? When? Where or Why? L.A.'s expectation of intuitive response to little or no information left me bewildered, but I knew I would go. There followed information regarding a project aimed at placing a spiritually orientated candidate up for the coming American Presidential Elections. When this was later abandoned I cancelled plans to visit U.S.A. and found myself saying over the phone, "Why don't you come here?" I was surprised spontaneously making this suggestion, and even more so when he answered, without hesitation, "Yes, I will." I was still not fully aware of the extent L.A. places on intuition but I did know he wasn't coming to Australia just to visit me. So another airport, another country and we were together for the third time. During his stay we imported beautiful hand-made hammocks from Mexico and set up stalls at weekend markets. L.A. had been doing this successfully in Georgia, but import duties and transport costs were higher in Australia. Shipments consistently 16
failed to arrive on time and we were forced, in the middle of the night, to make frequent and expensive calls to Mexico. We learned the true meaning of 'manana' to be next week, next month, three months time or maybe never. While our business did not prove a financial success, we enjoyed the market atmosphere as we sat on deck chairs watching the passing parade. There were friendly exchanges and laughter with other store holders while we checked their wares for any bargains we might be interested in purchasing. Balmain food market is always enticing and a special curry soon became L.A.'s favourite. From taste alone he worked out the recipe and before long we were enjoying our own homemade Thai curry through the week. Hammocks hung inside and on the verandahs of our Sydney home. All who came to visit were encouraged to rest, while L.A. pushed them gently back and forth to demonstrate the pleasure and tranquillity to be gained by owning one. The enthusiastic but nonfinancial would most likely be given one as a gift, while those with funds claimed lack of time for relaxing and did not buy. I realize now more were given away than sold. L.A. would, if the slightest interest was shown, describe at length the history, weave, and durability of his hammocks. He loved them and could never understand why, in this country of the sun, people did not rush to buy. As each shipment arrived he would loudly pass judgment on the colour combinations and the quality. Although at first annoyed by any defects in the weave, he would soon shrug his shoulders and 17
smile. "That's Mexico for you," he'd say, and place them on the seconds pile. Eventually it was time to close our profitless business and travel to Queensland in my campervan. L.A. loved the sun and was always looking for secluded places where he could discard his clothes and stretch out naked where sea met sand. "I was a monk in an earlier life Lexie. I kept a garden and had to work in all those thick robes. That's why I was working at the nudist resort. How I wanted to get those heavy clothes off!" He challenged my views on everything and pushed me to look deeply, never allowing me to dodge an answer. "If your reality doesn't suit you, change it," he would say. "You can do it Lexie. It's simple. Energy follows thought. Create your own reality." He watched for symbols, and would say (when I didn't notice, or ignored what he interpreted as indicating life directional changes), "Lex, sometimes you need to be hit over the head before you'll see what is right in front of your eyes." He checked the moon cycles and took this into account when making important decisions. At times I felt living with L.A. was like doing the cryptic crossword when only he had tomorrow's paper. I know he expected more of me. There were loving times but he could also say, "Why are you able to make me mad like no-one else can?" In time we grew very close, though wary of commitment. It was necessary if he was to stay in Australia, but he didn't want to make Australia his permanent home, and likewise, I wasn't prepared to 18
live in America. At times tension arose, and marriage wasn't really what we planned or wanted. It was too big a step for us. After six months L.A. decided to return to America. At the eleventh hour he spoke of delaying his departure and felt some rejection from what he interpreted as lack of enthusiasm on my part. Actually I was still feeling hurt by his sudden decision to leave. I didn't express these feelings and the next day drove him to the airport. Destination; Eugene, Oregon. He had never been there but knew it was where he was to go next. I felt a deep sadness, but L.A. was looking to a new experience. As for me, my campervan was again ready for a long delayed trip around Australia. Four months later his letter caught up with me at Cairns, Queensland. Thinking he wasn't going to write I'd felt hurt and angry. Not until our next meeting was I to know he had experienced similar emotions. By the time contact was made, I was beginning to enjoy the freedom of the road and meeting fellow travellers. "There is a project I'm working on. You could help," was all he wrote. I smiled, and continued touring. Deep in the desert south of Alice Springs stands a place sacred to Australian Aborigines. Huge rocks pile high upon each other and are spoken of as being eggs of the sacred rainbow serpent from their 'Dreamtime'. As I wandered at dusk in this centre of high energy, I knew the time to rejoin L.A. was again close. Returning to Sydney, I found a second note. "P.S. We are going on an Odyssey. Bring your backpack and walking shoes." Enclosed was a map with a pencilled X marking the location of his camp on 19
Cougar Mountain. I made my reply equally brief. "If you can, meet me at the airport. Otherwise I'll find you on Cougar Mountain. I'm bringing my tent."
1993 USA & Mexico
Still another airport, and there he was, looking tanned and fit, hair longer now, tied back with a plaited leather band. He spoke of the Odyssey. "We are going to hitchhike to Shambhala, a guesthouse near the bottom of Mexico. It's at Zipoliti Beach, on the Pacific side." I'd expected we were to climb a local mountain. But to hitch to Mexico in the nineties! I thought there was a strong possibility we wouldn't make it, but knew it was inevitable we would try. "It will be O.K," continued L.A. "You will see, for some reason we are being sent. It may be hard but we will not be harmed. Help will always be there when we really need it." I wasn't so sure about that; I'd never hitchhiked in my life, and felt pleased I'd packed my money-belt. While camping on Cougar Mountain we made frequent trips to Eugene. L.A. had a vision of developing a piece of vacant land there into a market area, which would expand to include other commodities to serve the community in both practical and spiritual ways. Although I was unaware at the time, he had some anxiety regarding my possible impact on this work. Later, when asking 21
why, considering he felt that way, he had asked me to travel so far to be involved, he replied, "Just part of the course Lexie, just part of the course." Each time we returned by bus from Eugene there remained seven steep miles to trek before reaching our camp. This wasn't a problem as those travelling to the mountain by car were usually willing to pick up hitchhikers. Only once did we experience any difficulty. Having missed our usual bus we didn't reach the mountain stop until dusk, when all cars were returning to Eugene. Eventually, picking up our heavy load of groceries, we commenced the long walk. We had covered two painful miles when a tightly packed car stopped beside us, the young driver carefully explaining it was impossible for him to leave us there, as having once been forced to walk the whole distance he'd vowed never again to pass a hitchhiker on that road. Everyone was required to move even closer together to accommodate our groceries and us. I sat on L.A.'s knee, a bag of vegetables sat on mine. We realized how lucky we were when at the next pick up two men and their luggage took the last available space - the car bonnet. The now dangerously overloaded vehicle continued slowly along the curving road, hugging closely to the cliff face. There was a steep drop to the valley on the other side. The driver crouched well over the steering wheel in order to see past the bodies obstructing his vision, while also depending on them to give warning of any unexpected danger ahead. 22
L.A.'s and my eyes met, sensing each other's nervousness, but agreeing without the need for words, to stay in the car. We were too cold, too old and too weary to walk any longer, but the relief on alighting near our camp was palpable. With the aid of L.A.'s torch we found our way back along the track to the tents. As always I was pleasantly surprised to find our belongings still there. L.A. never expected it to be otherwise. The wild green beauty of Oregon captivates me. Tall mountains covered with fir trees (Christmas tree country, L.A. calls it), crystal clear rivers and deep lakes. At one place on Cougar Mountain, a steaming mineral spring gushes from deep within the earth to form pools as it continues to flow down the mountainside. The water adjacent to the outlet is very hot and although some bathers immerse their bodies for long periods, most need frequent breaks from the high temperature. We would sit on the smooth rocks to cool off. Failure to do so could leave me feeling faint. Before long I chose to use the cooler pool one drop below. Further down, small children splashed happily in tepid bubbles. Most bathers enter the springs naked while one man and his large family always stayed fully clothed. Many holidaymakers come to the forest. Also dwelling there in tents, old vans, or less comfortable accommodation, are some of America's homeless, existing only on food stamps. A few make jewellery, which they display for sale on fallen logs. These take only seconds to disappear if word is passed that Ranger Dan has been sighted in the vicinity. 23
Our camp was an expression of L.A. ingenuity. Delicious meals appeared without fail from his camping stove. He enjoys cooking and the only time I ever saw him nervous was if he suspected I was showing an interest in preparing a meal. Maybe it was selfpreservation, but he needn't have worried. During the time we lived together in Australia, he took complete charge of all food preparation, even producing a gourmet Thanksgiving Dinner for my family and friends. It left me in awe. I have no illusions regarding my culinary skills, and on the mountain I'd sit back and watch fascinated. He'd open a tin here, or a packet there, throw in a mixture of herbs, add beans or potatoes, "and anything else that needs using up Lexie," before serving me a meal fit for a queen. I was allowed to make coffee (he never drinks it), but rarely his hot chocolate. Just the right amount of milk, four times as much chocolate as anyone else requires, four teaspoons of sugar, and he would sit gazing into the open fire, glowing with contentment as he sipped. L.A. has a passion for potatoes, and I could be sure that our packed sandwiches would always consist of thick cold potato slices, mayonnaise, hard-boiled egg, and cheese. I even grew to enjoy the combination. Once when shopping in Eugene, I gave these sandwiches to a hungry man and his small daughter. "All of them!" said L.A. in complete disbelief. He is a big man, and he loves his food. For our shower, a large plastic container hung from the convenient branch of a nearby tree, and water was quickly heated on 24
L.A.'s trusty stove. A real toilet seat, sitting proudly amongst the rocks, was a legacy from a hundred or so 'rainbow people' who, appearing from nowhere one weekend, connected a hose to a high spring to bring running water closer to their tents. They invited all in sight to a barbecue, distributed earplugs to nearby campers, danced, sang, played bongo drums and smoked pot. After planting a tree in memory of their visit, they left as quickly as they came. L.A. took on the responsibility of nurturing the tree. Chipmunks, a novelty to an Australian, kept me entertained as they scampered back and forth across the forest floor. As they grew bolder and would steal our food, I heeded L.A.'s warnings not to feed them. A large bush rat had once chewed right through his tent. The ensuing battle was won by L.A, but his beloved tent was damaged. After that incident he was careful to keep all likely attractions well sealed. "Always cover the 'smellables'," he would say. David, our closest neighbour, spent his days creating exquisite jewellery, or moving quietly through the forest clearing campsites of trash left by the less responsible. He loved the mountain and felt its soul. The mountain in return rewarded him. There would be a cooking pot, found just as his old one finally lost its handle, or a pair of shoes peeping our from under a small bush. "And just my size too, Lexie!" One morning as I handed him a cup of coffee, he sighed and said, "I'd just love to have a coffee pot." He returned that evening, holding the one he'd found. There was some
disappointment on observing an essential piece was missing, then laughter when I said, "But you didn't ask for it to be working." 25
Occasionally he'd bring these treasures to show us so we could share his pleasure, and often stayed to partake of a meal. L.A. always had a little extra in the pot for anyone who dropped by. The other provider in the forest is the dumpster; those arriving or leaving know of its importance to the homeless. Frequently, blankets, cooking pots and even food, appeared in, on, or beside it. These offerings were gleefully sorted through by the forest dwellers with only individually needed items taken. It intrigued me. Sometimes when I passed that way I would lift the lid to peer inside. L.A. was amused the day I arrived back at camp carrying a small mat, which I placed outside my tent. "Been to the dumpster, eh? You'll be a dumpster diver yet." Our camp was apart from others but sometimes we'd walk through the area known locally as 'Hippy Hollow', where children ran back and forth between old buses painted in rainbow colours reminiscent of the sixties. I came to ignore the occasional gunshot coming from that direction in the middle of the night, and slept soundly on my thin camping roll. For a time a father and his eighteen-year-old daughter camped to the right of us. Each morning they left their tent, carrying all their belongings in large plastic bags. Returning in the evening, the girl would sit gazing at the river. She looked sad. I would sometimes sit quietly beside her. Although rarely conversing she was pleased to spend time with me, until her father came in sight, when she would melt into the shadow of the trees. David befriended them and 26
anything he found he felt could be useful would be placed outside their little tent. One day they left and didn't return, leaving a book by David's campfire. Looking at the title he realised they thought he needed help. As he read 'How to Change Your Identity in the U.S.A.' he smiled and said, "I do know they are wanted by the police in Texas." I wondered then if the fact she'd told me, two days earlier, it was Texas they'd come from, had any connection with their departure. I imagine one could become quite paranoid under those circumstances. A handsome Norwegian man, and his four-year-old daughter, both illegal immigrants, also sometimes shared our meal and fire. Fear of detection made his life tense. He was often depressed. Driven by anxiety, he could change campsites daily. Many of those dwelling in the forest knew of his situation and there would be quick warnings if Ranger Dan was seen going his way. I met John on a mountain trail. He had been a wanderer for seventeen years and found the life acceptable, but when he was loath for me to move on, holding tightly to both my hands, I realized few women live alone on mountains. Where are the unemployed women? Are they too expected to exist solely on food stamps? Do church and charities help? Are they forced to co-habit, merely for protection? I didn't ask, but wonder now as I write, what has become of these prisoners of the forest? Some, it is true, enjoy freedom from work and settle happily into life as nomads, migrating South when winter 27
winds, snow and rain, turn paradise to misery. Without a permanent address and presentable clothing, those wishing to change their situation would find it nigh impossible to compete in work queues. Are they forced to live that life forever? A month passed quickly. With L.A. supervising my fitness program, I carried my heavy backpack across hills in preparation for the harder trek ahead. The reward was a long soak in the hot springs; while I hoped against hope we'd be offered a lift back to camp. This rarely happened but the refreshing break made the returning two and a half mile walk easier. L.A. indulged my love of open fires and could gather wood when I was unable to find another stick. "Just noticed some pieces up the track as we passed by last week," or "I threw a few logs behind those rocks for needy times." Actually it was my enthusiasm for fire that made the 19th September our starting day for Mexico. Ranger Dan, the deliverer of messages, saw the glow of our open fire from the opposite side of the river. He stepped from the darkness to inform us we were in a limited stay area. It was time to go. With a mixture of sadness and gladness, we packed up the camp on Cougar Mountain. Many trips to the dumpster, our last shower under the tree, and leaving the best cooking pot hidden beneath rocks for possible use next year, we helped each other on with our heavy packs. One long look back at that place of warm memories and we started along the track. I had never carried such a heavy load and was quite sure I'd not make ten steps, let alone to the bottom of Mexico! 28
Again I felt glad I'd resisted L.A.'s many requests to carry part of his tent. We'd discarded mine. As I pointed out to him (the stakes were high!),"I am much smaller and thirteen years older!" I think the 'older' finally settled the issue. "You haven't tried that one before," he said, and let it be. Our plan to have one last soak in the hot springs was abandoned when the first lift came and we were on our way. The driver said, "Hello, I'm an Aquarian." When L.A. answered, "So am I," we were taken home to meet his family before being allowed to continue our journey. Soon neighbours joined us carrying jugs of homemade beer. Knowing this was not our party time we thanked him and moved to the road, continuing to Eugene with a traveller from Boston. Our money, as always, was limited but with rain threatening we found an inexpensive hotel where we stayed the night. Next morning, well rested and eager to start, we were ready for the road. After a short bus ride and only one lift, the end of the day found us at least fifteen miles from the coast. Looking to the still overcast sky, we decided to stay at a small camping ground L.A. had noticed nearby. The thought of standing beside the road in the rain was not enticing, while our small tent was watertight and cosy. Erecting it where we had good views of the river, we watched fishermen come ashore carrying huge catches of salmon. After heating food carried from Eugene, L.A. lit a candle for atmosphere before we dropped into a sound sleep. Forced by the weather to stay 29
a further two days, we studied our maps and managed between showers to visit the close-by village for supplies. The third day the sun broke through. Our spirits soared and we were soon standing by the roadside hoping someone would take pity on two shivering backpackers needing a lift to the coast road. Car after car passed with scarcely a glance in our direction. Then, along came Brad. Driving a two-door Mazda, he too passed by but then turned back. "Just felt I had to pick you up." I looked with disbelief at the size of his car, at the size of L.A., and the size of our packs. "You'll fit. I know." We did. With L.A. very comfortably installed in the front seat, the only place left for me was the luggage compartment. I travelled jammed tightly between two huge backpacks that seemed to have grown even larger as I looked at them. To reach this ridiculous position meant wriggling backwards wormlike from the front seat. It was necessary for L.A. to hold my legs where they intruded into the front area, to avoid me inadvertently knocking the gear stick. Every so often he would give them a reassuring pat. This translated to me as 'I know you are not very comfortable and I'm sorry. It's just that we must get a little further today. I'd be there if I could but I am just too big'. I knew he was too big, but thought resentfully, I know just how long you would travel like this. I tried to move into a better position. That being impossible, I wriggled my legs frequently to remind him of my plight, and hopefully make him a little less comfortable too. Brad was also travelling to Mexico, to meet 'my 30
girl', making frequent stops as he attempted to telephone her regarding their planned holiday. Returning with downcast face from one of these calls he announced she had gone ahead with other plans. Disappointed but dauntless, and now with unplanned holiday time on his hands, he was eager for the three of us to travel together through Mexico. But we knew this trip was for us alone. It didn't include Brad. Besides, another nightmarish ride as luggage was more than I could contemplate. That night we erected our tent close to Brad's on a deserted beach and shared a farewell barbecue and bottle of wine. Next morning, as he turned back to Oregon, he waved, saying, "Write to me from Mexico. I'll come to wherever you are and bring a bigger car." Many times over the next two days, as we shivered in wind, rain, and fog waiting for lifts that didn't come, we wondered if we'd made the right decision. As day turned to night L.A. took his usual reconnoitre to find a safe, and in this case, dry place for us to sleep. He was absent only a short time. "I've found a great place. We won't even have to put up the tent. It's under a tree with thick overhanging branches and it's really dry." I followed gratefully, but hesitated when walking ahead of me he turned towards the local cemetery gates. "Not afraid of the dead are you?" he laughed, and kept walking. Not so sure that I wasn't, I huddled close to him. There wasn't room for a single spirit to fit between us that night! Dry, fallen leaves formed a soft and 31
fragrant mattress and we slept almost as soundly as our closest neighbours. Early the next morning, with the sky still overcast and wind blowing coldly from the North, L.A. bought me coffee from a nearby service station. I barely had time to finish my cup before we were offered a ride to Los Angeles. Settling ourselves comfortably on the red carpet that covered the enclosed area at the back of the van, we smiled broadly at each other. A drive through the wonderful Redwood Forest, a meal at a roadside cafe, a stretch by a lake, and we had reached the outskirts of the city. It seemed to take little time, but night was again approaching. This certainly wasn't a likely place to thumb a ride and we decided the bus about to leave for San Diego was too tempting to miss. "Besides," said L.A., "where could we put up our tent? I'd do it alone but your children expect me to look after their mamma." I certainly was not going to argue in favour of sleeping on the streets of Los Angeles. We agreed to compensate for this extravagance by eating only 'Trail Mix' for the next two days. 'Trail Mix', a healthy (and heavy) mixture of grains, dried fruits, and nuts, is, I am told, carried by every American hiker as the number one essential item. L.A., being no different, insisted we carry many packets. At San Diego we walked across the U.S.A border into Mexico before realising we had bypassed Mexican Customs. I voiced my concern to L.A. "Too late Lex, we've come too far now to go back." The heat, coupled with the ache from my heavy pack, had me in 32
agreement, so I crossed the border without picking up a tourist card on the Mexican side. I was to remember this at a later date. Our plan was to travel well down the Baja California Peninsular before crossing by ferry to the mainland of Mexico, and with this in mind we caught a bus to Rosarito, a small coastal town close to the U.S.A. border, catering mainly for American tourists. A huge luxury hotel overlooks the main beach. We put up our tent on the sand (as allowed in Mexico), close enough to the hotel to use their beach shower but far enough away for it not to be too obvious. As we settled down to cook our evening meal, we watched hotel guests taking horse rides along the water's edge. We felt sorry for the thin, undernourished animals. However, the beach was soon deserted. Sitting outside our tent contentedly drinking hot chocolate, we relaxed as the setting sun threw colour across the sky. In Sydney the sun sets over land and I enjoyed the difference. Our sleep that night was first interrupted by the local police. I didn't need to ask why they had come, but I was interested in knowing the reply L.A. had given in Spanish. "I said we were sleeping of course." The next disturbance was from hotel security. To their one question, "Are you staying at the hotel?" he answered a definite "Yes," with an aside to me, "It seems the only way we'll get any sleep around here." The remainder of the night was uneventful. Regardless of our interrupted rest, we were on the road by 7.a.m. and it wasn't long before a group of young Americans greeted us. "Come in our car. We've plenty of room." This sounded great until reality dawned, and it became clear they had neither petrol nor 33
money and were depending on us to finance their trip. It was on with our backpacks, and friendliness turned to abuse as we walked away. A Mexican electrician stopped to offer us a ride and talking and laughing with L.A. he took us through to Ensenada. Becoming bored when I couldn't understand the language, I‟d decided to snooze and woke to find we'd stopped outside a motel. Some time earlier the electrician had worked for the owner, and he was now quietly demanding payment of the long overdue debt in the form of overnight accommodation for us. Before leaving he inspected all unoccupied rooms to ensure we were given the best. Joy! Joy! A hot shower and a real bed. We were ecstatic. It was exactly a week since we'd left the forest and we decided to celebrate with a corona and a Mexican meal. Drawn by the smell of cooking meat, I, against L.A.'s advice, ate pork at a roadside cafe. Thankful for the bathroom that night, I joined him in becoming a vegetarian for the remainder of our time in Mexico. Our spirits were high the next day when a cheerful Mexican, driving a very noisy car, enthusiastically piled us and our packs into his old vehicle. A few miles down the road a loud explosion burst from under the hood of the car, and midst clouds of billowing smoke, we came to an abrupt halt. Our friend was very apologetic as we moved on. The fact we had to walk appeared more distressing to him than the knowledge he could no longer drive. The next one hundred miles was with a stern faced man who appeared to regret his offer of a lift, glancing nervously in our direction but said n'er a word. The road now led away from the 34
coast to pass through small isolated villages and we were grateful when the following driver stopped where he assured us it would be safe to stay the night, in the grounds of a small roadside motel. The manager looked at us suspiciously and we could see he was not pleased with this intrusion. Our benefactor apparently had some authority, and with night approaching, a bucket of cold water to wash off the dust of the day and a clean safe place to pitch was all that interested us. In consideration for the manager's feelings we crossed to the farthest corner of his ground and made ourselves as unobtrusive as possible. There was a strong wind blowing and it took some effort to anchor our tent before we walked further along the dirt road to a small restaurant to eat our evening meal. Three hundred miles down the Baja the lifts became few and far between. Many young men drove past before one took great care to make us comfortable in his car, only to stop half a mile down the road where he explained politely that this was as far as he was going. He then turned back towards the town. We soon realised every car was doing the same, driving back and forth along the main drag. Another stopped to speak with us and L.A. asked a few questions. "We don't go anywhere," we were told. "We're just looking at the girls." Americans travelling to popular tourist areas further south rarely glanced in our direction. If they did, we saw only a look of incredulity before the car accelerated. "Americans!" said L.A., in disgust. "From now on I'm going to say I'm Australian too." The next day was hot and dusty. No one showed the slightest interest in 35
two weary hitchhikers. Fast losing hope of further lifts we realised it would have been wiser to have stayed on the mainland. A bus to the ferry passed by, but we did not have enough money for the fare, and the closest bank was miles away. Trail Mix became our only food. I'd continually complained about carrying this extra weight but L.A. only smiled as I eagerly opened yet another packet. I smiled back. Having travelled only three hundred miles in three days, we decided we must return to the border and restart our journey, planning this time to stay on the mainland in the expectation of obtaining more lifts. Decision made, we merely crossed the road and put up our thumbs to travel in the opposite direction. "It's hard to turn back," sighed L.A., "but it seems we are on a road to nowhere. If our children don't hear from us Lex, it means we are lost in the 'badlands'." Within minutes an American taxi driver, returning from a surfing weekend to his home in San Diego, came to a halt beside us. "Haven't seen a hitch-hiker for years on this road. Certainly none your age. Get in." Driving with the skill of a racing car driver and pausing only to push long black hair up under his cap, "Helps with Mexican officialdom," he had us back in the border town of Tijuana just before dark. "Now you guys take real care. I know. I live here," he said as he deposited us in the poorest part of town. "Be careful." Looking around, realising how conspicuous we were in that area, I, for the first time since our journey began, felt a real uneasiness. I glanced at L.A., but if he had any concerns it didn't show. That was reassuring. "Well come on," he said in a matter of fact tone. I picked 36
up my pack and followed, ignoring teenage girls who giggled as we passed. Others stared. It was obvious even backpackers rarely ventured there. We'd walked only a short distance before L.A. stepped from the footpath into a school ground, and slipped off his pack. "Well, what do you think? This should do." I stared in disbelief. We were only a few yards from the pavement, not much further from a busy intersection and in full view of both pedestrians and passing traffic. What did I think? I thought he was crazy. "In a risky area Lexie," he explained patiently, "it's safer to be completely obvious in a busy place than attempt to hide in a secluded one. The only people likely to bother us here are the police, and seeing it's getting late, even that shouldn't be a problem." So once more it was up with the tent, mugs of hot chocolate and welcome sleep. I stirred twice during the night to see L.A. checking all was well outside. I hadn't heard a thing. Can he sleep with one eye open I wondered drowsily as I rolled over. In the morning we woke to find the students already arriving and our tent fast becoming a centre of interest. Packing quickly, without making breakfast, we moved to the road. Now the lifts came fast. L.A. made sure I stood close beside him when 'thumbing' as we had been told Mexican men find it difficult not to assist a woman. Certainly, if I stood alone, backpack close-by, there was no need to put up my thumb for a car to stop. I wasn't sure, not understanding the language, if it was only a lift I was being offered. However, when I'd ask, pointing to L.A. "Can my friend come too?" there was never a refusal and he was given an equally warm welcome. 37
At the beginning of our new route a Mexican businessman picked us up and insisted we join him for breakfast as his guests. In a small cafe where he is obviously well known, we ate our first real meal for a long time. The joy of not having to eat Trail Mix! Speaking English, he asked direct questions and in return gave straight answers to mine. When discussing extra marital liaisons in Mexico he explained that, in his opinion, Mexican men mainly have affairs to gain respect from other males. On the other hand, he felt if wives were to be unfaithful the greater condemnation would come from other women. He had no respect for those he met for regular sex, but did have regard for his wife, so was always discreet. This, he hastened to add, was not the way of all Mexican men. "The women here have no option but to accept their lives but I'm glad I wasn't born female in Mexico."…. So am I! A proud grandfather became our next helper. Showing photographs of smiling black-eyed babies, he invited us to join him in the air-conditioned cabin of a huge gasoline transfer truck he drives regularly across the Sonora Desert. We passed tall cacti and dry salt basins. Huge expanses of shining white sand stretched for miles around us and mountains, looking like giant cardboard cutouts, loomed high on distant horizons. This haunting beauty soon had me up from my comfortable but viewless position in the sleeping compartment. I sat on L.A.'s knee, the discomfort for both of us overcome by wonderment at the strange beauty of this silent and empty terrain. Our drive was memorable, but the distance long, so we were relieved to reach our drop off point. As we thanked our 38
driver he asked if we would keep him company for another fortyfive minutes while he delivered the gasoline. Feeling some obligation after his kindness, we agreed. However it was four hours later, and three o'clock in the morning when he returned two exhausted travellers to the town zocalo. We camped right there beside a garden in bloom and woke to the smell of roses, knowing a shower to be our first priority. L.A., always to be depended upon, located one at the back of a barbershop. The area was far from clean but the water was running, so wearing thongs, we revelled under a thin stream of cold water, gladly paying the outrageous price of four American dollars. With hair washed and coffee freshly brewed, the world looked great, until lack of sleep, combined with the extreme heat of the day, made standing by a dusty road almost unbearable. The thought of cool shade and green grass back at the park was too much for me; "Can we go back and rest for just a little while," I almost pleaded. "Sure," L.A. acquiesced. On the way we passed the bus station just as a second-class bus was leaving for Guamas and made a quick decision to pay $19 U.S. each to travel the eight-hour journey. After all, there was still some remaining Trail Mix. The seats were hard and the road rough, but compared to standing in the heat it was sheer bliss. At Guamas, we felt a sense of achievement. This was the point we'd have reached if continuing along the Baja and crossing by ferry. A family, sitting for coolness on the footpath outside their home, directed us to where (if we hurried) we'd catch the last bus to 39
the beach. Twenty minutes later we put up our tent by moonlight on the long stretch of white sand which curves around the bay of San Carlos. A quick dip in the surf to cool off, and with a breeze blowing softly through the open flap of our tent, we were soon fast asleep. When I woke in the morning I thought I was in Paradise. Mystic mountains to the left, and in front of us the gentle waters of the bay washed to shore over smooth pebbles. High on a hill, to the right, tall rocks stood sentinel over a small town. We were the only campers though further along the beach a Mexican had set up a tiny restaurant. He fished at night and we met when I tripped and became entangled in his line. (If there is an obstacle anywhere I can be depended upon to collide with it. My children have the same problem and we have dealt with it over the years by responding with peals of laughter each time one of us trips, drops something, or breaks yet another item. It's just the way we are. L.A. never understood this about me and was always saying, "Be careful," in the hope of saving me from bruises or pain. It intrigued him how really hard bumps could pass completely ignored by me and I rarely bruised.) There was much merriment as I was untangled, and we were invited to lunch at the restaurant the following day to partake of the large fish already caught. I love the warmth, friendliness, and easy laughter of these people. Mexican hospitality continued as our lone tent attracted attention. Someone, always a male, would move from his family picnic to offer us a cold beer, stay awhile to talk with 40
L.A., make friendly gestures towards me and return laughing to his group. It was the early mornings, when the beach was completely empty, we enjoyed the most. L.A. would sit naked outside our tent as we ate breakfast of muesli, bananas and yoghurt - one bowl, two spoons, while watching seagulls dive through waves to catch small fish. There the ocean washes over masses of small multi-coloured stones, the ebb and flow of the tides having caressed and polished them for hundreds of years, until no rough edges remain. We'd pick up handful after handful, each one as beautiful as the last, then carefully choosing our favourites, would give them to each other. Once I found an exquisitely shaped piece of glass, edges rounded to smoothness by the sea. L.A. placed it in his pocket. I like to think that one day he will wear it on a leather cord around his neck. When winds grew gusty we searched the beach for more secure anchorage. Driftwood and old rusty bars held firmly in place by rope soon had our small abode secure. I watched L.A. in admiration. Where did he learn these things? I couldn't understand why the rope must have just this much tension, and the pole lean just so many degrees 'that way'. It never looked right to me, but it always worked. The night of the full moon was special, until a party of young revellers arrived on the beach. Although, as always, despite the loud beat of drums, I slept soundly, L.A. was restless. Next morning there was no mistaking where the party had been. As is ever the Mexican way, no one picked up the trash. The whole country is dotted with discarded bottles, paper, plastic, cardboard 41
boxes and old machinery. Anything of no further use or value is simply left where it was last used. Once, in a small village, we saw a car which long ago had stopped in the middle of the road, and apparently with no one responsible for its removal, there it stayed. To accommodate the ongoing traffic the road simply broadened at that point and cars continued on their way by moving to either side of the now rusty chassis. The bay held a hidden trial for me, although it never once troubled L.A. I could emerge from the sea covered in tiny bites, which would later become very itchy. I'd vow, each time this occurred, never to enter the water again, but the heat would drive me to gamble just once more, inevitably with the same result. On the third day, in need of food supplies, we hitched a ride up the hill to San Carlos. To our great disappointment we found, not the expected Mexican village, but enormous American holiday homes. Quickly returning to camp we accepted the invitation of our newfound fisherman friend to join him at his little restaurant for clams and coronas. After lingering one more day it was time to leave San Carlos beach; place of gusty winds, colourful pebbles, misty mountains and glorious sunsets. Three times on and off buses before Tony, an American, and his beautiful Mexican wife, Regina, picked us up. Returning from visiting Tony's parents in the U.S.A., they were travelling home to Puerta Vallarta. Although the metal floor of their open utility truck was already hot from the burning sun, the thought of just one lift taking us all that distance made it very inviting. "It takes fifteen 42
hours to travel there," said Tony. "We'll stay overnight at a little hotel I know." The road was rough and the heat difficult to endure, but we kept encouraging each other. Eight hours later, arriving at the hotel, it took only a glance for us to know we could afford to pay for a hot shower but not a hotel room. The bathroom allocated for our use had not been cleaned after the last guests. We complained to each other, but being very dirty, very hot and very tired, we decided, in the final analysis, a shower is a shower, so we paid the unreasonable price asked, and refreshed, set out to find a suitable place to erect our tent. People milling around a busy night market looked on. We picked the best site available. It wasn't good. "Looks like a rubbish dump" grumbled L.A. However, as we pitched, we felt warmed by the knowledge that Tony and Regina had offered to take us the remaining distance to Puerta Vallarta. L.A., having some concern for our safety, spoke to a nearby store holder. He assured us the market would continue all night, and he'd keep an eye on our tent for unwelcome visitors. We slept soundly, awaking in the morning to find the whole area completely deserted. Every stall was gone. "That's Mexico for you," said L.A. without surprise. Feeling vague rumblings in my stomach I hoped it wasn't heralding the diarrhoea L.A. had been dealing with over the past few days. It was an added difficulty to cope with and he was taking far too many Lomotil tablets, than I, as a nurse, thought advisable. "No choice," he said. "I am beginning to space out a bit, but we 43
have to get on that truck today Lex, so you'd better take some too." I did, and continued the journey without a problem. I remember when travelling with Kath, the dreaded 'Mexican Belly' struck me. We were on a bus. "I guess you could always ask the driver to stop and go behind a tree," had been Kath's sensible suggestion. Looking at the treeless terrain through which we were moving, it had only made me more desperate. Finally reaching a village, I ran to the restrooms to join a queue, eventually entering a large room. In the very middle of the area was not one, but two toilets side by side, placed only inches apart. As a well-dressed Mexican woman already occupied one, I took the other. No time for cultural differences I had thought, as I put my head in my hands. It was less embarrassing than meeting eye to eye. The woman did what she had to do, and then stood quietly behind me, patting my back and murmuring soothing sounds. Under the circumstances I had found it quite comforting. It wasn't until I raised my head to smile weakly, that she, giving me one last pat, left. At 4.45am L.A. and I threw our packs onto the back of Tony's truck and climbed up after them. There hadn't been time even for coffee, and we had six hours of physical discomfort ahead of us. Time dragged slowly and it was noon when we reached Puerta Vallarta. Driving straight through the modern part of the city we crossed a small bridge, and with the sea to our right found ourselves in the old section of town. Many large and expensive hotels had invaded the area, but the cobblestone streets and the zocalo with its shady trees and cooling fountains were still there. High cliffs 44
overlooked a small beach where holiday makers could be seen sheltering from the sun under thatched palm-leaf umbrellas. Tony stopped the truck outside an old and charming guesthouse set like a precious gem amidst the surrounding huge structures. "This is our place," he said, and added, "I don't know if you want to, but you are welcome to stay as our guests if you like." Would we like! "You have saved my life," said L.A., and turned to me when I laughed. "I really mean that Lexie." L.A. was referring to a congenital heart defect, which could cause his heart to palpitate and slip into a fast irregular beat. He'd learnt to control his breathing in a way that would usually return it almost immediately to correct rhythm, but during those few days we had been under severe physical stress and the response had not always come. He never complained, and I, dealing with my own weariness, had failed to appreciate how much harder (at that point) the journey was for him. The guesthouse is called "Casa Corazon" (House of Hearts). Time has passed it by. The heart emblem is to be found everywhere; carved into the stones of the old, old paths; in the brickwork of the buildings; and marked out in pebbles on the huge shady balconies, which look out to sea. Crisp white sheets, comfortable beds, and the breeze blowing off the ocean brought joy to two far from well travellers. We showered and rested before walking down the cliff steps to a little restaurant on the beach. There we ate hamburgers (cheapest item on the menu) and ordered a beer, a rare treat. I again felt confident regarding our journey and remembered the words L.A. had spoken to me in an Oregon forest. "Don't worry 45
Lexie. It may be hard but we won't be harmed. Help will always be there for us when we really need it." I thought. It does work. Help will always come. There is no need to worry. We walked back up the worn stone steps, and dropped onto our beds to sleep the remainder of the day and well into the night. The strain of the journey was still there the next day, and when tension developed between us, we decided to accept Tony's generous offer to stay another night before putting ourselves on the road again. Following L.A. in a country where I didn't understand the language and culture, and he did, left me sometimes feeling quite inadequate and dependent upon him, like a child. When thoughtlessly I voiced these feelings, his patience and gentle manner were sorely tested. He spoke firmly, "Look Lexie, this is entirely your trip and I certainly don't want to be your daddy. I'm here as your guide. When we reach Zipolite Beach you can explore alone. It is my responsibility to get you there safely." I didn't understand then what he meant about it being my trip and he being my guide, but when he put his arms around me I realised not once during our difficult journey had he made an important decision without asking for my opinion and agreement. Sometimes I don't like myself. Walking across cobblestones to explore the old town we bought fresh bread rolls, yoghurt and bananas for our evening meal. L.A. checked timetables, planning to take an early bus to the edge of town to position us well on the road. At 5.00am we said a quiet goodbye to the 'House of Hearts' and walked through the almost deserted streets. We felt grateful to Tony and Regina, for their 46
giving and for providing us with the opportunity to meet two people with hearts as big as those that decorate their guesthouse. "Call when you come back," they said. We didn't pass that way again but perhaps one day we shall. Now well, and with tensions between us dissipated, we were eager to move on. There was no problem getting our first ride. It did however come as a surprise, when at the top of a high hill, surrounded by dense jungle, we were informed it was time to leave the car. We watched it disappear down a narrow track leading into deep greenery. We looked at each other. "We've been dropped in the middle of 'nowhere'," said L.A. in amazement. We settled ourselves comfortably on our backpacks in preparation for a long wait. Then, with a screeching of brakes, came a car travelling very fast in our direction. We ran. The vehicle stopped within inches of our packs. Midst much laughter and joking from the occupants, we were installed in the front seat. Those in the back squashed closer together to allow the middle-aged man, who had vacated his seat for us, to be pulled and pushed until he, too, fitted inside the rear area. The young learner-driver started the engine, with loud directions on how to drive simultaneously shouted in good humour by a collection of uncles, brothers and cousins, who had now literally all become 'back-seat drivers'. We zigzagged back and forth across the highway, L.A. and I holding tightly to the door, and to each other. Thankfully it wasn't long before a service station came into view and L.A. asked politely to be put out. No consultation needed this time! 47
Leaning from windows, they waved, called jovial goodbyes, and all still shouting directions to the daring young man behind the wheel, the car jerked away. Before long a friendly man and his teenage son, stopping for petrol, invited us to travel in the enclosed back area of their bakery delivery van. Small cakes stacked on trays beside us made L.A.'s eyes light up. They were 'returns', unsold from an earlier delivery. Half an hour further on, our driver made a right turn towards the coast, saying, "I have to go just a little way in here, but I'll be continuing to Manzanilla in five hours. If you are prepared to spend time at the beach you're welcome to travel on with us." The beach being more tempting than the roadside, we gladly accepted the offer. Purchasing a bag of cakes, we settled ourselves comfortably under a broken coconut leaf shelter. We'd barely had time for a swim before the young man from the van ran back along the beach. "We're leaving earlier than planned. Can you come now?" We followed, to find a smiling wife, young daughter and a second son already seated in the van, all willing to accept less travelling comfort to extend this invitation to us. The road was bumpy, the day hot and very little breeze entered the back area we now shared with the two teenage sons. I was looking forward to camping on the beach, but as we neared Manzanilla storm clouds were gathering and a strong wind blew. "You'll be carried away," said Maria Antonia Vargus, who couldn't comprehend how anyone could sleep in a tent at any time, let alone on an open beach. "Impossible!" she said. A quick conversation 48
between husband and wife resulted in an invitation to stay the night at their house. Fish, caught earlier in the day by Maria, were scaled, cleaned and prepared for cooking at the stone tub and water pump, which stood outside the kitchen door. I indicated my willingness to help but Maria smiled and shook her head. I stayed to watch, feeling it would be improper for me to join the men. A salad of finely chopped tomatoes, chilli and fresh herbs added to the fried fish made a delicious meal. As is the custom, L.A. and I, as guests, were served at the same time as Maria's husband. She and the children ate after us. Interaction between family members was warm, and it was obvious there was love in that home. When the boys appeared wearing colourful shirts and perfectly pressed trousers I realised it was Sunday. They were preparing to attend church. Earlier, through the kitchen window, I'd glimpsed them bathing in the half-dark of the courtyard. Bodies were well soaped as they stood beside the cement trough. A metal jug of clean water sufficed to rinse off. After dinner we were taken to a house a few doors down the street to meet our host's employer. We were also given the use of his indoor shower. Later, as the men talked, Maria, her young daughter Gabriela, and I, tried, with the aid of my English-Mexican dictionary, to do the same. There was much laughter and waving of hands as we attempted to communicate. We met as women, and different as we are in both background and experience, we knew a joining, a warmth to each other, but how I ached to really speak with this 49
woman; to exchange views on what it is like to be female in our different countries. L.A. had already explained it isn't the Mexican way, but how I would have loved to try. I secretly suspect it may be different between women. I have a strong faith in sisterhood. After Maria's husband left to attend to business at the bakery, Maria spoke at length, with L.A. translating, so I could be included in the conversation. She had not been so verbal when her husband was present. We were told of the religious revival meetings she was currently attending at her local Catholic Church. "I don't know if they are good or bad for me," she confided. "It sometimes frightens me and I become very emotional." Turning to look with pride at her fourteen-year-old son she added, "It's alright for him. He is strong. I am not." The son's shoulders straightened as he gazed adoringly at her, and I began to glimpse what it is like to be a mother in Mexico. It will be very hard, I thought, for another woman to take her place in his heart. Conditioning starts at a young age and family bonds grow firm as sons learn to regard themselves as stronger, emotionally as well as physically. Woman's power depends on perpetuating the myth that she is the weaker sex. It will be a long time before feminism arrives in Mexico, but maybe all Mexican women are not unhappy with their lot. Maria went on to speak of her inability to sleep at night for fear of intrusion from both the physical and spiritual worlds. The astral plane looms strong in Central America. 50
It was indicated the main bedroom would be ours for the night, but a quick glance around the small family home made it obvious someone would be sleeping less comfortably. I thought maybe the children were to be accommodated by a neighbour. I'd noticed interested eyes watching when we arrived. After consulting with me, LA. managed, without offending, to convince our hosts that with storm clouds now passed it would be comfortable for us if we could put up our 'companion' in their courtyard. This became a great event. Candles were brought from the house, and midst much interest from family and neighbours, we erected the tent. I slept well but L.A. said, "I battled a few spooks!" Next morning we were served cinnamon tea, accompanied by fresh bread rolls from the bakery, before being escorted by the family to the bus stop. We actually took a passing taxi when the driver stopped to assure us he knew "just the right place" to get a lift. He was right. We had barely enough time by the roadside to clean our teeth and for L.A. to shave, before a utility van pulled up beside us. A confident and outspoken woman, followed by a quieter husband, bounced from the front cabin to help hoist our packs into the open back of the van. They were on their way to visit his parents. I stared in disbelief at the T-shirt she was wearing. Printed across the front was "I am an alcoholic. I have a problem - one mouth, two hands." I imagine her mother-in-law, as well, cannot read English. (Many second hand clothes from U.S.A. are sold in Central America. The previous year when travelling in Guatemala, 51
I'd seen a very macho-looking man wearing a T-shirt, quite oblivious to the fact he was displaying a feminist slogan.) We had hoped for our next stop to be Acapulco and they were travelling almost the entire distance. The trip would take most of the day, so we undid our bedrolls to make sitting on the burning metal floor more bearable. This section was the hardest. There was no protection from the hot sun as we bounced over rough roads, which continually wound around mountains. L.A.'s weight kept him stable, but I had to hold tightly to both the side of the truck, and to him, to avoid being thrown from side to side each time we took yet another of the many bends. When petrol fumes began to filter through to my side of the vehicle I became nauseous and close to tears. L.A, observing my distress, insisted on changing places with me, saying the fumes would not be a problem to him. I doubted if this was true, but accepted his offer as I really felt I couldn't continue the whole day in such discomfort. Every so often the car would come to a halt and the woman, using sign language, would indicate I was to follow her into the bushes growing beside the road. Each time I was handed a small square of toilet paper, leaving no doubt as to what was required of me. I obliged, even if the need was not there, while wondering if L.A. was being equally well looked after on the other side of the truck. At times a loud banging from the front cabin would attract our attention, before coke and delicious sandwiches of ham, tomato, and chilli were handed to us via a side window. Once more I marvelled 52
at the warmth and generosity of these people, and vowed to study their language before again visiting Mexico. At 7 pm the truck stopped at a crossroad on the outskirts of San Marcos. Our destination lay straight ahead, while they must take the left hand turn. With apprehension I looked at the nearby police compound, suddenly remembering my lack of an entry permit to Mexico. Guards, armed with large guns, started to show an interest in our activities as we checked the area for a level campsite. We had three possibilities in mind when L.A. thought it would be prudent to take the initiative, and left to speak with the now rapidly gathering constabulary intently watching our activities. He returned to say with a grin, "Let's pack it up, we've got a really safe place." Willing hands helped transfer our belongings to the police car park. They apologised. Due to security regulations, we could not be taken within the compound itself but guards would extend their beat that night in order to watch over us. Two buckets of water drawn from the compound well were supplied to wash off the dust of the day's journey. I also rinsed my undies, hanging them on the side of the tent to dry. Next morning they were still a little damp, but with the temperature rapidly rising it wasn't a problem. I put them on. It is only a short ride from San Marcos to Acapulco. I'd heard a lot about this ultra-modern tourist town, said to be the most International in all of Mexico and I hoped to do a little sightseeing. The local bus deposited us, not as expected in the up market tourist area, but at the very busy and very neglected market place. In this 53
part of town the footpaths are poorly maintained and great care is needed to avoid tripping over or stepping into watery holes. Before making the necessary visit to a bank I stopped to locate lipstick and comb. I dreaded these times when perfectly groomed Mexican ladies would turn to stare at my wild curly hair, which now, as a result of sea water and sun, was completely out of control. Eyes would then move down to take in my unironed shirt and shorts. I always took special care to wear the very best of my limited wardrobe at these times but everything now showed the devastating results of frequent washings in seawater. L.A. always watched my efforts with quiet amusement and would offer encouragement. On that day he'd said, "You know, you look surprisingly good considering what we've been through." I'm not sure that really helped! Breakfast was the next pressing need. I was finding Mexican cuisine, outside tourist areas (which cater to western tastes), far from my liking. L.A. could always enjoy eggs and refried black beans, especially if they came accompanied by potatoes. I was beginning to view starvation as preferable to any of them. How I yearned for a fresh salad sandwich on wholemeal bread! Leaving L.A. eating breakfast at a local café, I walked up and down the street in search of something I could eat. Finding just one small banana I returned, to order only coffee. My mood wasn't good, or helped by the sight of L.A. so obviously enjoying his meal as he chatted with the pretty young waitress. On the way to the bus stop we passed an orange juice vendor and the 54
day brightened. As the bus was about to move, L.A. purchased a small bag of juicy apples from a hand reaching up to the window. Life was good again. We had decided to forgo visiting tourist areas but as we wound our way upward, around high hills, I glimpsed magnificent beaches and bays. Leaving the bus at a 'likely' place to catch a lift, I sat under a tree while L.A. made his usual tour of the neighbourhood. He returned carrying ice blocks, took a seat on his pack and we both sucked contentedly while watching cows, dogs and chickens wander back and forth across the road. It wasn't long before we attracted the usual group of young Mexican males, wanting to know where we had come from and where we were going. Most, having travelled no further than nearby villages, were wide-eyed when L.A. attempted to explain the length of our journey. Few recognised the map of Mexico he drew in the dust. All were obsessed with sex and always the main interest was L.A‟s and my relationship. I didn't ask what he told them, but they would look at me and giggle. It didn't need an understanding of Spanish when he spoke of long torturous hours on the back of trucks. He would pull a pained face, rub his buttocks, moan and jump about. It made me laugh too. No lifts were forthcoming that day. With our destination drawing closer we were anxious to keep moving. Deciding to again check bus timetables we found a bus to Escondido due soon and paid $10 US each to book seats for the ten-hour journey. When the bus arrived I didn't think it possible that we, or any of the other waiting 55
passengers, would be able to board this crowded vehicle. It appeared to me every seat was already occupied by boxes, fruit, vegetables, baskets, rolls of wire, firewood, live chickens, people and babies. The experienced officials who had already sold the tickets knew otherwise. They were hustling everyone forward. I started to move too, feeling it essential that we be towards the front of the queue. L.A. held tightly to my arm, he knew how the system worked. All who pay get on the bus. "It is better," he explained, "to stand on the entrance steps than be squashed in the aisle without fresh air or anything to stabilise you." He was right. Entering last also gave us the advantage of being able to see out the front window. Each time a passenger left the bus it was necessary for us to step out first. This was a frequent happening as there are no allocated stops. Each passenger individually picks the most convenient place to alight, then calls loudly to the driver to alert him of his intention. Other passengers join in to ensure he gets the message. Many hands assist with the passing out of belongings. In Central America I have seen live chickens, bunches of bananas, even babies, disembark via a bus window. Since that time, I have travelled on some of Mexico's ultra- modern and very comfortable buses, but riding the 'chicken buses' of Mexico is an experience not to be missed by the adventurous. I have been fed freshly picked fruit by generous grandmothers and handed sleeping babies to nurse. Not long into our journey a seat collapsed. Amid much laughter, the former occupants, without complaint, travelled the remainder of 56
the distance perched birdlike above it. In all probability it is still that way. At least they had a seat. No one, except me, seemed the least perturbed at the prospect of standing for hours on a bumpy bus. Good spirits is Mexico's blessing and its curse. Brotherhood exists there but change is slow to happen while everyone accepts the status quo. One itches to take charge and organise some working order into the system. It was 12.30am when we arrived at Puerta Escondido. We walked through the well-lit tourist area in search of a camping ground. By the bay, under a palm tree, we found the perfect place to pitch. As the wind began to caress the flap, we pulled close our sleeping bags and slept as only the very weary can. The days had been hot, we were both well tanned, and I was wearing a silver anklet L.A. found on the way. There had been very hard times but these were far outnumbered by positive experiences. L.A. and I had become very close, and as he stood outside the tent that night, he took a deep breath and said, "Lexie, if our children could only see us now!" I felt a wave of contentment flow over me. Dogs barking, children playing, and much movement around the bay had us up early. This activity was instigated by the return of the fishing boats with their overnight catch. Small boys happily and expertly helped with the folding of nets. Wives, mothers and children set up a makeshift market under palm trees. The townsfolk arrived to bargain and to buy. It seemed to be more a social gathering than work. Women cleaned and sliced large fish. 57
They chatted together, small children playing at their feet. A few men stayed to attend to the larger nets but most left, presumably to have a well-earned sleep. After watching for a while I returned to the tent to make coffee. L.A. wandered off to check out the camping ground and came back with a handful of almonds gathered from under a tree. Breakfast was to be at a restaurant, and I was enjoying my shower until I looked up to see two intense black eyes observing me through the broken roof. The higher roof of an adjacent building site provided a perfect view into the women's shower room. Quickly wrapping a towel around me, I glared at the 'peeping tom' who, looking shamefaced, left. We were excited about eating in the tourist area, especially me. When we reached a café serving papaw and yoghurt I needed to go no further. We would have stayed longer at Puerto Escondido but knowing we were not really tourists, we packed up our belongings and moved on. It took an hour and a half to travel by bus to Pochutla. On arriving we stopped at the market to buy food supplies. It was all activity and tantalising smells. Following the delicious aroma of cooking meat we found a row of family-run restaurants. These food stalls form the backbone of all Mexican markets. Blackened, well-used saucepans tell of the many meals served, and chilli bottles stand in line. Grandmothers, their daughters and granddaughters cut, cook and stir. The youngest runs back and forth to other stalls if extra ingredients are needed. All smile a welcome and tell you how tasty 58
their meals are. We decided to order soup, still not confident enough to partake of the meat, which smelled so inviting. We ate at a small, plastic covered table which stood a few feet from the cooking area. What a change from rice and beans! My mouth watered as we shopped around the market. Papaw, bananas, tomatoes, onions and cheese joined fresh bread rolls in our food basket. We were also looking for a camp stove, as the small gas cylinders required for our present one were unprocurable there. L.A. lingered long over handmade coke cookers before we checked the saucepans and frying pans spread for display on the footpath. My hat, being lost, needed replacing but this proved a difficult task. Mexican women do not wear hats. In desperation L.A. suggested I buy the male variety, a sombrero, but the reaction of the male seller made it clear this alternative was definitely not appropriate. When I finally located one, the fact it was of poor quality and didn't look good or fit well was no longer important. The sun was already high and we were nearing Shambhala. We didn't know how long it would be necessary to stay there. "As long as it takes," said L.A. The next stop was the orange juice stand, where manual machines wielded by strong skilled hands produce a glassful in seconds. We always find it hard to pass these places without buying. The fruit is invariably sweet. Another visit to the bank, the last available before Zipoliti Beach, and it was time to catch a local bus to Puerta Angel, a small village built around a cove. Rocky promontories block out the rough sea 59
and protect it‟s two beaches which curve around the bay. Extra restaurants, opened since L.A.'s last visit, were a sure sign more tourists were being drawn to this area where once only the most adventurous of backpackers would be found. Zipolite Beach is a short bus ride or a forty-five minute walk from Puerta Angel. We elected to walk. L.A. was surprised, but not pleased, to find the dirt road had been gravelled since last he was there. On reaching the beach I slipped off my sandals to walk on wet sand. As I felt the warm ocean water lap over my feet, I stopped to look around me. Here was our destination. From a desert in the centre of Australia, I had travelled thousands of miles to reach this place.
MEXICO Zipolite Beach
Thirty years ago, a young woman from Los Angeles, holidaying with two friends, arrived at Zipolite Beach. A hill stands high at one end of a long stretch of white sand. Large rocks at the base jut out into the sea. Sometimes a powerful rip can develop and snatch the foolish should they ignore warnings and challenge its mighty power. The natives of the area called it 'malo' (bad) and would not venture near. Looking along the empty beach, Gloria Hope Johnson's soul stirred as she felt her Mexican roots calling. Climbing high on the hill, she knew she was its keeper, and in her own way staked her claim, vowing to God to return and fulfil her destiny. Shambhala, restaurant and guesthouse, now stands witness to the strength, love, and endurance of that remarkable woman. She battled the elements, officialdom, and the very mountain itself to bring her dream to fruition. Returning with her two young children, a tent, and three hundred dollars, she set to work. With a bucket, spade and bare hands, stone and earth were moved to build their first shelter. Shambhala is now a Mecca for budget travellers from all over the world, and Gloria's 61
warmth extends to all who visit. The death of her only daughter and her fisherman husband, whom she met on the beach, is sadness endured. Her son now lives in U.S.A. The locals working for Gloria receive her love and care, and equally a quick reprimand when required. "They are paid the highest wages in Oaxaca State," she sighs in exasperation, as she repeats the simplest directions again and again. "Please, please shut the refrigerator door," can be pleaded ten times before she explodes. They love her, and she them. Complacent in her assurance of continual care, they treat their workplace like the home it is; the babies keep coming and Gloria's responsibilities keep growing. They laugh at her good-humoured protests when told of yet another imminent birth. "Give me a chance you guys," she would say and throw up her hands in mock horror. Gloria's eyes are everywhere. In the middle of conversation or coffee, she could suddenly rush to rescue a child from a precarious position before lecturing the unconcerned mum who failed to comprehend any danger. I once witnessed a toddler crawling across a roof, the mother close by, seemingly oblivious to the possibility of an accident. Life for Gloria is always busy. While exquisite beadwork and other creative talents lie dormant, she tends to business and negotiates with casual workers to improve and maintain buildings. "Not exactly as I want it done Lexie," she would say, "but Mexican males don't like taking orders from a woman. I know the need to compromise, or there will be no workers here tomorrow." 62
Once when the wet season decided to take charge, Gloria's private bathroom slipped right off the mountain. Another year, under similar conditions, the whole office had to be rebuilt. The hurricane of 1997 did nearly 80% damage to Shambhala. Gloria wrote to me "We are alive. We came face to face with death, and we are still here. We are blessed, and alive. Fear is in the air." It is with both acceptance and determination that Gloria keeps up the fight and her unfailing vision for Shambhala alive. Water for bathing is supplied by a well, and after dark many of Zipolite's poorer residents can be found on Gloria's property, using it for their own needs. She is aware of this but her kindness ignores the intrusion. Difficulties with the electricity supplier sometimes result in the current being cut off. When this happens Gloria takes things into her own hands. A young agile Mexican shimmers up the pole to reconnect, a piece of crooked wire his only tool. Shambhala land extends to the bottom of the hill. It was there, under a long thatched cabana, open to the sea, that L.A. and I placed our tent by the hammock-hook No. 62. With clean sand carried laboriously from the beach to form a soft mattress under our thin sleeping mats, a driftwood table, a bright hammock, and our tent tarpaulin laid flat in front of the tent to keep out the sand, I thought it the best home I'd every had. We wrote 62 Ocean View Place across the tarpaulin, and returned to the village to purchase the stove and cooking pots L.A. had inspected earlier. He set up his kitchen under the overhanging branches of a tree growing behind the cabana. He would light the coke stove and 63
watch closely until blackness turned to a rosy glow before beginning to cook. One morning spear fishermen with their catch fresh from the sea passed by our tent. Although L.A. attempted to discourage me, I broke the unwritten law which made the kitchen L.A.'s sole domain. Whether it was lack of local knowledge resulting in our purchasing an unpalatable fish, or my lack of skill, the wonderful breakfast I planned for L.A. was a dismal failure. I can still see that grey coloured fish which refused to brown and tasted like castor oil. Never again did I, in any way, interfere with meal preparation. We spent little time on Shambhala hill, but surfed, and lay naked in the sun. Although not allowed by law, nudity in certain areas has long been accepted at Zipolite Beach. Two weeks passed. We were careful not to speak to Gloria of our mission and made little contact with her or anyone else. We waited. Then came the day when she walked to our tent and demanded, "Why are you here?" "I don't want to frighten you," said L.A. "but we have come for you." She left without showing any reaction, or remarking on his statement. Two days later Gloria arrived at the cabana followed by giggling waitresses bearing delicious food, which she invited us to share with her. A white dress, brightly embroidered at the neckline, fell softly over her full figure. With her dark eyes and long black curly hair she made a vibrant picture as she sat in front of our tent, the blue sea a backdrop. She spoke of hard but beautiful times when she, her 64
husband, and the two children were the only ones living on the beach. Only two tourists came by in the first six months. We didn't see her over the next three days and she wasn't at the restaurant when we passed that way. At dusk on the second day, as I stood looking towards Shambhala I felt a strong foreboding. "L.A.," I said, "there is something terribly wrong up there," before I fell to the ground doubled up with acute abdominal pain, accompanied by an overwhelming sense of fear. I was shaking and had to go inside the tent. I knew I must be where I couldn't see Shambhala. The pain left immediately but it took courage to again step outside. When I did, the shadow had passed, calmness prevailed, and I knew when I looked to Shambhala, all was now well there. Gloria was to explain later, "For two days I suffered severe abdominal pain accompanied by a soaring temperature, then it was as if something deep inside of me wrenched itself free and I was immediately well." My experience at the bottom of the hill happening at the precise time as Gloria's relief I no longer dismiss as coincidence. I have travelled long enough in Mexico to know there are realities other than those I have known and accepted all my life. Gradually it became clearer why we'd made our long and difficult journey to reach Gloria. Still it was a complete surprise to me (I doubt for L.A.) when I woke one morning to say, "I am the one to speak with Gloria. I am going to Shambhala." Stepping onto the sand and turning towards the hill I looked back at L.A. "Be with me." 65
I found Gloria working in the restaurant. "Can I have a word with you?" She looked surprised. "Yes." "Can it be in private?" I followed to her small house adjacent the restaurant. The living room is completely open on one side, allowing a panoramic view of the entire beach. For relaxing, instead of chairs, there are hammocks. The unmarried girls who work at Shambhala sleep there at night. One of Gloria's many duties is to be guardian of their virginity. This is expected of employers of Mexican girls who live away from their parents. A wooden ladder leads to Gloria's sleeping quarters. She is aware, as I imagine are the parents, that her token efforts do little to curb youthful Latin passion. I spoke with emotion. "Gloria, I've come to tell you something, which if you accept as truth, could turn your world upside down. It's entirely up to you. I come only as a messenger. You have done the work you were to do here, and done it well. There is other work for you to do - important work, but it is entirely up to you. I come only to give the message." I had no idea what Gloria's reaction would be, nor had I tried to guess. In fact, I didn't know exactly what I'd come to say until I said the words. I wonder now why I wasn't surprised by what followed. She cried, and I with her. "I know, and I have been waiting for the messenger I knew would come. But many people here depend on me. I have gathered a huge extended family and must look after them as well." I understood what she was saying, and how she will balance her responsibilities I do not know. But I do know, wherever 66
she is and whatever she does, humankind will always benefit from this spiritual lady. Walking slowly back along the beach to L.A. I pondered on all I had learnt during the last two years. I understood now why Kath telephoned me at just that time. Nothing is a coincidence. I was to go to Mexico to give and be given opportunity. My journey with L.A. began long before this one was made. I felt a stirring deep within me as I realised this was but a step on the road yet to be travelled. That evening, squatting by the ocean edge, cleaning cooking pots with sand, I came in contact with earlier lives and felt one with all nature. I was at peace. With our mission accomplished, it was time to leave but we loitered a little longer to enjoy sun and sea. I would sometimes sit at Gloria's restaurant and look along the beach to the many small restaurants and hammock places. These, following her lead, have opened to cater for the rapidly developing tourist trade. Due to her fearlessness and her persistence, all now own their own land, and Gloria need no longer hide in the little cave at the back of her property because police come to arrest her for political activities. The day before we were to leave Zipoliti, I walked along the beach in search of three Americans we'd had dinner with the previous night. A question asked then gave me food for thought. "Tell me one of your passions?" I had tried a flippant answer but was uncomfortable doing so. The conversation changed and I felt relieved of the need to give an honest one. The question went over and over in my mind, bringing up many possibilities. I dismissed 67
them all. It became important that, before leaving, I give my real answer. This was difficult, as I did not know their family names or where they were staying. I looked up and down the beach without success, and had decided to give up the search when a young man I'd met two weeks earlier walked towards me. "So you met my parents last night." For a moment I was confused, then remembered he'd spoken of them coming to Zipolite. Neither they nor I knew their son was aware we'd met. We'd not spoken of him the previous night. I was searching for the woman travelling with them. Following his directions I found the three at a restaurant. I sat beside the woman. "I have come to tell you the real answer to last night's question. I no longer have any passions." They offered many suggestions but although feeling some emptiness inside, I could not be convinced it was other than I thought. I told them L.A. and I were leaving for Oaxaca and planned to stay overnight at San Jose Del Pacifico, a small village located in mountain country between there and the coast. They spoke of Mexico's magic mushrooms growing nearby and said I should try them. To my surprise (where do these words come from?), I said, "I will." I have never taken illegal drugs or smoked marijuana, but having voiced the words, my course of action was set. As I left, they called after me. "When you do, ask the mushroom what is passion?" At this mountain village wild flowers grow thickly by the roadside and clinging vines splash pink, blue, yellow and green 68
across fences and house walls. Framed by high mountains on all sides, nature flaunts her beauty there. We rented a hut perched high on the side of a hill. Through the open door one looked deep into a wooded valley; a valley so far below only the tops of the trees, stretching far into the distance, could be seen. The owner of the property, a farmer, had cut sharply into the side of a hill to build two adjoining huts, leaving a ten foot level space in front of the cabins before the hill again dropped away. The accommodation was basic, one small room containing two very hard narrow beds, two rough, hand-woven Mexican blankets and a few candles. To the left of the huts was what we first thought was a well - it was a holding area for clean water the farmer pumped down from high mountain springs. L.A. enquired about the locality of other essential facilities. Our host dismissed this with a snort and a wide sweep of his arm. "But you can go anywhere. Isn't it beautiful!" L.A. laughed, feeling there could be no argument with that. The entire hillside was covered with masses of tall white flowers. I later pressed two between the pages of my journal. The blossoms, now turned brown, are rather battered from their journey, but I treasure them still. Looking around, I took in the beauty, while hoping that for privacy the adjoining hut would remain vacant. Leaving our backpacks, we picked our way down the dirt track, through the gate I could never open, around the woodheap, past the barking dogs and the staring children, to bring us back to the road. 69
For me it was coffee time again, and we found a tiny restaurant, just one small room with two tables tucked into a corner. The menu was limited to coffee, black beans, rice, and eggs, but for once the food was unimportant to me. In the centre of the room, quietly crocheting and overseeing all proceedings was the tiny grandmother of the house, her face calm and wise. She was very old, her skin surprisingly smooth and her features still beautiful. She sat on the dirt floor beside the stove, legs unseen under a long black skirt. I felt she was crippled and had taken up her position for the day. Each time we came past she was there, in the same place, quietly dominating the room with her gentle presence. Teenage granddaughters, hovering close by, quickly responded to every softly-spoken direction. Twisted arthritic fingers skilfully
manipulated handwork, which fell in a trail of white across her lap. Is it a shawl? I wondered. Sharing centre stage with Mamma Maria was a huge clay stove, obviously hand moulded in the very position it now stood. The clay had dried pure white and flames licked upwards from deep round holes left open above the firebox. It was alive! The whole scene was so foreign and timeless. I wanted to stay and held L.A. there by making my coffee last as long as possible. An American tourist who joined us at the table volunteered information as to where mushrooms could be purchased. Those we bought, we were told, were the last available in the area; two handfuls to share between us. Early next morning I struggled a little way down the steep side of the hill, carrying my bedroll, water 70
bottle and three juicy oranges cut into quarters. (I'd been told by the more experienced, sucking oranges can be helpful if one has a bad trip). I was not nervous. I was ready for the unknown, secure in the belief L.A. had agreed to 'watch over me' from the hut above. I slowly ate the mushrooms while asking, three times: "What is passion? What is passion? What is passion?" Resting on the bedroll spread under a mass of pure white blooms, I closed my eyes, following instructions given at the beach, "If a spiritual journey rather than a high is your aim." At first I thought nothing was going to happen, but after what I judged to be approximately fifteen minutes, there was a soft swishing sound followed by a scratching on the ground beside me. A small animal I thought, but kept my eyes firmly closed. My trip started. I was at a fairground. Very softly at first, but gradually growing louder, I heard the rhythmic beat of drums. A procession was approaching. All was gaiety and laughter. Simultaneously hundreds of small Mexican-type motifs, each encased in identical frames, and each an individual picture in itself, joined together to form a long continuous roll of brilliant psychedelic colour which unwound itself across the sky. I watched enchanted before remembering the reason I was there. Facing me was a row of brightly decorated stalls. To each stall holder I carefully explained why I had come. I walked from one to the next but the trip "What is passion?" was not to be found. All attempted to have me buy, each describing at length the wonders of the trips they had to offer. My answer was always the same. "No 71
thank you. I have come for only one special trip." It wasn't there. Disheartened, I decided to walk once more around the outskirts of the fairground to ensure I hadn't missed a stall. Coming to a high stone wall I stopped. I was sure I had already passed that way - how could I have missed seeing it? Two enormous, beautifully carved wooden gates were set in a tall stone archway. At first I thought they were locked but as I pushed hard they opened, and I stepped into a small courtyard. I knew I'd left the fair because here all was quiet and serene. The square was empty, except for a small man standing behind a table under an overhanging tree at the farthest end of the courtyard. Prominently displayed were numerous "What is passion?" trips. I chose one before returning through the ancient gates to the fairground. I didn't know anyone; being alone, when everyone else seemed to be in groups was not a problem. Finally holding my trip in a brown paper bag I felt relaxed and found myself enjoying the atmosphere. Colour was everywhere. Balloon sellers passed by, their floating spheres of iridescent pink, yellow, blue and green held together by swaying threads of gold and silver. Joyful parents wearing bright clothes, purple shirts, red braces and striped jeans, carried or led happy children to various entertainments. A feeling of joy and expectancy embraced the whole area. Movement was constant. Parades of Disney-like characters danced in and out of view. The mood was contagious and as I climbed into an open carriage at the rear of a small carnival train I'd forgotten about the trip I'd spent so 72
much trouble in purchasing. This was fun; life was all merriment and festivity. Then I realised I was no longer alone in my carriage. There was another - a lady, sharing my ride. The train started and I looked back to see L.A. running fast towards us. With the little engine puffing I feared he may not reach us in time. Then with one last mammoth effort he was there. Together we pulled him aboard. Out of breath he dropped to the floor. Now there were three of us on that ride. The lady and I both put our arms around him so he was enclosed within our arms. Love flowed freely between us. We were one. Sometimes it seemed I was the lady and sometimes she me. The bonding was precious and became more so as our journey continued. The scene changed. I was experiencing past lifetimes. Lives spent with L.A where we'd lived, loved and worked together. It was never easy. Lifetime after lifetime found us caught in a battle of wills. It was as if we were living a chess game. He would make his move, and then it would be my turn to change direction as we played out our many lives together. It was always a challenge which we chose to continue simply because it was where we wanted to be. Sometimes I felt powerless, though always there remained great respect between us and we would rejoice if either made a special move, even if it blocked the other's way. We would laugh then, and love. There were times too, when we were very determined to stay with our own decisions and I could be angry with my two companions who had, uninvited, joined my ride. No anger was 73
directed back to me, and as the lady continued gently to enfold us with her love I would again know my own. Four hours after taking the mushrooms I opened my eyes to see soft white blossoms and blue sky above me. My trip was finished. I had my answer: passion is pure emotion. Having answers is one thing, implementing them is another. My present emotions were running rampant and L.A. was unprepared for my angry accusation, "You're a manipulator L.A." He watched quietly as I searched frantically for a comb while telling him I had to go to the village to get something to eat. What I really wanted, was desperate for, was coffee. After emptying the contents of my small pack onto the bed and further searching proving unsuccessful, I demanded help from L.A. He opened his travel pouch and handed me the small comb he'd bought in Australia as a souvenir. It was too fragile for my thick curly hair and (as L.A. says) I gave only three quick swipes before the comb broke. He looked most concerned about this and started to speak of how fond of it he was, "and it fits right into my travel pouch." I started to mumble that I'd buy him another when I returned to Australia, before it all became too much for me, and I dropped face down on the bed. I punched the pillow before burying my head in it. Never have I experienced such emotion. I hit out the anger and cried out the frustrations of lifetimes. What L.A. saw (he was to tell me later) was a stranger having an epileptic fit and giving him a very bad time. There came, as always, the calm after the storm. We were ready to go to the village for a 74
meal, and as L.A. sat quietly on the stool outside the hut I walked across to sit at his feet. I leaned back against him and as he placed his arms around me I again knew the warmth of those earlier experiences and the love we felt at that moment was known by both of us. I understood clearly we had loved before, did now, and would again. I knew too, the time had come for me to leave him and return to Australia. I was to step out on my own and grow strong. When I told L.A., he was accepting of it. It is, after all, as our relationship has always been. So we made plans to travel north to U.S.A. after leaving Oaxaca. Dropping to sleep that night I thought back over the day and felt great relief my one trip on Mexico's magic mushrooms was over. Neither of us was enthusiastic when I woke during the night. "L.A. I have to take the mushroom again. I have been given another question to ask." He rolled over sleepily. "We have no money left Lexie, and you know there are no more mushrooms in the village. Anyway, let's talk about it in the morning." We were awake early and I felt a little silly when L.A. brought up the conversation of the previous night. I'd decided not to mention it. "It seems better to just go on." I said. "I think so." he replied, "but what was the question?" I remembered it well. "What is truth?" No more was said as we continued packing to leave. Walking down the path on the way to the bus, the old farmer approached us. "I've got just two mushrooms," he said. “We're going now," L.A. answered quickly, turning to look at me. I'd 75
stopped walking. The question from the night before was still with me and I didn't need to speak for him to realise what I was thinking. He looked towards the man and back to me. Then he bent over, took our cooking stove and pots from his pack and placed them on the ground. After negotiation we also parted with some plastic utensils before returning to the hut to stay another night. We'd been informed the larger mushroom was for L.A. and the smaller for me. I looked at mine and thought it couldn't possibly be enough, and knowing my question was vital, broke a little off his. I don't think I ever admitted it to him. Still concerned I wouldn't have enough for my purpose, I asked for a little more. He smiled, broke off a generous portion, and handed it to me. He knows me well and understood the importance I placed on this answer. We stayed together in the hut. I laid on the bed, closed my eyes and quietly asked, three times: "What is truth? What is truth? What is truth?" I waited for drums to roll and psychedelic colours to appear but all was quiet. There were no colours. L.A. and I were walking together along a narrow path. I do not remember the surroundings, I was aware only of the path. I felt peaceful. The pathway was wide enough to allow us to walk side by side holding hands. Before long we approached a gate which L.A. opened and we passed through. This happened several times until we came to a gate where we knew we had to part. We must now walk the way separately, one was to go ahead. This was too frightening for me, and I felt unable to move forward alone, 76
so L.A. went on. The path then narrowed until it was wide enough for only one person to tread. I waited a long time, desperately hoping he would return, before deciding, fearful or not, I must move forward. It was harder now as the gates were not only shut, they were locked. To be allowed through I had to wait days, months, or even years. With each gate I never knew how long it would take. I waited and waited, sometimes pleading for entry. When all else failed, I found I could demand passage by simply stating I was part of the source, part of all creation. "I am God." The gates never then failed to open wide. Earlier I'd reached a gate where the wait was endless, and was about to turn back when I became aware of L.A.'s presence. His strong arms reached across and assisted me to the other side where I again continued my lone journey. As I travelled I relived this present life time, seeing through clearer eyes mistakes made, while suffering deep pain and sorrow for actions which could now no longer be changed. I was sobbing. I walked on and on, and then L.A. was once more beside me. Hand in hand we stood before a larger gate, both knowing it was not yet time to enter, and we did not try. I opened my eyes. I was back in the hut. A soundless voice told me to step outside, where, following instructions, I knelt and lifted my eyes to the hills on the opposite side of the valley. I then felt compelled to look at my watch. It was 11 am on 11.11.1992. 77
As I turned my face to the sun a channel of brilliant light connected to the earth. At the bottom of the channel, bathed in a golden glow, stood the lady of yesterday's journey. As she turned towards me I was immersed in pure love. It washed over me in waves, all embracing: a fulfilment, a promise and a blessing. I understood. Truth is love. I thought, there are no mysterious or mystic lessons to learn. It is merely to see clearly. To ask, even once, the question "What is truth?" is to become a seeker of wisdom. To undertake the inner journey and walk the narrow way in order to reach the knowledge inherent within us all is to know oneself, faults and all. And in knowing and accepting, we can learn to forgive. Through self-knowledge, self-understanding and self-forgiveness develops self-love, compassion and
understanding of others. We are here to experience and learn. Guidance and opportunity for growth came as I began to recognise, accept, and follow my spiritual path. I had learnt from L.A. but I was now leaning on him. For further learning it was necessary for me to travel alone. I raised my face to the sun and gave thanks for opportunity given that day. L.A. joined me and I thought how far we had travelled together, and realised too, how difficult leaving him would be. Almost two years had passed since we first met. I consoled myself in the knowledge that, for both us, it is and always will be, the journey that is most important. 78
Again, at a small café, we ate eggs, re-fried beans and rice. I really felt I could not eat this meal once more. In Oaxaca, a tourist town, there would be a wider variety of food available, and how I longed for fruit, vegetables and unsweetened bread. I was grateful coffee could always be found. I'd given up being concerned about quality. Coffee is coffee and I relished every cup. Meat was another matter. I could by now have risked eating a meat meal just for variety, had I not seen the local butcher shop. Thin strips of dark coloured meat hung on hooks at the front of a stall situated near the edge of the road, open to dust and flies. Occasionally a stained cloth was flicked to ward off flies. A cowhide lay flat, directly in front of the shop. One could only believe the poor animal was actually slaughtered there. Since then L.A. and I have referred to that part of the world as 'flat cow' country. The memory brings peels of laughter and is a vivid reminder to be aware of what and where one eats in Mexico. This village is very high in the mountains and sometimes our hut would be engulfed by cloud, but that day the sky was clear. Late afternoon as the sun set, we looked out on a kaleidoscope of colour; clear blue faded gently to rose, to soft indigo, to deep purple. The stars were diamonds suspended in a velvet dome. We were alone in a magical world. L.A. lit an open fire to cook our evening meal, and I again felt the timelessness of human activity. There was no past, no future, only the moment: just being. Next morning we caught a bus to Oaxaca. There was a comfort stop and I looked hopefully, but not expectantly, for a building. 79
There wasn't one. After my time on the mountain, it was easy to squat with Mexican women among tall flowers growing wild by the roadside. This stop served a dual purpose. Women gathered huge armfuls of multi-coloured blooms while our driver waited patiently until the last contented passenger ambled back to the bus. At first I felt sorry I too had not taken the opportunity to gather flowers, though glancing towards my heavy pack brought me back to reality. Oaxaca is L.A.'s favourite Mexican town and he was eager to share it with me. We walked to the zocalo where outdoor cafes, sheltering under broad verandahs, line the square. The plaza, closed to traffic, has a cosmopolitan atmosphere. We moved through the square, "The Alameda", where the old cathedral stands. After crossing the road, walking two blocks and turning left, we came to the Hotel Pombo. Like many old Spanish hotels, the entrance is via a central driveway. Large gates are closed at night to ensure safe parking. To the right is the office where polite, neatly dressed young men, with the support of a black and white television to combat boredom, stand all day by the reception desk. The owner, a handsome and formidable middle-aged Mexican woman, appears from nowhere to settle the slightest problem. The workers are in awe of her. Through doors on either side of the driveway there are stonepaved courtyards. Bedrooms open onto these squares, and in one corner of each is a communal bathroom. Guests used a small tree growing near the entrance to ours as a drying area, so underwear and brightly coloured towels were draped across the branches. We 80
found staying in a courtyard room quite social. Travellers are always eager to share experiences and obtain information regarding places on their itinerary. Yet, at this old, inexpensive and run-down hotel there was a daily challenge to be faced, and I was glad L.A. was there to share the experience. Each morning, fine wood-shavings, tightly rolled in newspaper were placed in our bedroom. To me, they were a complete mystery, to L.A. they were exciting. To heat water to shower there stood behind the bathroom door an antiquated metal contraption. The sawdust filled rolls were meant to be carefully lit, allowed to burn as a flaming torch for a few moments, then quickly stuffed inside the menacing opening at the side of a rusting arrangement of metal pipes and taps. Hot water would issue forth if one turned the right tap when a pumping sound reached a certain crescendo. I would stand naked (always close to the door in case I needed an escape route) and wait for the moment when L.A. would say a sharp "Now!" If I moved under the water too early, I froze, if too late the heat was already gone. Always I eyed the monster with suspicion and heaved a sigh of relief when yet another shower was managed without an explosion. Our first stop outside was the market. It too had been updated since L.A.'s last visit and he sighed to see the old Mexico disappearing. Quickly locating a special bread stall he carefully chose a dome shaped loaf. I followed while he purchased local cheese and tomatoes before returning to our hotel. He had been preparing me for this treat for some time and I was most attentive. 81
In an almost ceremonial way the loaf was sliced through the centre, so it looked liked the two halves of a huge hamburger bun. Cheese, tomatoes, and mayonnaise were placed on one side before the top was replaced. It was ready. We ate, bite for bite, without further cutting. I love the way L.A. can make even the simplest of things special. At the hotel we hand-washed clothes in one of the large cement troughs which stand on the flat roof. All hotel linen is laundered in the same manner. A woman scrubs and scrubs sheets and towels before hanging them to dry on wire lines which zigzag across the open space. While there I would pick a juicy red pomegranate from a tree growing up the driveway, the roof being a vantage point to reach the most succulent fruit. I'd sit there slowly eating the sweet portions while the sun soaked to my very bones. The week spent at Oaxaca was the most loving. We were aware parting time was near. The hotel, situated close to both the zocala and the market, was a convenient base for sampling the local cooking. Our favourite was a small vegetarian café, which also passed L.A.'s exacting hotchocolate test. We always ordered 'comeda corrido' (the set menu); this being the cheapest way to eat well in Mexico. A bus took us to the larger market on the outskirts of town where I bought ceramic necklaces; hand moulded and dried hard in the hot sun. In Australia, unaware they hadn't been kiln fired, my beads returned to Mexican mud one day when caught in the rain. Nevertheless, a string still hangs from the front mirror of my van. One glance in their direction 82
takes me straight back to Mexico and I smile, as I remember the many facets of that fascinating country. Once we chanced upon a small square where only ice cream was sold. The many stalls each had its own hand-turned ice cream making machine, and every machine had its own muscular young male to do the turning. Again, these are family affairs, and much chatting and laughter resounded around the square. It was a step back in time. It was as if we'd wandered onto a stage set. I know if the ice cream turners had suddenly stepped forward, linked arms, and broken into a song and dance routine, I would have not been surprised. We bought delicious ice cream cones. I left feeling a sense of sadness, knowing it is probably only a very short time before these gems of Mexico will be no more. May I return before that square changes. I'll order rose flavour next time. Each evening at six, soldiers wearing neatly pressed uniforms march through the zocalo, halting in front of a tall flagpole. As one soldier steps forward to sound a trumpet call, the Mexican flag is ceremoniously lowered. The soldiers recircle the square and move on. I'd watch the small lean men precisely marching and would plan to be there early the next morning to see the flag raised but I never made it. With a bed to sleep on after so many nights on hard ground, it was nigh impossible to rise early. In a backstreet we found a tiny dressmaking shop where a seamstress made a poncho for L.A. from his Mexican blanket. It looked great on his 6'4" frame and we both stayed warm under it on cool evenings. 83
Before leaving Oaxaca I searched the market for gifts to take home to my granddaughters and purchased tiny Mexican dolls made by Indian women who come down from the mountains each Saturday to spread their handwork on the footpaths around the Zocalo. The choice wasn't which dolls to buy (they are more or less identical) but which seller seemed to be most in need. Beautiful handwork sells very cheaply as these pitifully poor people battle to feed, clothe and house their large families. As the week passed and the bonds between us grew stronger I was having second thoughts about returning to Sydney. We spoke of the possibility of my staying longer when we reach Arizona. The fact that on the mountain I'd been clearly shown the need to travel my spiritual path alone was fast slipping into the background. Days were relaxed and loving and I wanted to spend more time with L.A. For a short while we became tourists, took in the sights and mixed freely with others. We decided to travel to the U.S.A. border by train but failed to take into account Mexico's lack of organisation. We took the last two seats on the overnight train to Mexico City, knowing bookings on to the border could not be made until reaching there. None were available. In desperation we caught a taxi to the bus station and bought the last two tickets on a bus just leaving town. It was another night sleeping upright. Surprisingly neither of us felt tired next morning, and when it started to rain, we decided, as we were already at the bus station, to enquire about a bus on to Phoenix instead of looking for a hotel. The one about to leave also had just two seats available. 84
We were carried forward - everything connected for us. After the length of time taken to reach the bottom of Mexico, the return trip was unreal. But that is how we arrived at Quartzsite. Quartzsite, located in the Arizona desert, is almost deserted before the winter freeze to the north sends thousands in search of warmer climes. Travellers, many of them retirees driving huge caravan homes, congregate there in their hundreds over the winter months. Quartzsite becomes alive and market traders arrive to provide anything and everything to bring comfort and joy. Excellent restaurants open for business. McDonalds put on extra staff. Buses make nightly visits to Las Vegas taking the temporary residents to gambling tables. Well-known entertainers come to Quartzsite. Locals refer to these transient visitors as 'snow birds'. They migrate each winter to escape the bitter cold, to buy, to play, and to re-meet old friends. It isn't quite as pleasant if winter winds blow hard and swirling sand coats your hair and stings your eyes. That happened the day after we arrived and our tent needed to be well anchored. L.A. managed to locate the huge pegs needed for desert ground, and although the tent flapped wildly the pegs held firm. Our arrival coincided with the time of the full moon, and L.A. said to me, "Be careful Lexie, the energies could change." I don't think I took any notice of his warning; certainly something did happen. We arrived at Quartzsite on Saturday and by Tuesday I was on my way to Australia. 85
As I write now, I am again trying to reason it all out. L.A. and I failed to do so. We do not really understand what happened between us at that point. As it is I who write I give you my view. I do not know L.A.'s. I do know that high on a Mexican mountain I made a personal commitment to extend my inner awareness in preparation for the road I was yet to travel. I had been leaning on L.A.'s strength and knew I had been given the direction to step out alone. At Oaxaca, as our love grew stronger, I was in danger of putting this aside. Then we went fast, so fast, to reach Arizona where it took only two days for us to part. There was nothing in particular we were upset about, it seemed purely an irritation between us. We can't identify the cause or the reason. I remember feeling L.A. was withdrawn from me, but now I'm uncertain if that really was so. Maybe vibrations did change. I do not understand these things as L.A. does. Maybe we were just in need of rest. I don't know. But I pushed him, he retaliated, and I was gone. Had he asked me to stay I would have been unable to leave, and would once again been caught at that point in a lifetime when I should have moved on. I have missed him, and have felt sad about the way we parted but I cannot say I regret it happened. Looking back, I think he was right. It was my trip and he was my guide. I'd asked him at Oaxaca "What have I given you, L.A.?" He answered. "Strength, and may I ask the question back?” My answer was "Purpose."
On the 20th December 1994 I again caught a plane to Mexico. I was excited and confident about the coming six months. My itinerary allowed for a few days in Mexico City before going to Oaxaca for Christmas. Early in the New Year I intended to spend two weeks with Gloria at Zipolite Beach, before travelling extensively throughout Central America. Following an exhausting thirteen-hour plane flight from Sydney to Los Angeles, I had an eight-hour stopover before making my connection to Central America. My sense of well being ended in Mexico City when informed my luggage had not been put on the plane at Los Angeles. Devastating memories of a similar happening two years previously at Costa Rica dominated my thinking. That time I had been delayed four days at San Jõse. I feared a recurring pattern. Holding travel insurance failed to console me. To collect the generous amount allowed(if luggage is delayed longer than forty-eight hours), depends on confirmation from the airline. At San Jõse no documentation could be obtained and I was forced to replace necessities and pay hotel 87
costs from my limited holiday money. This earlier experience now made collecting my backpack an obsession. It was 11.00 pm. Hoping my luggage would arrive on the next plane, I decided to wait at the airport. The night seemed endless. Eventually I curled up on the cold tiled floor in an attempt to sleep. My head was aching from jetlag and I knew I couldn't stay awake until morning. From sheer exhaustion I'd doze off, only to be abruptly awakened by the swish, swish, of a wet mop, as it passed within inches of my face. Enthusiastic cleaners insisted I move on. That floor seemed to be mopped every hour! At 5am an attendant appeared at the airline reception desk. On enquiring as to the possibility of my luggage arriving on the plane now landing, I was taken to an English speaking official. Annoyed that I had waited at the airport, she, shaking a pile of forms in front of my face, said firmly, "You must go to your hotel. Your luggage will be sent to you." She again shook the papers in her hand. "All these people haven't their luggage. It just wouldn't fit on the plane. It could take four days to arrive." Four days again! Tired as I was, this called for immediate action. I dropped onto a chair and almost whispered, "I'm ill." I'm sure I looked it. I had no intention of leaving that airport minus my luggage. As she continued to insist loudly I must, I slumped more deeply into my chair, dropping my head into my hands and stated equally firmly, that although I was now feeling quite faint, I intended to stay at the airport for as long as it took for my luggage to come; be it hours or days. Now sounding concerned she started 88
checking with Los Angeles Airport. Raising my head I saw her looking anxiously in my direction. I put on my best dying face. She said, "I will get your luggage here today." I didn't respond. I remembered the same words being used at San Jõse, without any follow up. She repeated, "I will get your luggage here today." It did appear the possibility of a frequent-flyer passenger expiring in her office at 5am was too much for her to cope with. Telling me, "Wait right here," she left the room. I wondered if I had overacted and she had gone for a doctor. Looking at my face in a wall mirror I felt satisfied the lack of sleep had left me sufficiently pale with dark rings around my eyes. When she returned an hour later I was asleep. "Your luggage can be picked up at Customs." At Customs I had to unpack every small item before, with a sigh of relief, I caught a taxi to the zocalo and checked into the nearby Hotel Washington where I'd stayed after leaving Kath in Guatemala. At that time I'd enjoyed the comfort of a light and airy room with French doors opening onto a balcony overlooking a small market. This time, the only available room was a dark, box-like square. Light and air entered through a tiny back window opening to a small internal airway. Too tired to look further, I lay fully dressed on the bed and slept soundly for seventeen hours. On my way out to the street a friendly Mexican guest greeted me on the stairs. When I replied "Buenos dias" he stepped closer to me and asked, in perfect English, "What is your room number?" I'd forgotten about the blatant sexual harassment often endured by lone 89
female travellers in Latin America. It became a continual annoyance during my few days in Mexico City. To combat unwelcome encounters I walked the streets either staring straight ahead or frowning. Obtaining a bus booking close to Christmas is difficult. Checking the various companies, I found only three seats available, all on the same late night bus. I watched carefully as the attendant flashed numbers onto a screen and saw I had been given an already booked seat. I'd read to be aware of this practise in Mexico. Without speaking Spanish (no, I hadn't fulfilled my earlier resolve to learn the language), it was difficult to insist the transaction be checked. Not until it became obvious I wasn't going to move from the ticket window unless this was done, did the woman give me a genuine ticket number. I was relieved having overcome what I thought to be my last obstacle in Mexico City, when another arose. While absorbed in sorting out my ticket problem I had been conscious of a young man close behind me, so close I felt uncomfortable. Each time I turned to face him, he'd quickly move away, but within minutes he would again invade my personal space. Too late, I realised what had been happening. With my attention diverted, I had been pick-pocketed. My Mexican money was gone. I was grateful all other monies, and my cards, were still in my money-belt under tightly belted jeans. There was one final problem. The taxi driver with whom I negotiated the fare to the bus station in the new Mexican dollars (formerly pesos) claimed he meant American dollars. I argued, and 90
to my surprise eventually he laughed, took the money, but refused to give me change. Although the amount was small, I was becoming angry at this country and decided to take a stand. Placing my backpack on the footpath I kept one foot inside his cab, although it did occur to me he could drive off without concern for my safety. Again to my surprise, he gave me a warm smile, my change, and a friendly wave goodbye. But I wasn't coping well, becoming suspicious of innocent transactions to the point of paranoia. It was with a great sense of relief I left Mexico City. Travelling to Oaxaca, I wore my money belt and placed two hundred American dollars under an elastic bandage wrapped firmly around my left ankle. In my present state of mind, the possibility of being stranded without money in a foreign country, where I didn't understand the language, was too horrific for contemplation. On reaching Oaxaca I waited with a group of fellow passengers until daylight, before venturing onto the streets. Two English tourists invited me to join them and stay at a nearby hotel 'Casa Arnel' but I had already decided to make a sentimental journey back to 'Hotel Pombo'. This time I walked past the courtyards and took a large and sunny room on the first floor. The door opened onto a small balcony from where I could glimpse the cathedral spire. There was an attached bathroom. I glanced with some trepidation at the water heating-monster, a challenge awaiting me. Approaching with caution, I took a deep breath, and with fingers crossed, pushed those sawdust rolls deep into the heater's gaping mouth. It blazed smoke and fire and choked madly. I jumped back, but as the roar 91
grew louder I ran forward and turned on the tap. Warm water gushed forth. Victory was mine! Feeling a great sense of achievement, I bathed, wrapped a towel around me, and still needing sleep, dropped onto the large bed. Nervousness regarding my daily encounter with the heater stayed, but as I became more sensitive to its inner workings it accepted my intrusions and rewarded me with ample hot water. Still feeling unsettled after my experiences in Mexico City, I decided to change plans and move on earlier to Zipoliti Beach. Reaching there two days before New Year's Eve, I was eager to see Gloria, and was disappointed when staff insisted she was unavailable and I could not persuade them to deliver the note I wrote. Tiring of drinking coffee in the café, I decided to walk to Meditation Hill. There she was, her vibrant voice enthusing the large group gathered around her. It was their final practice for the New Year's Eve rituals, held annually at Shambhala. "A celebration of minds," she was saying. "A time of connecting with the energy of the universe; a time to enforce the knowledge that we are all one; one with each other, one with the Source, one with all creation." As we hugged, I felt her unspoken question. "I don't know why I have come now." I said. She answered, "I do, my sister." Shambhala was overflowing with guests. I suggested I put up my tent but when Gloria insisted I must not leave a thing in it, for fear of theft, I accepted her invitation to stay in an area set aside for personal guests. This was the loft room directly above the restaurant. Hammocks hung close together and everyone was 92
friendly but I found sleeping all night in a hammock difficult, and was grateful when a small bed replaced it. Then, despite loud music and laughter from the restaurant, I managed well. The day prior to the New Year was one of great activity at Shambhala. Masses of fresh flowers, transported from distant Oaxaca hills, and blessed by Sharman healers, were mixed with freshly picked herbs, the same herbs used at spiritual gatherings since ancient times. Willing helpers created halos to be worn by dancers, while others worked on shaping two hundred and fifty small bouquets. Gloria's eyes were everywhere. Each small detail was attended to. The kitchen was busy. There were salads to be prepared, juices to be squeezed, soups to be made, vegetables to be steamed and huge baskets of smoked fish to be flaked. I found myself involved. As darkness closed in, men, women and children, all dressed in white, quietly gathered on Meditation Hill. With the crashing sea an orchestral background, bare arms rose in unison and the sacred sound of "Aum" echoed around the hill and along the beach. Arms linked, bodies swayed, voices chanted and bare feet stamping in rhythm moved slowly around the edge of the mountain top kiva, evoking the power of the Source to cleanse the dancers of sin. As clear channels they then passed the bouquets around the bodies and over the heads of the watching crowd, allowing all to receive the same blessing. Ritual continued. Flowers and ribbons were tied to a large wooden cross, being symbolic of the Tree of Life. The 'tree' was 93
then raised high above the crowd and carried down the hill. Onlookers, as well as those involved in the ceremony, each carrying a lighted candle, followed in single file to the beach. A huge bonfire was already blazing. It was midnight. The flower laden 'tree' was thrown into the flames. The New Year had arrived. Flames roared. The crowd cheered. The feasting began. 'Loco Coco', a local drink made from pure alcohol and coconut juice was served. My one sip left me breathless! As the bonfire died down, a whole sheep wrapped in foil was placed to bake beneath red-hot coals. Only those who stayed to watch the sunrise would enjoy this second feast. Meanwhile revellers moved to the ocean, holding folded paper boats about three inches in length. Each tiny vessel carried its own lighted candle. Everyone waded into the sea to launch their 'ship' on the outgoing tide. A wish was made, and if your vessel returned to shore, the wish could be expected to come true. I lost sight of mine among the fleet. My wish failed to materialise so maybe my boat floated out to sea. Time passed slowly at Shambhala. I moved from the loft to my own little room with a view to the beach. Huge waves crashed and roared. That surf can be a lion. It demands respect. Most tourists stay close to the shore, wary of its many moods. I love the wildness but take care to surf only in the areas Gloria indicates are safe. Shambhala stands, as always, a beacon of light at one end of the beach. Holidaymakers return, year after year, to re-experience the magic. 94
The other end is a continual party. Music blares, discotheques swing and drugs of all descriptions are cheaply available. The accompanying violence can sometimes erupt, and personal belongings need to be well guarded. Sometimes I feel that God and the Devil are fighting for that beautiful stretch of white sand. This is a growing sadness to Gloria, though she and her hill stand firm. Two years had passed since L.A. and I delivered the message. There have been positive changes at Shambhala, however Gloria's special peace and joy is now to be found at 'El Enchanto', a small retreat she is developing in Indian Country. To reach there one must walk for an hour across barren hilltops. Gloria wanted to show it to me and with a small group of her friends we left Shambhala by taxi along the Oaxaca road, stopping at a small roadside café which serves cold beer and coconut juice. The tops of small coconuts are expertly removed by machete, and a straw inserted before drinking the clear juice; the coconut is then split in half, again by machete, allowing access to delicious coconut meat. Now the sun was high. The temperature was soaring when we walked towards the hills, carrying tents, food and backpacks. Gloria spoke nostalgically of the small donkey which once transported heavy supplies across the rough terrain. One day he wandered away. Later, a donkey skull, found on the other side of the river, was carried 'home'. It now occupies his empty corral, a stark reminder to stay close to camp. Long before reaching our destination the roar of a fast flowing river could be heard. As we turned the last corner, there it was, wild 95
and free, bouncing around and over rocks. We turned left at the bank and on the other side of a small stream a wooden sign 'el enchanto' hangs from a low tree branch. We were indeed in an enchanted forest. Hard-packed earth paths wind up a slight rise from the water's edge, passing by a rustic open-air kitchen before continuing on to tent sites. Railings, constructed from naturally twisted vines of the forest, or wood salvaged from the river as it carries logs to the sea from higher up the mountain, define all areas. Gloria and a friend had many times trekked toward the river's source, and finding interesting shaped logs near the waters edge, pushed them into the bouncing current, 'riding' them to her retreat where they were beached ready for future use. A cooking facility dominated the kitchen area. It was an enormous table packed high with hard mud and stones of all sizes. These were placed in such a way that they formed fire pits and supports to hold pots and pans: one fire, two, or three could be lit as necessity required. The cupboards were slatted to keep out forest animals and all edible supplies kept in a huge hanging safe suspended from tree branches. Small oil lamps, reminiscent of Shambhala, were everywhere. At night, by their flickering light, the forest became a fairy glen. We were there at the time of the full moon so the lamps were merely for effect. Moonlight danced upon the water and splashed silver along pathways. During the day, as I walked alone beside that swift flowing river, I felt a peace descend on me. I once watched a blood 96
red leaf floating well below the surface of the water, every small vein clearly visible; with sadness I imagined how the world must have been prior to pollution by man. Sometimes I waded into the crystal clear water to gather coloured stones from the riverbed. Two of these treasures, one marked clearly with a green quarter moon, and the other in the shape of a heart, I carried back to the retreat. Carefree as a child I slid down waterfalls and swam where they emptied into deeper pools. It was a very special place for me, and on the second day I knew I too was meant to open a retreat, a place of time out. There would be no courses; no organised activities, no expectations. A place to just be. A place where water could be heard running over stones. The name would be 'La Paz' (The Peace). I resolved to do this when I returned to Australia. After a hot walk back across dry hills, another cold coconut drink was welcome when we reached the café. This time a jukebox played loudly and although it was well before noon, three young men were drinking beer straight from bottles as they danced wildly on the dusty roadway. Disinterested dogs watched from shady positions under small tables. It was almost bizarre. I looked back twice before entering our pre-ordered taxi. During my two weeks at Zipolite Beach Gloria was evaluating certain areas of her life. She made no firm decisions. It was a time for us to be together. The bus returning me to Oaxaca passed through the village where L.A. and I had eaten the mushrooms. This time, at a small café, I drank delicious hot chocolate from a chipped, blue cup. As I sipped 97
I pondered on changes to my life. I'd felt so sad after leaving L.A. in Arizona, but having done so I'd been forced to stand alone on my spiritual path, following direction given to me on the mountain. When I arrived at Oaxaca I again booked into the Hotel Pombo. This time the only available accommodation was in one of the courtyard rooms. The residing monster of the outside bathroom was a wild one. Ashes and fire fell freely from a broken base and it roared in protest at my interference. After extinguishing a small fire on the bathroom floor it was clearly time to leave Oaxaca or change hotels. At the zocalo that day, a tourist sitting beside me on a park bench spoke in glowing terms of 'Casa Arnel', the hotel where the English girls, on my arrival in Oaxaca, had asked me to stay. This recommendation was well timed. I moved there the following morning. This small hotel was quaint, and water, hot and plentiful, came without the daily necessity to fight the dragon. My room, painted deep blue, grew warm as morning sun crossed the tree-filled courtyard, giving joy to leafy plants on my small balcony, before leaping through the tiny window to touch my pillow. I woke with joy to another day and opened wide the door to see blue, blue sky. In this room, the least expensive in the hotel, I was at peace, though I could not understand why I was still there. I knew I was waiting for something, but did not know what. Guests came and went, staying the customary four or five days, ample time to explore the area and enjoy the many delights this ancient, colonial town has to offer. I resisted the invitations of many who asked me to travel on with them, knowing I could not yet 98
leave. So I walked the cobbled streets, past high front walls of houses enclosing fascinating courtyards. Occasionally wide gates were left ajar, and I looked with wonder at large pots overflowing with brilliantly coloured flowers. Sometimes a family group would be eating their meal under a central tree, guarded from the now hot sun by its protective branches. Oh the colour of Mexico! These walks I did daily on my way to the busy market to buy freshly squeezed juice from my special place; the one where the smiling young Mexican boy greets me with "Buenos Dias Senora." It is here at these tiny stands of the extensive market that one senses the interconnectedness between the vendor and the person who purchases the offered product. One feels the beauty of a people whose spirit is ignited and sustained through interaction with others. Hand touches hand and a deeper exchange is made, the beauty of contact with another soul. I weave my way through aisles where goods in every colour known to nature, or created by science, are represented in eyepopping display. I pass pottery, clothing, fruits and vegetables until I stumble upon a section dedicated to commodities of the hoof. Here are poultry with beaks intact, rope-like animal entrails tenuously hanging from fresh meat booths and huge hog heads that seem to be staring at me, daring me to take them home. I hurry by until masses of flowers greet me with sweet and exotic fragrance. Each day, even on my small budget, I was able to place flaming wild flowers and the loveliest of sweet scented roses in my room. My six feet by eight feet home became a delight. I found myself 99
becoming quite isolated, spending my time reading and meditating. Gradually I came to understand I was actually in retreat, my tiny room my cell, the pebbled footpaths, the cloister. But my routine was to change. One day, on opening the courtyard gate, I saw a stranger (in this lifetime), a woman seated at the long communal dining table. She was eating chicken soup and smiled as I approached. I knew my waiting time was over. Darla Degeneffe and I had reconnected. To my question as to how long she planned to stay in Oaxaca, she replied with a slight American drawl: "I was planning to buy a home in Mitla but there has been an earthquake since I last saw it. The roof has been damaged and I have been advised to let it go. But would you like to see it? No one has lived there for years." This village, one of the most unique and best-preserved ancient archaeological sites in the surrounding area, lies some twenty miles east of Oaxaca. Arriving at Mitla the following day Darla was unable to unlock the large entrance gates. Undaunted, two, far from young women, accepted the offer of the friendly Mexican family living next door, to use a rickety home-made ladder to climb over the crumbling eight feet high adobe wall. Holding tightly to the branch of a conveniently placed tree, hearts thumping madly, we managed to swing down through a sea of green into the garden. Brilliant red and yellow bougainvillea hugged trees and splashed across an ancient well. Two stone lion heads, carved by hands long gone, peered defiantly through masses of blossom. A rusty bucket dangled by a 100
twisted old rope. Ankle deep leaves rustled as we walked towards a small house with high adobe walls, large arched windows and huge wooden entrance doors. We did not speak as we pushed open these creaking old doors. A spacious room, complete with an ornate fireplace, beamed ceiling and terracotta floor met our astonished eyes. It was enchanting. It was holy. It was peace personified. Despite the fact thick cobwebs draped low from the ceiling, the room was heavy with dust and the roof tilted precariously, we knew this would be Darla's home. We decided to clean. Every day we caught the small bus from Oaxaca and rolled up our sleeves to dust and scrub. Sometimes we moved to the garden to pull at vines or rake up barrow loads of leaves, pausing at the well to peer intently through cracked boards in the vain hope of detecting water deep down in the murky depths. Occasionally, too, we'd sit in a sunny corner drinking coffee, dream of what the long neglected casa could become and wonder about what it had already known. The ghosts of the past stand watch. One can feel and sometimes glimpse an earlier owner. It is recorded she was an impeccable housekeeper. She still sits, wearing her long gored skirt and primly tucked shirtwaist, gently rocking in her favourite chair. From her belt dangles a heavy ring of large keys, worn always since the day the Zapatistas broke through the hacienda doors seeking revenge upon wealthy landowners. This was the bloody revolution of 1910.
Darla and her husband have now lived for many years in that sacred place and peace continues to descend on all who visit their little Casa within the walled garden. And I, four months after leaving Sydney, returned home.
Back in Australia, enjoying the company of friends and family, the idea of opening a retreat was still with me. It came to mind frequently but energy did not follow thought. This was to change. A month after my return, when attending my regular meditation class, a member of the group said to me. "Lexie, I have been given something to tell you. I don't know what it means but the words are, "Don't forget your resolve." I knew immediately of what she spoke and the next day drove north to the Hunter Valley in search of a property suitable for my retreat. By telephone, a real estate agent in the small town of Dungog, spoke of a house he expected to be coming up for rent at Glenn William. "Yes, it is situated in a country area, and yes, it is by a river, but as it is not yet listed on my books, I cannot take you to see it." Giving my name but no other details I decided to drive to Glenn William. At a house set well back from the road a man was painting a wall. I knew instinctively this was the place and stopped to speak with him. "Yes," he said, "This house is at present unoccupied," but looked surprised when I spoke of having contacted a real estate 103
agent. "It's already been let," he informed me. "I'm a friend of the owner and he told me to find a tenant. A family is moving in next week." Disappointed, I returned to Sydney. Although unable to see inside the residence, I had glimpsed enough to know it would be perfect for my needs. Resuming my search two weeks later, I decided, before driving further up the valley, to go to the agency at Dungog in the hope another country property may be available. When I gave my name, the man at the desk looked puzzled and quickly flipped through a book before answering. "But we already have a property for you. It's on twelve acres beside the river at Glenn William. We couldn't contact you as you didn't leave a telephone number. We have been waiting for your call. When do you want to move in?" It was of course the house I'd seen earlier. The family had at the last minute decided against taking it. He continued, "You do realise it is only available for six months before going up for sale." I chose to ignore this, believing if needed longer it would be there for me. I was not asked for references or any other details. I signed the lease and eight weeks after returning from Mexico I opened 'La Paz'. Friends, as well as complete strangers came. There was no charge. Some brought supplies to add to my pantry and others contributed to the 'kitty' jar. I always had extras and together we cooked our meals on the huge wood-burning stove. Rocking chairs and a hammock were placed on wide verandahs and I spread deck chairs across the lawns. Thick lantana bushes were cleared to allow a broad view of the river and masses of petunias, marigolds and 104
herbs were planted in large blue pots. Sunflowers grew tall against verandah posts. A wood fire warmed the house on cold winter nights whilst on warmer days French doors opened wide to catch the breeze. The birds became friends. Kookaburras would tap on my window if I failed to give them meat when absorbed in writing. Brilliant coloured parrots and tiny wrens came for grain. Families of rabbits frolicked outside my kitchen window in the early morning and evening. Cows grazed in the paddocks. My morning alarm was a bird chorus. On still summer evenings, I could sometimes hear, from further up the river, water bubbling over stones. I painted 'La Paz' (the peace) on a white river stone and placed it by the front door. My little retreat opened at week-ends for up to three days and I could accommodate four people simultaneously. Occasionally a bed might be placed in the meditation room. I felt it important separate rooms be offered, although sometimes friends were happy to share. Following direction given at Gloria's resort in the Mexican hills, there were no organized activities and no expectations. A place to 'just be'. Native animals and birds in their country setting filled in for television and radio. There was always a live show to be viewed from the house. Everyone was welcome; all were special guests in my home. Together we walked a country road, swam or canoed on the river, while others chose to relax with a book in deck chairs. Sometimes too, we'd drink tea sitting on the shady verandah, 105
serenaded by kookaburras, magpies and butcher birds. At night there were long discussions on life and meaning as we lit candles and lingered over dinner with a glass of wine. This meal was usually shared at the round oak table which stood by the French doors in the living room. It was more intimate than the formal dining area. I was always amazed to see how quickly these women, complete strangers, bonded with trust and openness. Looking beyond individual differences they reached out to each other, giving and accepting the warmth and support sisterhood offers. Never was there a word of criticism or judgment, only compassion and understanding. Maybe we glimpsed our own vulnerability mirrored in another's eyes. Some came with fresh pain close to their hearts, some carrying deep hurt from childhood, others escaping work pressures or taking a brief 'time-out'. A few just came. All left uplifted by nature's blessings. The faces of these women have faded and names forgotten (I didn't keep records) but they remain within a corner of my heart. Their warmth, togetherness, laughter, and occasional tears are forever woven into the magic of my time at Glenn William. Six months passed and the sale of the property was delayed a further three months. I was happy there and unconcerned though my time of leaving was drawing close. Deep within me I knew my life was again to change. Then a letter arrived from L.A. It was three years since he'd made contact and once more I smiled at the brevity he used when 106
corresponding. He gave no information about himself, merely enquired about my life and wrote his address and telephone number. I did not reply immediately, asking and waiting for a sign giving direction. Two weeks later I saw a cent on the floor beside my open front door. This surprised me. It was a long time since cents had been legal tender in Australia. I was even more surprised to see it was an American coin. When my daughter came to visit, I said to her, "L.A. is going to ask me to join him in America." She laughed and said, "I think you'd better ask for a second sign Lex. Anyway, let me see it. I don't believe it is an American coin. Where could it have come from?" She looked at it intently, turning it over in her hand a few times. "The only word I can see here is 'trust'." Engraved on all American coins are the words 'In God we trust'. I had my second sign.
1996/7/8 USA & Mexico
My stay at Glenn William ended in January 1996. I arranged to meet L.A. in Oregon at the beginning of the American spring. We spent a few months together, then again in 1997. Our roads crossed for the last time in 1998, in Mexico where it all began. He was on his way to Costa Rica to open a spiritual retreat and had detoured to say hello to me at Zipolite Beach where I was visiting Gloria. I knew I could not accept his invitation to later visit Costa Rica and maybe work with him there. My road led elsewhere. So we met, and we parted. I take comfort in the words of a very old friend who once said, "The dance doesn't have to last forever." The wheel turns.
“I have been here before, but when or how, I cannot tell. I know the grass beyond the door, the sweet keen smell, the sighing sound : the lights around the shore. You have been mine before - how long ago I may not know, but just when at that swallow's soar, your neck turned so, some veil did fall, - I knew it all of yore.”
Dante Gabriel Rossetti
2000 England & Wales
It was the year of 1993 when Peter, a wise and loving spirit, first re-blessed me with his presence. I was to later learn of the many lifetimes we had spent together. He is a much loved and trusted guide. As the years pass and my backpack and I continue to travel the world, I always make a detour to Mexico so Darla and I can be together. We are spiritual sisters. During this time Peter is able to make closer contact with me. Darla clearly sees spirit; I never fail to feel his presence. His love for me and mine for him reveals itself as we relax there together, and my emotion and tears settle. Then we three are able to joke and laugh, to remember the past and ponder on the future. One night Peter told us of a special lifetime when I was his wife. I had lived in Wales. Darla and I were immediately shown a vision of a huge stone building with a tower standing tall against the sky. "Peter," I said in amazement. "Was it a castle?" He smiled. "Some called it that." "If I go there, could I see it?" "The stones are still 110
there," he replied. Darla and I were intrigued, and it wasn't long before we decided to travel to Wales in search of my mysterious home. It was then Peter began to give us information to open the way. He gave us the following: *Castle Roach *Cromwell *Two children: a boy and a girl. *1632 *White cliffs (and do not go too close!) *Pembrokeshire *The Valley of the Roses *See the lions at the Tower of London *London Museum *St. David's Cathedral: Castle Roach is a half-hour horse ride from the cathedral. One night a friend of Peter's visited us in spirit. He brought with him a three-pronged crown. I asked who it was for. As he handed it to me he said, "You know." I did not feel it was mine to wear, or feel I should put it on, so I gave it back. He also told us Peter stood for the crown during England's War of Independence. We started to piece together our cryptic puzzle. Using Pembrokeshire as our main clue it was not long before we identified Castle Roach as being Castle Roch. It is situated in Pembrokeshire, Wales, half an hour's horse ride from St. David's Cathedral. Here too, is where we located the Vale of Roses. Castle Roch's high 111
tower is visible for miles before one arrives at the small village of Roch. In some areas dangerous cliffs drop sharply to the sea. This part of Wales stood staunchly true to the king during the Wars of Independence and Cromwell's troops severely damaged Roch Castle. William Walter, the owner of the Castle and estate at that time, had a daughter Lucy. Adding the given date of 1632, we established beyond doubt that I could have been no other than Lucy Walter. Meanwhile we searched further for information about Wales. Darla, in America, when asking for a travel book on Wales was instead handed a novel called "The Child from the Sea." As she flicked through the pages, intending to hand it back to the assistant in the bookshop, the name Castle Roch caught her eye. Nothing is a coincidence. That small book was to become the blueprint for our sojourn in Wales. The author, Elisabeth Goodge wrote:
"On a visit to St. David's in Pembrokeshire, overwhelmed by the magic of the place, I saw in the distance a castle appearing through the mist, high up against the sky and I became obsessed by the idea that I had to write about someone who had lived there ... a Welsh friend told me I had seen Roch Castle, which had belonged to the Walter family, and that Lucy Walter, the mother of the Duke of Monmouth, had probably been born there. The only thing I knew about Lucy was that very little is known about her, and that little not to her credit. Then I was lent a book written by Lord George Scott, one of her descendents and the whole picture changed ... now a storyteller who is told a historical character may have been entirely different to what we have previously supposed is lost...”
Lucy claimed she had married Charles 11 in Wales when they were both eighteen. If so, their son James, who was later to become the Duke of Monmouth, was true heir to the throne of England. Charles immediately acknowledged him as his son and it is well recorded he and Lucy met many times in different countries when Charles was 'King in Exile'. A daughter, Mary, was later born to Lucy but Charles did not claim parentage. The Crown of England was in peril. Charles' own father, Charles 1, had been publicly beheaded, and Oliver Cromwell was Lord Protector of England. A politically correct marriage was essential if Charles was to gain the necessary support to allow him to return to England and take his rightful place as King. His beloved Lucy did not fulfil that category. Later a diplomatic marriage to a Portuguese princess was arranged. She was never loved by him and brought no heirs to the throne. His younger brother, James, became the recognised heir and it was he who became James 1 of England. James, son of Lucy and Charles 11, was, at a very young age, taken from his mother. He grew to manhood at the Royal Court, while Lucy was to die before Charles ascended the throne. But where was all this leading? If I was Lucy, was Peter then Charles? A question to be pondered. Peter urged us "not to tarry", so on the 14th September, 2000, Darla and I met at a pre-arranged hotel behind Victoria Station, she travelling from her home in Mexico, and I from mine in Australia. 113
The next day it was raining when we set out to follow Peter's clues. Our first destination was the British Museum. Later Peter was to tell us that we goofed that one, he had directed us to the London Museum, so our enquiries for information on Charles 11 and the Duke of Monmouth were unproductive. We looked intently at the few items on display and read the little information on file, before again stepping out into the heavy rain. Although now quite wet and uncomfortable, we decided to go to the Tower of London 'to see the lions'. Knowing there were none did not deter us. We did know the Duke of Monmouth was once interned within its walls. Charles and Lucy had, from the time their son was born, fondly called him Jackie, and as I write I shall call him that too, simply because I feel more comfortable doing so. It was at the Tower that Jackie was beheaded as a traitor. Charles was already dead and Jackie's uncle, James, wore the crown. We approached a beefeater to enquire about the lions. "Yes, they were here. There was once a zoo." He pointed to ground nearby. "They wandered there." Not finding this information relevant we asked about the Duke of Monmouth. "He was held in Thomas Moore's cellar for a few days before his execution. It just happens that for this year, 2000, it has been open to the public. It will then be resealed. You cannot enter without a guide. A beefeater holding a flag will be under that tree in an hour. But don't be late, he only takes a small number." We wandered towards Traitor's Gate, aware that Lucy and 114
Jackie together, had at another time been imprisoned in the Tower. As we looked to where their boat would have entered, and listened to the lap of the Thames against cold, grey stone, Lucy's heartache became our own. With slow steps and tear filled eyes we walked on. This imprisonment occurred when Lucy returned to England after her mother's death. She had come to collect her inheritance, which included a beautiful string of pearls. Lucy by this time was becoming an embarrassment in government circles, as well as to Charles' mother, who was desperate for him to make a marriage that would profit England. Focusing on being on time for the tour of the cellar, I became agitated when Darla followed slowly. As I approached the meeting place under the tree, I kept turning to look back, fearing that unless we were early we would not be included in the limited tour number. I had decided if necessary, I would go on alone, when she arrived to make the last of the group. Later she explained how she had experienced great difficulty in moving, as with every slow step she became more and more aware of the possible perilous commitment we were making. We stood at the back of the group while the attendant spoke of Thomas Moore's life. No mention was made of Jackie but Darla and I already knew within our hearts we had been given wrong information. We would have felt Jackie's earlier presence in the room. Before leaving I spoke to the guard and he answered my question: "Yes, he was held here, or it could have been somewhere close by." He went on to speak negatively of Lord Monmouth, and 115
I, Lucy, like any mother, was sharply defensive of my son. As we left, assuming after my outburst we were one of Jackie's descendants, he pointed to a nearby building. "He is buried in that chapel, right under the silver cross. You must go there." We entered the building and I sat in a front pew, the one closest to the cross which had been placed on the altar, in front of Jackie's grave. I sobbed. Overcome with the sadness of my/Lucy's life, the loss of her husband Charles and her son, her loneliness and early death, I could not stop my tears. Darla, while dealing with her own sorrow, comforted me before speaking to the guard. He told her Jackie's shield was placed with his body. An ermine bar indicating to the world he was born 'out of wedlock' had only later been added. My grief became stronger and my sobs deeper before I felt a familiar and loving presence standing behind me. As he enclosed me with his cloak, Darla saw Charles 11, I felt Peter. Finally, still in mourning, we left the chapel. Stumbling and weeping we moved into the rain. In the chapel Darla had said to me, "you must hold your baby. You must hold him in your arms." I attempted to visualize and feel Jackie as a small baby but was unable to do so. On reaching the hotel, both feeling emotionally and physically exhausted, we lay side by side on the bed, and closed our eyes. Darla said again, "you must hold him." It was still too difficult for me to do. She continued. "So I'm to rock the cradle. You must be alone with Charles. You must not worry about Jackie. He will be well cared for. You must be alone with Charles." 116
At that moment I stepped into the 17th century. I was Lucy, holding Charles in my arms. I felt his body, and knew his deep sorrow and despair, but needed Darla to allow me to communicate verbally with him. His words, at this time, could reach me only through her. From Charles, "you came!" He had been deeply fearful until I actually arrived in England. "You promised once before, but you forgot, and only by your coming could Jackie be freed from his frozen pain. This is the last time this opportunity could be allowed." I realised these promises must be made before birth, and in that lifetime I must have indeed forgotten. But here in the year 2000, Darla lovingly held Jackie, again a tiny baby. She too had stepped back in time. Once more Mary, Jackie's younger sister, held a very familiar little bundle. She felt acutely his deep feelings of innermost pain, and the accumulated agonies of that past life. Again and again these were expressed telepathically from Jackie; "They didn't hold me. It was so unfair. They didn't hold me." Lucy's loving arms had been sorely missed, and no adequate substitute had been provided. Then we slept. Jackie in Darla's arms, and Charles in mine. The following day and night this reconnecting continued. There were centuries of missed love to experience. Darla and I were in a special place and time. Effortlessly we crossed to the 17th century. Instantaneously we were there. The transfer and the time were never of our making. Although in our world I had only to hold out my right hand to feel Charles take it. Darla continued to see Charles as clearly as she did me. I felt his touch, his warmth, and his love. 117
After two days in London, we knew it was time to go to Wales. Our destination, Roch Castle. From London, it is a seven-hour bus journey to Haverford West. The next day we planned to take a local bus to the village of Roch. The winding road, often following the coastline, is beautiful, but Darla suffers severe motion sickness and for her the journey was torturous. We soon realised Jackie was no longer travelling with us but glimpsed Charles, accompanied by friends, riding beside us on his magnificent black horse. It rained and rained. At dusk we arrived at Haverford West. Darla was exhausted and the rain continued. We decided we must take the first available accommodations for the night, even if the cost was to be more than our limited budget warranted. A short distance from the bus stop was a small English pub. We were taken up a rather steep wooden stairway to find awaiting us a beautiful room with a huge bathroom attached. Shelves packed with bubble bath, shampoo, and body lotion were at our disposal. For two weary travellers this was indeed heaven. Through lace curtains we could see a rather dreary restaurant but felt elated at finding food and shelter so quickly. We knew we must rest, as tomorrow was to be a very special day. Lucy and her daughter Mary were going home. We arrived at Roch, feeling both excited and calm at the same time. We'd glimpsed the tall tower of the castle many times as we drove towards it. First thing on our agenda was to find suitable accommodation. Our backpacks were heavy. I looked towards a shabby hotel nearby. 118
Darla knew it was not where we were to go. Much further down the road we could see a bed and breakfast. I did not feel like walking the distance, but Darla, whom I knew was more tired than I, said, "Come on, Lex. We can go that far." I looked at her in surprise but did not argue. As we moved towards our destination I paused to speak to a woman standing in her front garden. In answer to my query she said; "Why, yes. There is a good place to stay, just two doors down from here." There was certainly no sign to indicate this when I knocked on the door of the small cottage called 'Bali Hai'. The friendly owner, looking surprised, informed us they were no longer receiving guests. "We have been closed for two years." Pointing to our planned destination he suggested, "There is 'A Cottage by the Sea'. Why don't I ring the owner, and ask her to pick you two ladies up?” While waiting for our transport to arrive, we were surprised to find we had knocked on the door of the very person who could answer some of our questions about Roch Castle. "Many, many years ago, I was able to rent it myself. Do you know, on a clear day, from the roof of the tower you can see to Ireland?" He went on to give us the information we needed to make contact with the present owners. "They don't live in the Castle now. They live nearby. I can direct you to their house, but you will not be able to see inside. It has been rented out as holiday accommodation for years now and never is anyone allowed inside, or even to enter the grounds. The 119
bookings have to be made several years in advance. Anyway, their name is Berry." This information did in no way deter us. We knew we had not been guided this far to be turned away. We would step inside our earlier home. But first we had to settle our own accommodation for the night. We were warmly welcomed by Fritz and Judy Newcombe when we arrived at 'The Cottage by the Sea', and what a wonderful room we were given. French doors opened onto a glass-enclosed porch, where a small table and two chairs had been placed. This sun-drenched area, protected from cold winds blowing off the sea was alive with brightly coloured potted plants. Peace washed over us. This was only one of the many times our comfort was cared for, and our resting place prepared. We were in safe and loving hands. The queen-sized bed called to our weary limbs, but we were unable to refuse the kind offer of our host to drop us back to Roch village. Leaving our luggage unpacked allowed us to be, just fifteen minutes later, within close proximity of our castle. As we walked up the winding road, I felt Charles take my hand. Darla and I were becoming more emotional with each eager step. Only when Darla said, with surprise, "It seems as if Charles is seeing the castle for the first time”, did we remember that when Charles was there with Lucy it had been severely damaged. It has since been restored. Our plan had been to approach the Berry's the following day. Suddenly it came strongly to me this approach must be made now, in fact we must hurry to their house. Darla turned to me, "Lexie, are you sure?" To my own surprise, 120
because it is most unusual for me to be sure in these matters, I answered, "Yes." Without further discussion, Darla said, "Come on then," and we hurried to where we thought we would find the Berry's house. In the process we took two wrong turns, which conveniently delayed us a little. As we walked up their driveway we heard voices. The timing was perfect. Mr. Berry was stepping through his front door to join a friend on the porch for coffee. His wife followed, carrying her still untouched cup. Darla stepped forward offering her business card in an outstretched hand. "We are looking for the Berrys." Mr. Berry laughed and pointed towards his wife. "There, you've found one." Darla continued. "We're interested in renting the castle for a long term lease. I believe there are two sections. It is the original part, which is of interest. Twelve months is the period we have in mind." When he mentioned the cost would be 1,500 English pounds a week, Darla didn't blink an eyelid. I watched in silent admiration as she went on to speak of the convenience of a nearby airfield, explaining that her husband flies his own plane. Later, she was to explain to me, "I didn't at any time lie, Lexie. My husband really could afford to rent the castle, and as you know, he does fly his own plane. And just imagine, how you could write here!" This was not the last time I was to see Darla working. To her, the impossible just does not exist. I grew to completely trust her extra ordinary powers, and never argue against any decision she makes, realising that her guidance comes from outside this world. 121
"You know," said Mr. Berry, "this is the only week in years that there has not been a tenant in the castle, so we never take anyone through it. In fact, those who now holiday here are all children or friends of those who came to us twenty years ago. If we were not in the middle of a nation wide petrol strike, it would be occupied. It is the only week anyone could possibly see inside. No one is leaving home this week in case they cannot get back." Again, our timing was perfect. Turning to his wife, he said, "Why don't you get the keys and show these people through?" Even when she replied she really wanted to drink her coffee he urged her to take it with her. Reluctantly, she complied. She and Darla walked ahead. I dropped behind in order to more fully experience my former home. Mrs. Berry and Darla spoke of their common interest in tapestry, before realising they had both spent time living in the same foreign countries. They relaxed with each other. Her husband, recuperating from a knee operation, became curious about our extended absence and pulled himself on his crutches up the winding stone staircase. "You know," he said, "people come from all over the world with ridiculous stories in an attempt to see inside the castle. In fact, had I not needed to speak privately to the man who had just arrived, and had we not been out front when you came, even though the castle is empty, I would have given you the brush off." Darla said (and meant it), "Well, seeing it is vacant, and we are here, may we rent it for the week?" Mrs. Berry quickly replied, as she turned towards her husband, "The people who have paid may still arrive." He reminded her they had already cancelled. "If it 122
becomes necessary, we will leave immediately," said Darla. "Why don't you just think about it, and we will drop by tomorrow for your answer." They were agreeable to this suggestion. We then decided to find the centuries old church we knew was situated close to the castle. It was there, Charles told us, that our marriage had taken place. It is, of course, a little changed, though still remains an active parish. As we moved away from the castle, I felt strong emotions and whispered to Darla. "There is where Charles and Lucy always said goodbye." Charles had told me our marriage must, in my time space, be repeated in the church. We were devastated to find the doors locked. Eventually, not knowing what else to do, as Darla explored the church grounds looking at old tombstones, I 'stepped along the aisle' outside the church, envisioning that Charles and I were within its walls. I took us through the marriage lines, strongly aware that Lucy's younger brother, Dewi, was there with us. Darla came around the corner of the church just as the ceremony finished, and Charles and I were walking from the grounds. At that moment church bells began to peel loudly. Darla's eyes opened wide. She looked at me in amazement. "Lexie, did you do that?" The church bells, now electronically timed, ring daily at twelve o'clock. We were really tired by now, needing rest. Returning to our room, we lay on the large bed beneath a cover printed with full-blown cabbage roses. (Many times over the years Peter has given me roses, and sometimes, I, and others who happen to be with me at the time, 123
enjoy the rose perfume, which without explanation, can surround me.) Feelings of exhaustion were with us almost continually. But there were occasions too, when we, in our own time and space, laughed together, and felt our closeness. The stepping back and forth between centuries continued to occur frequently. It happened almost every time we rested. Occasionally we ordered a local beer with our evening meal. Charles always joined us, laughing with enjoyment as he drank ale from his pewter mug. His sexually charged charisma filled the air. With his long black curly hair and wearing a white shirt, green waistcoat, and long trousers tucked into high riding boots, he would tilt his head to touch me, his Lucy. I loved feeling him beside me, while envying Darla who continued to see him clearly. The roaring fire burning brightly in the old stone fireplace, and the drowsy ginger-coloured cat resting upon the hearth added atmosphere to our local pub. Charles would look in on us when we entered an English tea room but never stayed when we ordered Darla's favourite 'cream teas'. A rapidly growing Jackie rejoined us. We were now a foursome. But there was a division. Charles's interaction was solely with me, as Jackie's was with Darla alone. There was never any communication between father and son. It seemed neither was aware of the other's presence. Soon Jackie began to make his own demands, bringing added difficulties for his sister Mary. Darla/Mary, while giving him love and attention, was also dealing with her own emotions from that lifetime. As she found her love 124
and loyalties leaning more strongly toward Jackie, resentment to her father, Charles, surfaced. After being taken from his mother, Jackie had been deprived of love. Darla was blaming Charles for this neglect. At the same time, I was growing closer to Charles. In reliving our love, Lucy's love became my own. When in the 17th Century I was Lucy - completely so, aware only of my existence in her time. No knowledge of Lexie or her life in the 21st century stayed with me. The next day we again walked to the Berry's house. We needed their decision as to whether they would allow us to rent the castle for the week. "The money must not be a deterrent," said Darla. "We have not been sent on this journey to be stopped by that." As we grew nearer to the house, it became clearer to her that they would answer no. Just before arriving there she stopped to say, "Lexie, this is very important. What do you want to happen? Your answer is very, very, important." I replied that it would not be a problem if they said no, but added that just one night at the castle would be great. I knew Charles and Lucy had spent their wedding night there, and this was meant to be repeated in my time. "You realise you may have to go in spirit don't you?" said Darla. "And Lexie, if you had been upset about the decision, I would have had to let Mary and Jackie go, in order to comfort you." We walked on. There was no answer when we knocked at the Berry's door so we went again to the church. Finding the door still locked we sat on stones opposite the entrance. As we pondered on what to do next, they drove past. They waved, but did not stop, which of course 125
confirmed our position. We would not be renting Roch Castle that week. A few minutes later another car approached us. This one stopped. The owner of 'Bali Hai' stepped out, accompanied by his wife. We were greeted with "Hello there. Have you seen inside the church? If it's locked we can get the key for you." Darla and I looked at each other. Help never failed to come. They were there to place flowers on their son's grave. Nothing is a coincidence. So once more I entered the church. The church where, when both aged eighteen, Lucy married her Charles, over three hundred years ago. I asked permission to leave the others and walked down the aisle to the altar. I left Darla conversing with the accommodating couple as they waited for me in the vestibule. Darla's eyes were drawn to a framed poem, which she asked me to photograph. It wasn't until back in Mexico, with the aid of a powerful magnifying glass, was she able to read the words. They held significant meaning for our journey:
I am the fresh fragrance of flowers impregnating the air after April shed showers. For I am the lonely flight of a bird, unnoticed, uncared for, unhurried, unheard. For I am the verdant voice of springtime, the life force of living; nature's rhythm sublime. For I am the gentle mist of the morning, shrouding the headlands of each day's new dawning.
For I am the bemused sounds of the city; of sharing and caring, or a callous unpity. For I am the voice of another new birth, proclaiming aloud the new Heaven and Earth. For I am the spark of mankind's new learning, the gifts of all knowledge, the unconscious yearning for a bridge between God and a bridge between man. For man cannot build it, only I can. For I am the love of the lovelorn, for a love that flares hot, or breathes cool. For I am the life that must be reborn to create a new law, a new rule, that will fashion man's hope for the future, that will quench their fears of the 'now'. that will stifle the questions, the lies, the half-truths, the 'ifs' and the 'buts' and the 'hows'. For I am the wind in the heather, and I am the gorse on the hill. For I am all seasons, all ages, all weathers, and the end of all things is my will. For I am the laws of all history, and I am the experience of all. For the truth that I am is a mystery, from Creation - and Satan's great fall. For I am the calm, tranquil ocean, and I am the moon-caressed sea. And I have set all things in motion, and I have said "Let all things be."
For the sound of church bells on a Sunday, the cries of young children at play, the "blues" of a workday Monday, all mirror your thoughts for the day. For I am where you should go, for time is fast passing, remember, and there is so much for all to askew. For I am the sound and the fury, for I pronounce judgment on all. For I am both judge and jury, to stand and be seen, or to fall! For I have fashioned my love deep within you, the works and the deeds that you do. the light, so extinguished by many, and the truth, so ennobled by few. For mine was the life, mine the grieving. for mine was the suffering, too. For yours is the choice twixt believing, or not, Or that Hell and not Heaven awaits you.
Inside the church I knew that this was our 'real' second wedding. I, Lucy, wearing my much-loved green silk dress and my golden locket, knelt with Charles before the altar as we repeated our wedding vows. Deciding a celebration should follow, and with Charles in merry mood, we joined him as he again drank ale from his pewter mug. We had a local beer. 128
After the wedding the crossover to the 17th century became more frequent. I was now completely Lucy. Lexie did not exist. Charles and I were both young, beautiful, married and deeply in love. We again wandered the fields around Roch Castle, laughing and singing together, carefree and full of the joy of each other. Then Darla and I, in our time, walked across a pasture below the castle to rest upon the green, green grass, of home. The picturesque bay stretched before us. Tiny white cottages nestled on a small hill. Again we were blessed with a feeling of great peace. As I lay back to look towards the sky, I felt Charles beside me holding my hand. Now he was with me almost continually, night and day. If I were not in his world, he joined me in mine. We did in spirit spend our wedding night at Roch Castle. He sang to me, his beautiful voice giving added meaning to the words of the song.
When thou sigh'st though sigh'st not wind, but sigh'st my soul away. When thou weep'st unkindly kind My life's blood doth decay. It cannot be that thou love'st me as thou say'st, if in thine my love thou waste that is the best of me. Let not thou divining heart forethink me any ill. Destiny may take thy part and may thy fears fulfil. But think that we are
but turned aside to sleep. They who one another keep alive Ne'er parted be.
I wiped the tears from my eyes. Arising early, Charles and I rode our horses to St. David's Cathedral. There we knelt to pray for our marriage and for England, well aware of the peril that could overtake both. Later that day, this time with Darla, I again travelled to the cathedral. We went humbly, as pilgrims. There Lexie's pewter brooch was given to her through Darla, from Charles. "You had the love, strength and courage to bring me here once again." The brooch is a replica for pilgrims since St. David's was consecrated as a cathedral. Peter had earlier told Darla to buy rosemary for remembrance. I followed as she searched shop after shop in the village. When, in desperation, she was looking at small pot plants, we both saw the humour of her efforts. We laughed and decided to once again enjoy Darla's favourite 'cream-teas'. (How often I think back and picture her great enjoyment in this simple pleasure.) As she became interested in exploring the fascinating little teashop, we suddenly realized the last bus would have left for Roch. Our search for rosemary and cream-teas had caused us to be stranded miles from our B&B. A local bus driver we appealed to for help shook his head, telling us we would need to stay the night in the village. He did give us the number of the only taxi in the area. "But he won't be in town, he is never available." Of course he was. 130
"The only day in weeks," he said as he drove us back to our special little pub by the sea. We settled contentedly by the fire and the cat, and ordered tomato soup. I laughed as I savoured the first mouthful, realizing the strong flavour was rosemary. We knew Peter was laughing too. We asked the cook for the recipe and have since made and enjoyed it many times. We call it Lucy's soup.
2 cups vegetable stock 4 tomatoes Rosemary, and thyme 11/2 cups skimmed milk Combine the first 3 ingredients and heat until serving temperature. Heat the milk in a separate pan until it reaches the same temperature as the stock. Blend, season to taste.
As Charles and I relived our lives together, Darla watched Jackie experiencing rapid growth. He was quickly reaching the age when formal education would be necessary in order for him to fulfil his right as future king. It was decided he be placed at Eton. Again he left us. Darla, now free of the responsibility of Jackie, found herself an observer in Charles' and Lucy's time, and friend and support to Lexie in the 21st century. The second day after the wedding, I awoke knowing we were to return to London. In order to be in time for the bus, we had a very quick breakfast and threw our belongings into our backpacks. We were on our way. As we passed Eton, Darla could clearly hear 131
Jackie singing in the choir. "He has a beautiful singing voice, just like his father." A room was available at our London hotel, and this time we were not surprised when we were transported to the 17th century. Charles told me: "You must now concentrate on joy, sunshine, flowers, laughter, beauty, and, above all, on happiness." The following day we planned to go to Windsor Castle, where Charles 1 was interred after his tragic death. Before sleeping I read aloud to Darla excerpts I'd photocopied from the book "Charles 11” by Antonia Fraser, before leaving Australia. We had not had time to look at it once our incredible journey began. As I read unremembered words, we felt more fully the pain and sorrow endured by Jackie during that lifetime. Darla experienced a rush of anger towards Charles and was telling him so. I quickly defended him. This was happening in our time-space. Almost immediately I found myself alone with Charles in his time. He was experiencing deep emotional pain, distress and grief, coming from intense awareness of his earlier treatment of Jackie and Lucy. He explained that in these hundreds of years since Jackie's death he had been unable to make contact with him. I, Lucy, the child's mother, was the necessary element to enable this to happen. This was my most difficult period. I thought Charles was lost to me. His grief so deep I could not reach him. I tried first to give comfort, and when this failed, to apply pressure. This being of no avail I refused to leave the 17th century without him. He feared his treatment of Lucy, especially the taking 132
of Jackie, had caused her early death. I told him I was already dying at that time. Finally love and understanding for each other overcame all and we both slept. The next morning, emotionally drained from the night's events, I realized all this happened when I had not followed Charles' suggestion to concentrate on beauty and happiness. I told Darla instead of accompanying her to Windsor Castle, I intended to find a garden and walk in the sun. "But," said Darla, "there will be a beautiful garden at the castle, and Charles was so happy there." Changing my mind, we both caught the bus. Darla was to tell me later this was the only time during the whole journey she thought our mission could fail. As our destination drew near we both felt Charles' joy and excitement mounting. Once the castle came into view, he let go my hand and went on ahead. We walked with tourists, and it wasn't until reaching Charles 11's staterooms that I, feeling Lucy's sorrow, said to myself, "But I was never here." I held out my hand to Charles and felt him grip it tightly. Darla had been told to listen to anyone offering information. In following these directions she dropped to the rear of the tour group. I went on ahead. After lingering for a long time in Charles' personal apartment, I moved on to the Queen's rooms before Darla reached me. As we left these rooms Darla said, "We must look to the ceiling in a room where there has been a recent fire. I have been told where to stand in order to see clearly an actual painting of Charles. It is done on plaster." An attendant noting our interest said, "But you have already passed through the Queen's chamber. Did 133
you see the portrait of Charles 1's children?" He personally guided us back, and Darla instantly recognized a strong likeness between the young Charles 11 and Jackie, although he is very much like Lucy too. Charles was later to tell me he saw Lucy in Jackie's face. This family portrait mesmerized me. Charles' younger brother James stands beside him, his hand resting with complete trust on his older brother's arm. I understood in a moment how difficult it would have been for Charles to later declare his marriage to Lucy, enabling Jackie, his true heir, to ascend the throne. At the time it was crucial to allow this to happen, Lucy was long dead. However it would have caused deep hurt to both his brother and his wife. Although Charles did not love her, she always received his respect and protection. Charles' promise of the Crown of England to his son was never fulfilled and Jackie was to die a terrible death as he attempted to seize his birthright. We felt sad and emotional on reaching the large hall displaying the shields of the knights of the Order of the Garter. Where Jackie's shield should be there is an empty space, signifying a degraded knight. When an attendant spoke of Jackie in detrimental terms, I, aware of the terrible injustice suffered by him, again swiftly jumped to my son's defence. We moved on to the bookshop before leaving the castle, completely forgetting our main purpose in going there was to visit Charles 1's tomb; Of course we were guided back. As we had neared the exit, a beefeater approached us: "You have I suppose visited the Chapel of St. George?" We looked aghast at each other. 134
How could we have both forgotten? Once inside the chapel I walked ahead of Darla. When she reached me, I was sitting on a bench beside the plaque covering the remains of Charles 1. The pain of Charles 11's life filled my heart. His long years in forced exile from England, and the pain he'd endured when his father was beheaded almost overwhelmed me. Darla, coming to sit beside me whispered, "Charles and Jackie are also here." Together for the first time since death, they knelt side by side at the end of the marble slab. Jackie, once again a small boy, clasped his little hands together in childish prayer before his grandfather's remains. The love between father and son filled the chapel. Our work was now finished. Old wrongs were righted. Their world was at peace. For a moment time stood still. Without looking back we quietly left the chapel, feeling it no longer necessary, or even possible, for us to step into their world. Dewi, Lucy's brother, stood on guard at the door, still a faithful servant to Charles. It has been recorded in Samuel Pepy‟s diary that there was a David (Dewi in Welsh) Walter at the court of Charles 11, who claimed his sister Lucy had married the King in Wales. In an attempt to bring some normality back into our lives, we decided to partake of cream tea, but I, in my time, found myself crying Lucy's tears. It was impossible to stop. They flowed tap-like. I knew she/I rejoiced in the reunion of father and son; still, Lucy's sadness at again being alone, was devastating. Soon, however, Darla and I, in the London of our time, drank tea, and ate scones dripping with strawberry jam and clotted cream. 135
That night we were prepared for a long-awaited and welldeserved sleep, but once again found ourselves in the 17th century. This time we were observers. We watched Charles, his love almost palpable, walk with his long striding steps, on the right side of Lucy. Still wearing her long green dress, she danced and twirled beside her husband as they moved towards his state apartments at Windsor Castle. She turned, smiled, and waved to us, before moving out of sight. The previous night Darla dreamed we were searching through a dusty box, high in an old castle, where we found a string of pearls. Although we did not notice at the time if Lucy was wearing her mother's necklace, I have no doubt she was when Charles at last took his wife home. The next morning as I packed to leave London, I felt a distinct tap on my shoulder. I turned around, to face myself, Lexie, smiling, confident and happy. So, twelve days after our arrival in London, Darla left for America and I travelled to Weymouth. I was planning to rest a week by the sea before moving on to Egypt. I knew my next appointment was there. When I arrived at Weymouth it was raining heavily, and with night fast approaching I decided to check for accommodation at the local tourist centre. I was directed to a house overlooking the bay and given a front room. It was no surprise to find the walls covered with full-blown red rose wallpaper. Before Darla left for U.S.A. Charles had prompted her to buy me a red rose. "It is an affirmation of my love." I placed the rose in a glass of water on the wide 136
windowsill. It continued to travel with me as loose petals all the way back to Australia. I have them still. It was becoming clearer to me that Charles and Peter, being in some ways separate entities, were also one. This concept was hard to grasp. Had my journey been with Charles? Yes, that was certain. Somehow also with Peter, or was it sometimes with Peter, and sometimes with Charles? Sometimes with both? That night as I laid my head on the pillow, I became aware I had a decision to make, a very important decision. Since leaving London I had been attempting to put Charles and Lucy out of my mind. When thoughts of them began to intrude, I would either make a cup of coffee or go for a walk. In an effort to keep focused I also bought books to read but could not concentrate on the words. I knew now that Charles (?) Peter was again with me. I was being asked, not taken this time, to step into the seventeenth century. I had a strong fear if I agreed to do this I may not be able to return. My thoughts went to my children of this time and I felt great pain at the possibility of being separated from them. But I clearly knew, without it being spoken, all spiritual progress in this lifetime would end if I decided against giving myself wholly and without conditions to what was being asked of me. Peter has at different times given Darla and me words of great wisdom. I found, "no conditions: faith is enough" going through my mind. I still felt fear. I became aware that at this same time Darla in America was also experiencing great concern about the decision on which I was pondering. Then came more of Peter's words, "with 137
love there is no fear." I was to think a long time before saying, "It's all right, Darla," as I agreed to the unknown. Immediately I was Lucy, holding Charles' hand as we climbed the stairs within the tower at Windsor Castle. (It has been closed to the public for many years. I had walked there in spirit with him before, but being tired at the time had not appreciated the view. I'd regretted this, remembering when in Wales, Charles had wanted to take me there, "Because, like your Roch Castle, on a clear day, from the very top, you can see to Ireland.") Later, we wandered together through dark Sydney streets. I understood I was being shown he would also be with me when I returned to Australia. Then he was gone and suddenly I was alone in the chapel at the Tower of London. I remembered the guide previously saying the chapel had never been consecrated. This time I was neither Lucy nor Lexie. I was a lady of light. I stood tall in the centre of the chapel with my arms raised high above my head. Twirling around and around, I was the centre of a light force that radiated to the furthest corner. Brilliant light emanated from me. It bounced off the walls as dozens of tear shaped souls shot upwards. Directing light into every crevice, I laughed with joy until the last one was free. I then remembered. When Darla and I returned, tired and fraught, to our hotel after our first visit to the chapel, Peter had told me I must return there. It was dark, and I knew I was to go alone. This was very frightening to me and I tried to make conditions. "Peter, I will go, if you come too." "No conditions, faith is enough" was his definite reply. I appealed to Darla. She repeated Peter's words. I was 138
becoming quite distraught. Was I going to fail now? With great warmth and support they both tried to help me. "If you agree to do it, you don't have to do it." Seeing me so distressed was very difficult for both of them. I could not be convinced enough to go. But, before leaving London I again found myself in that chapel. Later, when an observer in Charles and Lucy's world, I noticed a woman heavy with child and realized this baby about to be born was Jackie. When an opening representing a birth canal was shown me, I understood it was me who was to give him birth. Jackie was to be born into spirit. The reliving of Charles and Lucy's lives together had not yet come to completion. Again, fully Lucy, I felt a hand gently holding Jackie's head. There was no pain, only complete peace. Charles came to me after the babe was placed in my arms. As I touched the little golden head I felt great maternal love. Someone had wrapped him tightly in a small blanket and only his head could be seen. Charles and I felt more strongly our love with the joy of our son's rebirth. Charles was to later say, "You gave me Jackie twice." The next day in deep meditation I found myself walking, but now there was a difference. It was no longer Charles holding my right hand. I grew tired but felt warm and safe with my new companion, although I knew not who was with me. That night as I closed my eyes I was given a vision of my backpack standing on a long railway station. There was a row of columns and the back wall was covered with marble tiles. "Oh, I thought, I'm to go to Rome." 139
Immediately the scene changed to the pyramids of Egypt. "Okay," I said, "I know it is Egypt later, but first I will go to Rome." To prepare for this change of plan, I decided to purchase a travel guide. In the bookstore, as I leafed through the pages, I suddenly felt nauseated and was forced to leave the book and hurry from the shop. Once outside the nausea quickly passed. Believing I had been given a sign I was about to buy the wrong book, I purchased a different one. Then, with a flash of insight, I realized I was being told I was to go to Egypt now. (When my train later arrived in Luxor (Thebes), I was to step onto the station I had 'seen'… How I miss Darla's quickness in these matters; I remember the night before we had parted she dreamed we'd caught the wrong plane.) I was dismayed and concerned about the delay in travelling, fearing I may have already missed necessary connections. Timing is so important. But all I could do now was to make my way as quickly as possible to London, and board the first available plane to Egypt. Would the Great Pyramid of Giza be closed? What if it closed yesterday for repairs? What if it was where I was meant to go? Was my connection still there? I tortured myself with useless questions. Meanwhile Charles continued to step into my time. Would he come with me to Egypt? I did not know. He looked different now. He was wearing court clothes instead of the shirt, waistcoat, pants and high boots of Wales. I knew it was time to move from England and there would be different work to do. I was worried and confused. Peter came to me. I asked him to understand my position. It was not that I 140
wanted out. I knew it all came back to "Faith is enough", and I had chosen. Still, being human, my understanding was limited. The love I felt for Charles was strong, but my work must come first. That night there was no intrusion from the seventeenth century. I knew upon awakening help had been given. I could not remember how or by whom. I knew I had, in spirit, travelled elsewhere and there had been a discussion. I felt settled within myself. Charles did not come the next day and I came to terms with the belief we had finally parted. I would miss him but I knew all was well and as it should be. I accepted this. However, a day later he was again by my side. At the time I had been thinking of Jackie and his welfare. Again I became an observer in Charles' realm and I saw Jackie and Charles standing together. To my amazement Jackie was a tall young man. Charles was so proud of him. I was there as Lexie, and although Charles (or was it Peter?) had obviously guided me through to his time, neither he nor Jackie seemed aware of my presence. I decided to look for Lucy but she was nowhere to be found. This alarmed me. Had I upset their world with my complete inability to stop being transferred to their time and space? But of course, this could not be. The transfer was never of my making. It was impossible for me to go there unaided. In choosing 'faith is enough' I had given myself to their world too. Reminiscing about our journey, I thought how difficult this odyssey had become without Darla, but I knew I was never alone. Two more of Peter's wise sayings ran through my head. “If you can hold love in your hand, you can hold time in your hand.” And of 141
course, the one very relevant to our journey; “When blood calls, blood must come.” That night I wrote in my diary, “Tomorrow is another day, may it bring peace, joy and happiness.” On the 4th October 2000, I left London for Cairo. Charles had again moved further from me. Perhaps the love between us was too intense to allow me to concentrate on what was now ahead. There were people to meet and work to be done in Egypt.
Addendum: Samuel Pepys left us much information about the court of Charles 11 (which he attended regularly) in the form of his now published diaries. He wrote: "It is whispered that young James Crofts (Jackie's given name when he was first taken to the Court, after the Restoration) is lawful son to the King, the King being married to his mother.” "This day the little Duke of Monmouth was married at White Hall, in the King's Chamber, and tonight is a great supper and dancing at his lodging, near Charing-Cross. I observed his coate at the tail of his coach: it gives the arms of England, Scotland and France, quartered upon some other fields, but what it speaks of his being a bastard I know not” Author's notation here: there was no ermine bar on his coat of arms, (which is placed to signify a bastard).
"The Queene it seems was at Windsor, at the late St. George's feast there: and the Duke of Monmouth dancing with his hat in his hand, the King came in and kissed him and made him put on his hat, which everybody took notice of.” Author's notation: only a Prince of the blood royal might dance with the Queen with his hat on.
Egypt. Land of my dreams. Land of the Pharaohs. The God Kings who walked this earth and created a civilization that was the greatest in the ancient world. Monuments, temples and tombs stand majestically on desert sands. I have, since I was twelve years old, known this land was my destiny. It both beckoned and frightened me. When did I live there? What would I remember when I stood once more beside the Nile? And why was it now that the time had come? Cairo, home to sixteen million. People and cars jostled for space on crowded streets. I prepared myself for the familiar but arduous task of finding a clean, inexpensive, safe, and convenient room in an unknown city. I had tried, without success, three hotels, well recommended by my guidebook, before a well-dressed Egyptian man answered my need for directions to the fourth establishment. He looked with empathy at my backpack and tired face. "I can show you the way, but there is a hotel just along here, on Sherif Street. It is clean, friendly, safe and comfortable. Why don't you try there? But take a double room. It is very reasonably priced." This I did, 143
and was greeted by a friendly young man speaking perfect English. I was quickly installed in a huge room containing three single beds, a dressing table, an old mirror, a fan, and a wardrobe. A tiny balcony could be accessed through tall French-doors. Gratefully I accepted a cup of tea, one of many I was to enjoy during my extended stay there. My first destination in search of my past was the pyramids and the sphinx. I walked quickly by those offering camel and horse rides, feeling I must go to the Great Pyramid of Cheops, the oldest in Giza, and the largest in Egypt. Upon entering the pyramid, I joined a long line of tourists to make the steep climb to the King's Chamber. This climb culminated in a room five metres wide and ten metres long. Fresh air still flows as it has since the pyramid was built in 2600 B.C.E. It was awesome, as was the sphinx, but I knew immediately answers were not to be found there. Peter was not near, so with no help forthcoming I decided to go to the Cairo Museum. I knew this would be a joy. I had spoken with many who cited its 100,000 relics and antiquities from every period of Egyptian history. The golden funerary mask of Tutankhamen is there, and his golden throne, recovered from his tomb in the Valley of the Kings. These items excited me. The Royal Mummy Room would be one I would 'pass'. Forgetting my mission, I wandered mesmerized by these wonderful artefacts. Then I found myself, with no explanation, standing outside the Royal Mummy Room. I did not want to enter but was finding it difficult not to. I would walk quickly away but invariably found 144
myself drawn back. This extended my time in the museum by hours. I did not want to face, whatever it was, awaiting me there. Eventually I purchased a ticket and forced myself to walk through the door. Upon entering the room I felt very emotional. I was both sad and angry. How could this be allowed? Bodies placed under glass for public viewing. People were expected to pass by respectfully but this was not happening. Irreverent groups talked and laughed, ignoring many requests from the guards for silence. Moving from one mummified remains to another, I sent love and healing from my heart. Strong vibrations emanated from my right hand as I held it above each body. I was torn between leaving as quickly as possible and a strong need to stay. I was still upset when I returned to my hotel. Peter was waiting for me. It was a comfort to have him close by, and knowing I would be protected throughout the night, I finally fell into a deep sleep. Awaking refreshed the next morning, I knew I must return to the museum. My spiritual path led straight to the Royal Mummy Room. Once there, I found myself unable to approach the door. A feeling of complete exhaustion swept over me. Again I waited hours before entering. It was not fear or revulsion holding me back. Like Darla, at the tower, I was becoming aware I was committing myself to a possible perilous journey. And this time I was alone. I did not even have a telephone number to contact her. Still, I knew what was to be done, must be done. Help would always be near. I entered the room and 145
moved towards the glass-topped platforms displaying individual kings, aware I was being directed to only one. My choice narrowed to three. These were Seti 1, his son Ramesses 11, and his grandson Merneptah. I continued to move back and forth between them. Which one was I to choose? Peter joined me. Still I hesitated, but eventually, fearing the guards would notice and request I move on, I appealed to Peter: " I need a sign. Please help me as I pass by just once more." The familiar physical sign Peter has used many times to answer yes to my questions came strongly as I stood beside Seti 1. Still fearful of making a mistake on such an important issue, I thought I would pass by Ramesses 11 again. As I started to move from Seti 1 a fragrance engulfed me. It was as if I'd walked into a perfumed garden. Vibrations within the palm of my hand became burning hot. There was no doubt; Seti 1, the great pharaoh, King of Egypt from 1306 to 1290 B.C.E., was my starting point in Egypt. Treating myself to coffee and cake before returning to the hotel, I thought how far I had travelled, both physically and spiritually, during these last few weeks. To have accomplished this work alone was to me almost unbelievable. I had barely succeeded. Peter certainly worked hard to get his message through. That evening as I sat on the side of my bed looking at my reflection in the old blemished mirror, I saw Peter's face gradually overshadow mine. It was to be many days before I would be able to distinguish his fair hair, thick moustache, warm blue eyes and short 146
beard. While intently focusing on his likeness, I unknowingly folded my arms, mummy-like, across my chest. Connecting this action with Seti's tomb, I said to Peter: "No. I will bring him up to the light but I am not going there!" Without Darla's support I felt stressed and frightened and decided that the next morning, instead of returning to the museum, I would find a garden and walk in the sunshine. I was in need of lightness and normality. My night was sleepless, but Peter was nearby, giving comfort and understanding. To find a garden open to the public in central Cairo is impossible. I walked to where I had earlier noticed a park not far from my hotel, only to find all entrances locked. I could only gaze longingly through the high wire fence. I felt deprived and then angry. How could the men, women and children of this greatly overcrowded city exist spiritually, emotionally and physically in this concrete jungle? I decided I would go to the Nile Hilton to be close to greenery and flowers while I splurged on more expensive coffee. Again, I was fulfilling my need to anchor myself in my present world. Peter was with me as I walked back to my room. I thanked him. "I am always with you," he said. (I do know he is aware of my every thought. I find this rather disconcerting at times.) Whenever I entered my room, my eyes would immediately be drawn to the mirror. Peter's gentle face surrounded by his wide aura of mauve, green, and gold became very familiar. Then came the day when Peter's face moved aside to reveal another. This was not the smiling Peter. This face was very stern. It was the face of Seti 1! Now there were two overshadowing my face. Always Peter came 147
first, before he moved aside to reveal Seti. Only the knowledge that Peter brought him allowed me to contain my fear. This mirror gazing continued by day and half the night. Sometimes I would watch for two hours without taking my focus from the one point. My eyes felt sore and hollow. Once I was woken at 3 a.m. to continue. I tried very hard, aware of lost time in England when I felt directed to Rome. Maybe, I thought, my contact in Egypt is close to leaving, unaware that I am to be met. Then, although very tired, I would return once more to the mirror. I accepted without doubt that what was happening between Seti, Peter, and myself was important - understanding would come later. Gradually, I was able to communicate with Seti. Always he addressed me as "My Wife." He spoke of our eldest son who had died young. We grieved together. I asked if I had been brought to him because of the boy. The answer was "No." Then I asked if I had come for him. Seti cried and said, "Yes." Remembering the pain I experienced in England and Wales I asked whether I would cry as much in Egypt. "More," was his reply. This I felt would be almost unbearable without Darla's comforting presence, but I continued to work. And so the days passed, with the mirror being my only focus. My eyes became even more painful, as I now left the room only for sustenance. After seven days I decided to look at a book containing information on the lives of the Pharaohs. As I read of Seti's life and of the harem, Lucy's pain again came close to me. 148
With no understanding of Pharaonic times, I wrongly imagined that I, Tuya, Seti's wife, had also suffered. The Great Wife of Seti 1, or of any Pharaoh, held a very privileged and honoured position in this matrilineal society. She was always treated with great respect. Indeed, it was through the female bloodline that the next Pharaoh would ascend the throne. In my ignorance I covered the mirror, and meditated on the pink crystal mountain, a place within my mind where I take myself when I need personal space. I knew that Seti and Peter would not be able to reach me there. Everything was becoming too much. I would go home to Australia! This was too emotionally draining. I was unwilling to continue. But the thought of losing contact with Peter was more than I could bear. Once, some years ago, I had sent him away and it was months before he answered my plea to return. He had then said firmly, "Never send me away again." I promised I never would. I stepped from my safe haven and uncovered the mirror. Again I focused my attention there. Neither Seti nor Peter appeared. I was devastated. I felt completely alone. It was hours before I was allowed to reconnect. Finally I fell into a restless sleep. The next morning it was Seti who came, telling me I had been allowed the experience of aloneness as he thought I had gone from him, and he had been alone so long. I was, he explained, the only one who could heal this. I asked if it had been two thousand years? "Longer," he replied. 149
He went on to explain his loneliness was because of something he had done to me when I was his wife. "I killed our eldest son, and you knew it was going to happen." We cried together. "Seti," I said. "You have suffered long enough. I forgive you." We grew close as we continued to mourn our son. I was not to know, until later told by the contact awaiting me in Luxor, I had been in full agreement with the boy's early and tragic death. Seti told me," There is one more thing you must do. You must go to our son's resting place in Thebes." Twelve days after arriving in Cairo, and with my need to continually peer into the mirror passed, I left for Luxor (Thebes). I was confident, despite the apparent impossibility of my mission, I would find where my son, whose name I did not know, had been laid to rest in an unmarked place. But where to start on a quest without a starting point, in a country where I understood neither the language nor the customs? Luxor, being adjacent to the Valley of the Kings, is a tourist town, so some English is spoken. My first stop was the tourist office. I asked where I could find information on the burial place of the son of a Pharaoh. "I am not an Egyptologist," said the attendant as he scribbled a name on a piece of paper. "This man has an office around the corner from the museum." A young man asked for my card, and looked at me incredulously when I indicated in English, which he did not understand, that I did not have one. Reluctantly he accepted my hastily written note. I hoped that someone, somewhere, would be able and willing to read it. 150
The small office filled rapidly with people from many nations. Seated near me were two English speaking Egyptologists and on overhearing their conversation, I realized the man I had been directed to see was indeed an expert. Apparently this was the place where those working on excavations came to check the correctness of their findings. There are many countries involved with helping uncover the secrets of this timeless land. Should I wait? My thoughts went to Darla. What would she do? I waited. Most of the day had passed before I, along with the two men beside me, were summoned before the man I now realized was 'the expert.' He turned first to me, and speaking in English said, "I do not understand your note, but how can I help?" At that point a telephone rang. While he answered the two men asked if they could be of assistance. One was stern and reprimanded me for the taking of such a great man's time. "All the Pharaohs had many sons. What was the boy's name? "I looked to the other and was grateful for the twinkle in his eye. He said gently, "If the name were known, the records would be available in Australia. Go to the universities there. This man could not possibly take the time to look it up for you." Finally finishing his phone conversation, the highly esteemed Egyptologist turned to me and in a warm, friendly voice said, "Now I am free. Can I help you?" I mumbled, "No. I'm sorry." Feeling about two inches high I scurried towards the door, barely resisting the urge to turn and bow low before leaving. Walking towards the town centre and realizing I needed to buy water, I entered a mini arcade. As I passed a woman sitting on a 151
bench outside a jewellery shop, I felt compelled to stop and sit beside her. Hilda, from Germany, smiled at me and we exchanged words of greeting. She had lived in Luxor for four years... "Drawn 'to home'. I know I have lived here in an earlier life. I cannot leave." Without discussing my mission, I spoke of being interested in the name of Seti 1's eldest son. We had coffee together and laughed about my morning's experience. She told me of a book called "Om Seti" and suggested that it may contain useful information. "You can buy a copy here in Luxor." The book certainly held my interest. I read that Seti's eldest son 'went to his death', and of this son being disgraced. Apparently in these circumstances, names are never spoken again, and bodies are thrown into unmarked pits. This was becoming more difficult, but I had complete faith I would be guided. The next morning I stood on the bank of the Nile, the wet-nurse of Egypt. From time immemorial she has given succour to thirsty sand. The Aswan Dam now controls this life force. I looked across the broad stretch of river and raised my eyes to the hills. Somewhere out there was the Valley of the Kings; the valley where Tutankhamen, Seti 1, and many other Pharaohs were entombed. The Valley of the Queens was nearby. Could I expect to find my nameless son? I thought not. But where else to begin? I boarded the local ferry and crossed to the West Bank, land of the ancient dead, tombs, and mortuary temples. Passing those offering donkey, horse, camel, taxi, and mini-bus transport, I decided I would walk the three kilometres to the distant hills. 152
My energy, under the hot Egyptian sun, soon depleted, so I joined the locals and rode in a truck-taxi back to the river. Wooden benches are built onto the back of small trucks, to provide seating, and short plump women, dressed in black, with only hands and faces exposed to view, moved closer together to make space for me. I was to learn, after a few mistakes, woman sits next to woman in this land of Islam. There were smiles and many greetings of 'salam alekum', from both genders. Strangely, I felt perfectly at ease. I was comfortable with these people and I smiled back. Nothing had been gained this day to bring me closer to the end of my search. Reboarding the ferry to return to the East side, I noticed an Egyptian woman sitting opposite me looked very ill. I was wondering if it would be correct to offer water when an English woman, accompanied by her Egyptian guide, passed by. Turning back she said, "I think I will sit here beside you." I indicated the sick woman and asked if I might give her my water bottle. "I will do it for you," said Anne. When she returned we conversed. She spoke of coming frequently to Luxor, often to work on excavation sites. I hesitated a moment, then asked if she knew the name of Seti 1's son, who died young. "Yes, I do, but I cannot bring it to mind right now. Meet me another time and I will be able to tell you. Some say he died from the plague, while others maintain he was poisoned." "If it is one of the two, it has to be poison," was my definite reply. Turning quickly she looked intently at my face before saying, "Why don't we have a cup of tea together when we leave the ferry?"… I 153
spoke of my wish to find the burial place of Seti's son. Without asking questions Anne arranged to meet me two days later at the ferry. We would cross the river together. "I will help you find what you are searching for.” Upon leaving she called, “And don't forget to bring a flower." Later she was to say, although she knew someone would come to help with her work, she was not sure it was me until I offered water to an ill woman, "I knew then that you were Egyptian, Lexie. Egyptian women always offer water." Anne and I met at the ferry. Not knowing where to buy flowers and sure it was important, I picked two small blooms from a nearby public garden, hoping I would not feel the strong arm of the law on my shoulder. Anne was cheerful but non-committal when we started to cross the Nile. She indicated, as she was always to do, we must not speak as we near the West Bank. "We do not know who will be meeting us there." We took a taxi, and the only thing she said to the previously unknown driver was, "Well I don't know where to go today. Where will you take us?" He suggested a location and she said, "Okay." All I could do was follow. I knew we were not being taken to the Valley of the Kings, and remembering Anne saying the day we met, "Maybe that boy rests near his mother," I thought our destination might be the Valley of the Queens. Not so, our driver took us elsewhere. He appeared to have become our unofficial guide, without knowing where or what we were seeking. I felt I was wasting time. He walked ahead, pointing out this or that. I followed uninterested, until suddenly 154
Anne and I were alone. Nothing marked this spot but when she pointed without speaking to a deep crevice, I knew. I knew. The agony was no less three thousand years later. The cry of anguish was the same I'd made as my child was wrenched from my arms when I was Queen of Egypt. Back then, at that moment, I had dismissed any responsibility for the decision made jointly with my husband, and I withdrew my love from him for the rest of his lifetime. "Ssh," said Anne firmly. "They are sleeping here." Seti's eldest son, who died by a dagger held in a loving father's hand, was not left to rest alone. I reached into my backpack for the two flowers. The first one thrown missed the crevice, but becoming calmer I threw the next accurately. Anne was later to say in amazement, "Didn't you see the arm that reached up to catch it." The official Keeper of the Tomb, who had joined us when I screamed, saw it too. *Now, I must ask you to forgive me for not being more specific about my son's resting place. Please respect where Shana sleeps, and do not attempt to seek and so disturb that sacred place. As we left the West Bank, I was aware it was Seti, not Peter, who now held my hand. Mission completed, Anne and I drank coffee at an outdoor café while Seti walked around the garden. "He has a small fair-haired child with him," said Anne. "No, it is not Shana. He is your grandson from this time-space. He is his grandson too." 155
She continued," You do understand. It was not me who chose this place for coffee. I merely followed where Peter directed." At this stage of my journey, I had come far enough to accept what she said as truth. From first reaching Luxor, I was able, as in Cairo, to see Peter and Seti if I even glanced into my bedroom mirror. We were all smiling now. I still had some difficulty accepting Peter and Seti were one and the same, that Charles and Seti were both facets of Peter. It had been easier to connect Charles and Peter, as I realized, when Peter first came to me and gave his name, it was as Charles he stood behind my chair. On that particular night I had been privileged to be with a special group of people who had worked together for a number of years. I had been attending selfdevelopment classes conducted by Mandy Coles, a well-known spiritual teacher and clairvoyant based in Australia. As a novice I had persevered for months without result, until that night, during guided meditation, I became aware of a presence standing behind me. I felt emotional and tearful. At the end of the session Mandy explained, with tears in her eyes. "It is a strong love from over three hundred years ago." She went on to describe Charles. "He left you a red rose and the message "The time has come the walrus said." What a strange message, I had thought, until I remembered more words of that old song: "The Walrus and the Carpenter” by Lewis Carroll.
“ The time has come, the walrus said, to talk of many things:
of shoes and ships and sealing wax, of cabbages and kings, and why the sea is boiling hot, and whether pigs have wings.”
Further information regarding my spiritual associates had „arrived‟ when in Wales. Darla and I had been given the words 'love is three'. It seemed some clarity was at last emerging. It was now mainly as Seti that Peter held my hand and walked the temples with Anne and me. Thinking of Shana one evening I felt quite sad. "Look into the mirror," Peter told me. "That won't help," I answered, but of course I did look. Gazing back at me was a very familiar and much loved face. My tears fell freely as I met the eyes of my son Shana. He was young, maybe twelve or fourteen. There was a large V painted on his forehead, filled in with white paint, from the hairline to a point between his eyes. Our hearts met. And we both knew our love and felt at peace. That same night I was again drawn to the mirror. Now I saw a strange image, which looked rather like a distorted bear face. As it turned from me I noticed a long nose. Was this Seti? I shivered. I did not know, but at that moment I became aware of Karma owing for my agreement to my son's death. Seti had paid for this for so long, and I had also punished him. That was a very hard night for me, but my hand was held the whole time. How else could I have coped?
Speaking next day with Anne of these happenings, she said, "but the payment has already been made. It was during a lifetime in England or Wales. Your name was Lucy. You were murdered." (Like Darla, Anne has been blessed with many gifts. She told me of lifetimes we have spent together in Egypt and other places in the Middle East. Always there are strong bonds between us. We rejoined with love.) It was not long before (as I had earlier feared) it was time for Anne to leave Luxor. When she was unable to extend her ticket, I left too. We agreed to meet again in Egypt. I returned to Australia, but I was never alone again. Peter, Seti, or Charles' shadow is always close. Anne and I did keep that appointment at Luxor. Peter and Seti joined us too. (Charles never came to Egypt, although he has visited Anne in England.) Each morning in Egypt Anne would inform me which tomb or temple we were to visit that day. Laughing, she would say, "You know, it is Peter who is in charge of this schedule. I take you to where he directs." So we visited places important to our earlier lives. I was to find other connections to Peter in the Valley of the Kings. Anne and I spent most of our days together. She spoke again and again of ancient Thebes. My head whirled. "I'll never remember all this." "You will. And you do know of course, it is not me telling you these things. It is Peter, he is merely using my voice." She would go on to read hieroglyphs carved deep into temple walls while explaining, "I didn't have to learn this. I just remembered." I listened in awe at Karnak Temple while she read almost word for word the 158
23rd Psalm as it is written in the Christian bible. How could that have been placed there during an earlier time? What is time? I was beginning to wonder about that. Questions rushed through my mind. Knowledge of the political, spiritual, and social life of the period known as the New Kingdom, the 'Golden Age of Egypt' was stirring in my mind. I listened and tried to remember. Again I was reconnecting to an earlier lifetime. I thrilled to the wisdom, the spirituality, the sacred devotion and the honour that was given to Amun (God) at a time when the universe was held to be worthy of reverent wonder. I know of the daily ritual Pharaoh and his priests enacted to Amun and the Netterew, who represent different aspects of the one hidden God. This was to ensure the success of the harvest and the continuing wisdom of Pharaoh, so he in turn, would lead his people in a manner that would open their hearts to truth, brotherhood and righteousness. Herodotus records: "Of all the nations in the world, the Egyptians were the healthiest, happiest, and most religious." Yes, I know too of the many festivals when Pharaoh joined with his people to celebrate the Gods, life, the harvest, and the Nile. Men and women, rich and poor, young and old, feasted and danced. They clapped hands and sang to the music of ancient harps, flutes and percussion instruments. Strict codes of conduct were expected of all and I will list but a few of many rules to live by that have survived on papyri: 159
*Don't be proud of your own learning, but take counsel with all, for it is possible to learn from all. *Treat a wise man with respect, but correct your equal when he maintains a wrong opinion. *Don't be proud of earthly goods or riches, for they come to you from God without your help. *Don't repeat slanders. *Be content. *Be industrious. An idle man is not honourable. *Speak not too much, for a man's ruin lies in his tongue. *Don't eat bread while another person is present unless you share bread with him. *He who is rich this year may become a pauper next year. Communicating more closely with Seti and Peter was bringing me nearer to acceptance of an overall energy. The name does not matter. Few, when visiting Egypt today, looking upon temples carved with sacred symbols and Holy Hieroglyphs, think back to the spirituality of an ancient civilisation: back to a time when man in search of truth, worshipped more fully the Creator, while gazing with wonder and reverence at nature and the Universe. As a child I had been loosely introduced to Christianity but it was a manchanged Christianity, where more fear than love was taught. As an adult I quickly rejected this. Once, during a crisis in my life, I became quite depressed and unable to sleep for many nights. In desperation I tried to reclaim 160
what I had cast aside. Stepping onto the balcony outside my room, I looked to the sky and called loudly, "If there is anyone or anything out there, I need help and I need it now." That night I slept but still did not accept I had been given help. Now things were changing. Once I asked Seti for help with God and holiness. I found myself, Tuya, walking with Seti, my husband, up the central steps, from the second court of the Rammeseum. I accompanied him until we approached the inner sanctum/the Holy of Holies. I knew I must not enter. He was to go on alone. He was already doing so, seemingly oblivious of my presence. I stayed and watched for a while, as he stood tall and strong before his God. I felt joy and great love for Seti as I witnessed this connecting but I knew I must not stay, and moved back to join the others waiting in the court. Seti turned around and walked down the steps. As he did so the cheers and adoration of his people greeted him. I had been to the Ramesseum before and seen the ruins of this magnificent place, but this night, as I held Seti's hand, I looked upon its former glory; the colours, the gold. I had stepped back in time over 3,000 years. Later, in our time space, I attended a village wedding. Men, wearing traditional galabiyyas rested their hands on each other's shoulders, and facing the crowd danced the vigorous dances of Upper Egypt. They stepped back and women in black came forward, moving their bodies rhythmically back and forth. I needed to close my eyes for only a moment to see them dressed in fine 161
linen, clapping, singing, and playing percussion instruments, as they danced single file from the ancient Karnak Temple of Thebes. Occasionally I would glimpse a school girl, her eyes identical to those painted on tomb walls and once I looked into a poor man's eyes and saw the soul of a Pharaoh. But these people now belong to the brotherhood of Islam, as deeply entrenched in their beliefs as the rest of the world is in theirs. At this point I am pressed to quote the words of Thrice Great Hermes:
"Oh Egypt! The land which was the seat of divinity, shall be deprived of the presence of the gods. There shall not remain more of thy religion than tales, than words inscribed on stone and telling of thy lost piety. A day will come, alas, when the sacred hieroglyphs will become but idols. The world will mistake the symbols of wisdom for gods and accuse great Egypt of having worshipped hell-monsters."
This prophecy did come true. Many hierophants died without worthy successors to their line. The few remaining, prevented by corrupt High Priests from continuing their work in honour and truth, closed the sacred books of the mysteries. They left their underground crypts and temple chambers, knowing that others, walking slowly across the sands of time, would one day when the need is great, rekindle the temple flame. Then will the ancient wisdoms again be available to all who, in search of truth, knock on the temple door. 162
So Egypt sleeps. Anne left Luxor two weeks later. Within days I too left my beloved Egypt; the home of my heart for over three thousand years.
I returned to Australia via Mexico to allow Darla and I to spend a short time together. Peter, Charles, and Seti all communicated with me there: Peter: "There is one more place I have to take you, we have yet to be. We will drink wine in Israel as we have together many times in the past. But you haven't been travelling too well lately." Apparently he was close when I spent hours at Mexico City Airport, waiting for my mislaid backpack to arrive. (I am ever aware of Peter's love and strength, always there in the shadows. Once, when I was feeling low, he said, "Weep no more pretty sweetie”… It was many months before the following line came to me, "At journey's end comes lovers meeting.")
Seti: Seti came with the wind. S: "Remember you are now Egyptian, you have made your choice." Me: "I am also half Australian." 164
S: "No. You were already Egyptian. We cannot be all our past lives at the same time. You cannot be Lucy and my wife at the same time. There is a certain amount of choosing. We are shown the way but we can refuse to follow the path. Other lives are still there and not neglected while we move on another plane. You must do, not question, and I am with you. Remember what you hold in your hand. If you hold love in your hand, you can hold time in your hand."
Charles: C: "Remember when we were at Crete." Me: "I will go there." C: "You may have to. You look like Lucy." In answer to my questions Charles told me: C: "I am still riding my horses and sometimes Jackie comes too. I would come to you more often if you would give me the time." And with his usual love and emotion, C: "Do not fear. I will enclose you in my cloak, and always protect you." Me: "I have not seen you for a long time Charles." C: "I've seen you. The biggest test is yet to come."
Seti: Darla spoke of 'seeing' Seti's spirit standing over Tutankhamen's body during the first stage of embalming. 165
S: "He must be beautiful for he is a representation of all that is beautiful in our land. He must be beautiful, as my wife will show forth her beauty. It is to show you how important is my will and that it must be obeyed." Darla asked me to enquire about the people who had desecrated the body of Tutankhamen. And does Seti's will still hold? S: "His body is guarded by me."
Peter: I expressed the feeling that I needed to take my emotions in hand. My tears come easily, and sometimes I feel embarrassed by this. P: "To deny the emotion is to deny the feeling." Speaking of time: P: "It is not the length of time but the depth of time that is important."
Before I left Mexico the three appeared together, telling me this would not happen again. Each will come according to my need. Charles was slightly amused I was now an Egyptian woman and also by the fact "we three are so different". (Charles is extremely witty and there is always laughter in the room when he joins us.)
Jackie: J: "You forgot me, and I was a king too."
We were not expecting him at this time, and apparently he was waiting to come. This was a great lesson to us. He bowed as he left. We had much to regret and to remember.
Once Darla made up my eyes as they were done in Pharaonic times. Seti: S: "I like your eye makeup."
My hair was also coloured with an auburn rinse. Charles: C: "I have a horse that colour. Do you need anything?" Still feeling some concern regarding forgetting Jackie, I asked: "How is Jackie?" C: "He is OK, but he won't forget. He is new."
(I was reading DECEPTION, the untold story of Ancient Egypt ,by Moustafa Gadalla)
S: "You must keep reading that book, there are grains of gold there, but not solid gold."
Darla and I were taken in spirit to ancient Abydos. We saw it as it was in Seti's time. I felt love and joy. Seti and my children were there. After Darla went to bed, I found myself again at Abydos. I was sitting with Seti on a bench under the large tree. A beautiful 167
perfume engulfed us; not lemon, but like that, with musk added. (Later I was to know it was the same Tuya used.. When Darla travelled in the Middle East she was compelled to buy a particular perfume. It was identical. She gave it to me as a gift.) Seti: Seti brought a small boy with him. Me: "Is it Shana?" S: "Some call him that." I felt very emotional on seeing my son, especially seeing him with his father. They walked towards the shady tree and Seti sat on the bench beneath it. Shana sat at his feet. S: "You must 'see' with your heart not your mind." S: "There is something you must do before too long. What is to be done will be done."
Peter and Seti together gave me healing. It was so intense I had to ask them to stop. Seti: S: "We were showing 'oneness'. There is no limit to power when done with love." Seti and I had been dwelling on personal matters. That night I felt a negative force within me. I voiced rejection of what was happening and the problem was overcome. I needed comfort. Still shaking, I woke Darla. She was at the time having a very frightening nightmare. I called Seti. Seti: 168
S: "You are new at this. Step into the sun, and if it feels warm, all is well. I can always be contacted by you. Choose your own place." Me: "At the Ramasseum under the wings of Ra." At Darla's request I asked Seti: Me: "Are there negative forces, now, or in the future, for us to be aware of?" S: "I cannot tell you the future as doing so could change it."
Charles spent a long time with me today. A sweetness always. The rose perfume came with him.
Seti: It was growing close to the time I should return to Australia. S: "No decision is yet made. You will know tomorrow." I was concerned as I needed to reserve a bus seat to reach Mexico City in time, eight hours travel, for my plane. S: "Queens don't worry about bus tickets."
The morning dawned and a bus ticket being available, I left Mexico City for Australia.
Peter told me in Australia (and told Darla in Mexico) we had another journey to make. Peter chose the time and the itinerary. I was to leave for Mexico on the 28th January 2002. We were to travel to Israel on the 2nd April 2002, the interim time being for the writing of this book.
I was quite nervous about my ability to become a writer. Peter: P: "Don't worry. I'm going to channel it."
28th January 2002: Today Darla and I sit within her walled garden and sip tea. Brightly coloured flowers in blue painted pots stand by the front door. Brick paths wind their way between roses, bougainvillea, impatiens and green ferns. The scent of lemon wafts from numerous citrus trees and the sweet smell of jasmine pervades. We sit quietly, in large cane rocking chairs under shade giving trees, not wanting to 170
venture outside these walls to where the Mexican sun beams strongly. I write and write.
Five years have passed since Peter first urged me to begin. I'd repeatedly asked him to give me the first line. P: “No, but I'll give you the last...'And the end was the beginning.”
28th January 2002: Once more in Darla's living room Peter was the first to greet me. Peter: P: "Are you willing to do the work offered you? If so, repeat three times: I choose to do the work offered me." I did so. P: "And so you shall." P: "Come ye back. If in doubt step out with your left foot and turn left. Do not expect the movement that has been before. In stillness there is power. And you will remember. There is no doubt. I will be there of course. You will see yourself anew."
Jackie: J: "Mummy, I've planted the roses."
S: "The sands are stirring in Egypt politically. Never go there when the sands are stirring. Anger disturbs the sands. You must always leave when the sand is disturbed. I will let you know when."
Peter: P: "There are places where you must not go. You will be led away from there. It is because of physical danger. You will be given total freedom of choice this time. Cover your head. I want to see you in the veil again. It must be black and it must be worn much of the time. It is for both safety and remembrance. Go to the western wall and offer your prayer. I will not be with you. It is yours alone. You have only one prayer and it will be answered at that time. Therefore be careful. A prayer you have prayed before, one of the many times you were there. Go there as soon as possible. It is the starting point. At that time I must stand back. The wall is your sole journey." P: "Do not forget laughter too. Are you prepared to pour out your love? Radiate it." P: "Do not break the thread, the thread that binds you to your purpose. You know the purpose. Keep focused. When I return there are questions I may ask of you. You should answer with an open heart."
Charles: C: "We relive our joy. To grow old is to grow young again.(not referring to re-birth.) Have you noticed my boots? " 172
I had, they were brown this time. C: "They were especially made for an outing with you and Jackie. They became dirty when we crossed a field. You wiped them clean with the bottom of your skirt. I will protect you with my cloak."
Amanda Millman: (child) A.M: "You were my mother. Your name was Jane." (Jane Millman was the maiden name of my great, great grandmother.) A.M: "I was a full-term, still-born child. I live in a forest and my job is to bring joy to the earth. You will meet me when you die, if I am still here."
30th January 2002: Peter: P: "The main purpose of this journey is to search for a house. It has a round topped timber door with yellow and pink, almost white, climbing roses around the door. It is in a very barren area. It is built of stone with cobblestone floors." Darla and I both saw a vision of the house. There was a wide expanse of water to the right. P: "There is a chimney but it may not look like a proper chimney to you. It is in the same country where we lived before. It is not in Egypt. If you cannot find it you can build it. Build it in the shape of your spirit. It must be built of stone." 173
Me: "Why are we to find it?" P: "To fulfil a promise that was made. I will be there with you if it is emotionally and physically safe. The house is very modest. You will be back where you started."
Rivka: R: "I sojourned from Egypt to Israel with you. We were both born during the Exodus." Me: "How long ago was that?" R: "3,021 years ago by my calendar. We were girls together." Me: "Was the journey difficult?" R: "Some left willingly. Ours did, as they were the leaders. Some were forced to go." Me: "Were you pursued by Pharaoh?" R: "Yes. We were pursued by Pharaoh, but not for long. There were greater dangers from the people in the areas through which we wandered. I have returned because you are a wanderer again and I have come to be with you." Me: "Have we met since that time?" R: "No, but if you remember, remember the woman who nursed us both."
Rajees: Rajees has also been with me for many years. He stands pointing to the East. A few years ago he told me to look to the stars and I 174
would see his face. I have given little time to doing this. Last year he gave me a tiny red coloured heart covered with silver stars, saying: Rajees: "Watch for the miracles as they come in many ways." He then placed a cloak of 'high' colours around me. Rajees: "Indicative of the journey you are about to make. I come to help you with your writing."
31st January 2002: Amanda Millman: A.M: "I am busy spreading joy to others. I spread joy to my family." (She giggles). Me: "What do you eat Amanda?" A.M: "Silver pears and golden apples." Me: "Do you pick them from the trees?" A.M: "No. I simply hold out my hand when I am hungry and one is put there. I do not meet many people. Some of my mothers but only a few of my fathers."
Rajees: Rajees: "You may call me by another name if you wish ... Merlin Emrys. I have taught you much and there is much to come from many directions. Be open to every aspect." Me: "I remember the times when I came to your cave to ride the large wooden horse. I remember how huge it looked to me as a child. I can see it still. It was roughly put together from logs." 175
Rajees: "Remember the horse and how hard you had to try to ride it."
Seti: S: "Do not close me out of your heart." Me: "It is difficult for me with so many loves." S: "What would you give up?" Me: "None." S: "A woman loves a man differently to how a man loves a woman but I understand. Do not close your heart to me. Remember with your heart. Remember the wonderful time we had together in Egypt." Me: "How is Egypt?" S: "Egypt waits. From where I am I see all and I know all. Wisdom is knowledge correctly applied." Me: "I feel guilty about the way I treated you during our lifetime together." S: "There is no guilt, only growth. Three is love. There is a light about you, around you, and through you." Me: "I have no questions." S: "There are no questions, only answers. If one has the answers there is no need to ask the questions. True peace. Have no sorrow my wife; the best is yet to come. If you will take my hand you will see far." Me: "If you hold out your hand and I am aware of it, I will come." 176
S: "No. I have held mine out many times to you. You must hold out yours." Me: "I will come when I feel worthy." S: “You came into my world worthy to be my wife, and I worthy to have you as my wife. It was decreed. Rise up and let your spirit rise up. There is pure understanding from where I am." Me: "Have you spent other lifetimes with me?" S: "No. I have been in touch with you since you were twelve. Your beauty and your wisdom were unsurpassed." S: "This book is for universal spiritual growth. Allow it to be, and by allowing, it shall become. There will be a sorting out to allow everyone to come back. Remember the light we shared together, still share, and will always share. You must wear shining armour, a symbol of my love. I stand aside and leave for a while."
2nd February 2002: Mary (My daughter to Charles): M: "Everyone is busy but pleased with what you are doing. I wish you could have been a mummy to me!" Me: "I have regrets too Mary. You were only a small child when I died." M: "I have joy now from my children. I never had beauty, grandeur or riches, but always safety. I no longer yearn for these things. I am past that."
3rd February 2002: 177
Amanda Millman: AM: "I have a puppy." Me: "What is his name?" AM: "Puppy." Darla and I then spoke together about a tiny mouse, which at that moment ran across the floor. Amanda was interested in our conversation. AM: "What is a mouse? Maybe I could have a mouse. I think I would like a mouse." Me: "Maybe the mouse would not be happy to leave here. What does your puppy eat?" AM: "My puppy eats silver pears." Me: "Are you happy Amanda?" AM: "Yes. I am happy. I live alone with the animals in the forest." For many years we have watched this little girl peeping at us from behind trees. She would giggle if we attempted to speak with her. We knew she was pleased to come to us and I always feel happy when she appears. In fact, I find myself smiling before she actually shows herself. AM: "Maybe I won't have a mouse. The other animals may not like it and they are so happy together. I sleep on leaves with my animals. I have important work to do. I make people happy."
Seti: S: "I am feeling very old tonight." 178
He was silent for a long time but stood close to me. S: "The greatest words are spoken in silence. The yellow wind will blow the sands from the hills." We could smell some type of gas. Seti gave us the word 'hasum'. We did not know the meaning but felt it had some connection to 'the yellow wind'. S: "Where I am I see all and know all. I feel power slipping from my hands." S: "I am concerned that Egypt will be scattered. If this time comes you must leave. I will not have you in harm's way." Me: "I will pray for Egypt." S: "No. To pray for one is to condemn the other. You are my comfort and my dream. Guard your steps, for each one will lead you to a destination unknown to you in the beginning. I must leave, but I leave my love with my wife." Me: "If you wish please return to me tonight." S: "I would like to rest with you in a perfumed garden."
Mary: I felt my hand being tightly held. M: "I came because I thought you might be frightened." She stayed with us quite a long time. Me: "Are you close to your father Mary?" M: "No. He is close to Jackie. I do not see him often. I will come back again." 179
4th February 2002: Seti: S: "The day dawned heavy. We must pray for our children. Ask nothing of me tonight but allow me to be with you. There can be no joy, no pleasure, while things stand as they are. We must pray for our people. Remember comfort comes from the heart, not from words. There is a street where people run in terror, with death their companion." Darla was shown this horror. I knew she had been given a vision of the scene but I didn't ask about it. S: "I have great weariness. I am sending love and peace to the area. I find comfort in coming to you." Me: "Has the situation in the Middle East changed?" S: "Overall, no, and many more to come." To fill the long silence and maybe lift the heaviness, Me: "We have been working." S: "I approve. We will talk no more, but perhaps one day there will be time left for that. If I cannot be with you tonight, you will understand." Me: "I hope you will take some rest." S: "There will be no rest. That is not the job of a leader." Me: "Where you are, can this make you ill?" S: "I do not grow ill but become older or younger as the situation changes." Me: "If you wish I will sit in silence and understand." S: "Thank you my wife." 180
Darla, to me: "There is something wrong with Seti's throat." S: "I have no pain, only the pain of my people, only watching the pain. You must not worry. Use your energy giving love and light." Seti asked permission to leave but returned almost immediately. We felt peace fill the room.
5th February 2002: Today while sitting in Darla's beautiful garden I felt Seti join me. That night when he came to us: Seti: S: "Thank you for the garden." Me: "Can you see the beautiful red roses on the table in this room?" S: "No. I am elsewhere." Me: "Do you receive my love when I send it from my heart?" S: "Always it reaches me." Me: "How is your pain?" S: "The pain is still great." Me: "I send love." S: "Love is far more than words. Do not be misled that all is well. Think of peace for our people. Leave me my wife for a while. I must step aside, but I will stay close." Darla(to me): "There is a strangeness. Something Seti is not prepared to share." We could smell a chemical odour and we were both given the same vision. Many dead and injured lying on the ground. People 181
were searching frantically for their own; running hither and thither. There was great confusion. Darla felt ill from the gas fumes. Then, another type of chemical odour came. Because we were finding it difficult to breathe we were forced to step back from the situation.
7th February 2002: Seti: (He looked older and very tired.) S: "I come to you for comfort. It is good for the righteous to pray for peace. Many plans I had with you my wife must be delayed." Me: "Am I still to go to Egypt?" S: "I will be with you if you do. Things change rapidly in this world. Not so in the world of the Pharaohs. Thank you. You bring comfort to me by allowing me to come." S: "I must stand apart now as my eyes see many things. Do not feel my pain for it will destroy your work. It is expected of you."
Jackie: He has visited Darla frequently since she returned from Wales. He meets her in the garden. One day I felt a tiny hand in mine and a small boy walked beside me. I am unable to see him. Darla described him. About four years old, sturdy little legs, his golden hair a little darker now. It is cut shoulder length. He usually wears a dark green or a russet-brown velvet suit and is quite nervous about getting wet or dirty. J: "I saw a butterfly mummy. Sometimes I get tired." 182
I lifted him onto my hip and we continued our adventures. He loves the flowers and shows interest in the fruit trees. Sometimes we float leaves in a large tin tub of water, pretending they are boats. J: "Nanny doesn't like me to get dirty." Me: "How is daddy?" J: "Big." Me: "What do you eat Jackie?" (A mother always.) J: "I eat porridge, milk, bread, oranges, but oranges make my fingers sticky. Daddy lets me ride in front of him on his horse sometimes. We have three swans, two white and one black. Nanny comes with me to see them. I sing with Daddy sometimes. He sings when the lady with the harp comes. I must go now. I have a dog called Louie. He won't let me ride him. I like to play soldiers with a sword. I must go now, I can hear Nanny calling me."
Jackie comes to me everyday and we play in the garden.
8th February 2002: Seti: S: "I am very weary." Me: "Is there no hope?" S: "There is hope everywhere. Great people are not here. Hope is like the lotus blossom that blooms. If it is cut down by men there is no beauty. Peace can only come through understanding of the heart, letting go of pride." Me: "And greed?" 183
S: "There is always greed and when there is not enough, greed grows more. Man thinks not of his brother, only of himself. There are men who say they wish for peace. It is a lie. True power does not permit greed; it only comes through love. Then can we build and grow together: by true men in power. Where are the good men? A leader without followers has no power. Time to let the light shine my wife. May it never be extinguished. I must step aside now, as there are many things in my world to observe. I must be aware."
10th February 2002: Seti: Me: "Can you take some rest?" S: "There is no rest in conflict. Remember it is the smallest snake that is the most poisonous. Much preparation is being made as brother turns against brother, man against man, and man against his family, for we all belong to the family of man. To teach is not enough without those who would learn and listen. Nor can a speaker speak to the air." S: "These things you must know in order to understand. If all continues the Nile will run red with blood and the Sea of Galilee will give forth no life. Long are the days when it was possible to rule in righteousness and true faith. Pray for peace."
12th February 2002: Seti: 184
S: "As sand runs through my fingers, so are the lives of my people running beyond reach and beyond help. There is hunger and sorrow, and more to come. And who is there to control the desire of the people to rage war? The answer must come from within each person. Beware of the youth. They have not wisdom. Youth, with so little to lose and nothing to gain. Those who have so little can be used by those who have so much and false pride is among them." S: "How does one change the heart and mind of man when they desire only death and destruction for themselves and others? It is man that does not understand. As for my family I shall not have it so. Teach the little ones and also pray for them. If each person takes but one child and teaches him righteousness, the world can change."
13th February 2002: Seti: S: "Tonight my head bends low with weariness. I see no progress. I leave my shadow and my love. You have only to feel them."
14th February 2002: A young man with fair shoulder length hair: "I am here simply for your safety. I have been sent to guard you from going astray. If holding your hand disturbs you, I will simply stand behind your chair. I will lead you to a land outside where contact will be easier for you. You shall know when, I shall pull your hand upwards. Remember your heart must be pure to follow. So, I leave you now." 185
Seti: S: "I have sent someone to show you the way to my world. This is my gift to you." Me: "Is there any preparation?" S: "Continue as you are."
15th February 2002: Seti: S: "It is good your heart is pure. Harken to the signs I have given you as you travel through life so that we may journey together at another time. I step aside now as other things await me but I leave comfort and my eternal love. The love that you sometimes feel when you see the shadow." And, from Seti:
“The time will come when devastation shall be across the land. The crops will wither; the grass will die. Hope will be lost, and the children will cry. All talk will be as hollow words. Man is not ready to keep this world. The Angels shall call and many will come. My son. My son. The rivers will not run and darkness and famine will overcome. The burdens will be heavy; the clarion will call. Mothers will search for their children, but find them not. Crops will rot. Is this to be Man's lot?”
S: "The time has come for you to go in spirit to comfort the innocent with your light and love. Many will come for you to be near. There will be occasions for great caution, so that your light will not be extinguished as the flame of a candle, which leaves only 186
smoke behind. There is more to come but I would like to stop. I do not wish to overburden you with things that are yet to come."
The original plan had been to leave Mexico City for Israel on the 2nd March. When Darla was given a vision of Jerusalem with the streets empty of people, we understood that we must not go when crowds were gathering for Easter and Passover. Our departure date is now 9th March.
16th February 2002: Seti: S: "The crops are better this year my wife." Seti brought corn to show me the quality of the harvest. S: "You must be aware of rioting in the streets. You must stay away from crowds in all places." Me: "That will be difficult in Egypt." S: "It must be done. When a fire ignites it spreads. Life without honour is living death, and those who live it shall know the true sting of death. There will be an accounting. Pray for the honourable men, that they may be found and rise at the time. Power comes from many places. In prayer there is much power, and in righteous living. Do you need clarification?" Me: "No."
17th February 2002: Seti: 187
S: "There must be a beginning." Me: "A new beginning?" S: "Perhaps. Should we escape the sorrow of this time. You must be aware of the sly ones who smile before they kill. There is to be great caution. Do not be concerned if you are moved even unto the ends of the earth, for man cannot plan nor can he predict the hour the danger will come. I come to you so that you will understand and not let your thoughts interfere with a larger plan, for it may not be shown you until it is finished. I am weary of talking to those who will not listen. Would that I could give you a drop of my blood so that we could be forever united at this time. I stand aside now my wife in preparation for the time when I may be forced to retire from you for a while."
19th February 2002: Seti: S: "I tarry not long with you but I come that you will know more surely my presence and my power. There must be prayers filled with light. The light we must bring to the darkness. I leave the shadow of my love. Have no fear. The way will be shown you and at times you must walk in faith alone. Some have fled when faced with trial, but you have not. Nor will you ever fail me. I must slip quietly away now, my love, my wife."
22nd February 2002: Seti: 188
S: "Many in the world have their own false truth and sense of self-righteousness. One cannot touch hearts unless they allow it. Reach out your hand to those who would reach out to you." Me: "But surely there is hope for all?" S: "There is hope for each, but only if they have an open heart. There must be fertile ground watered by the rain of tears and the sunshine of love to shine, in order for it to grow. You must try with every one, but know when it is time to move on." S: "My words are worthy and powerful. Those are blessed who receive them. You have seen the hearts of those with whom I am working, so know my weariness." Seti was referring to a group of people Darla and I had recently met. Their self-oriented opinions were deeply set, allowing no compassion for those different in any way from themselves. S: "This is your example to learn from. I am pleased my wife you do not forget my teachings." Me: "You have been watching me?" S: "Of course. I shall stand aside now and show what your love has done. Sit quietly and feel. A small boy grown tall and straight with love, and his father stands behind him." We were shown Jackie and Charles standing together. They were smiling at each other. Jackie looked about nineteen years old. S: "They are close in love. Close in light. All good things you made possible by blessing them with your love." Me: "Thank you." 189
S: "It is my gift to you. I leave now but as always my shadow remains."
We were then shown Amanda. Amanda Millman: AM: "I am being very good. I have work to do. I am sending down moonbeams to make people happy." Me: "It is lovely to see you again Amanda." AM: "I have a red dress today. It makes me feel strong and happy. When I wear my blue dress I feel peace. But, my rainbow dress is my real favourite." Me: "Do you talk with Puppy?" AM: "I just think I love you too puppy and he does the same to me. I do my job very good." Me: "How do you know what to do?" AM: "I just know what to do. Would you like me better if I were bigger?" Me: "No, I love you just as you are." AM: (giggle, giggle) "I see you many times. I watch for you. It's my job, but it makes me happy too. I have trees with pink and white flowers. When enough people are happy I will get a golden ring on my finger to remind me it is good to make people happy. I hope it doesn't squeeze my finger. I remember another time when I had a golden ring. " Me: "Maybe someday I will get a golden ring too." AM: "Probably so, if you make people happy." 190
Seti: S: "There is a fire in the hills and the towns." Me: "Is it in Jerusalem?" S: "Close to Jerusalem. When will my people learn? I am very weary." Me: "I am not worried about you Seti, but I send my love." S: "Thank you for caring."
24th February 2002: I asked for confirmation regarding a paragraph in the book: Seti: S: "It is easier to change a word than a heart." Me: "Does this come from childhood or other lives?" S: "The river flows downhill and as it flows it gathers goodness and light, or hatred and hardness, till it comes to the end. Watch the path the river takes. You may change the direction of the stream. It is your choice." Me: "But surely, it is harder for some." S: "No. It all begins equal." Me: "It must be difficult for you not to become discouraged." S: "From where I am there is no notion of discouragement. I grow weary. Your hand is lovely my wife. Never forget my shadow stands nearby." Me: "I feel your pain." (I felt it physically, in my heart.) S: "The pain is for my people. Farewell my wife." 191
25th February 2002: A man who has never shown himself to us before: "I come only to observe." With him came intense heat. Darla and I felt uncomfortably hot.
Seti: Me: "Welcome my Husband." S: "And my wife." I thanked Seti for being with me when I was working with healing. S: "It is only through you it is possible." Me: "Does it intrude on your time when I do this?" S: "No. Healing is another part of me." The heat brought by our first visitor was becoming very difficult for us to bear. S: "He comes to show you the fires." Darla was given a vision of people surrounded by fire. Some were throwing home made bombs. S: "Fires can purify. This fire brings destruction." Me: "The same fires?" S: "Yes. In the surrounding hills but larger. Many people are suffering and agitated and more people come. They will be destroyed. They come as lambs to the slaughter. There is rioting in the streets at Ramallah. At Safed old men sit to pray but the steps will again be covered with blood. There are those, the South and the East, who will join together in false brotherhood and false pride. 192
The only brotherhood is the Brotherhood of Man. Our visitor will leave now. I brought him here to show you the danger. You must heed the warning and the words. So I leave you. Be comforted by my shadow. You must think of these things at later times."
26th February 2002: Seti: S: "Fire and destruction. Heavy black smoke swirls in the air." Darla saw it and felt the heat strongly. I could see her face becoming very red. She felt burning. S: "These things you must not experience. The fire - I will not have you in its midst. That is why he comes. He will come when needed. He is your warning. You must not go where it is. I go to the East now, and leave you for a while. You have my shadow always. You remain aware of the dangers? I would that I could take them away. Things change not." Me: "Seti, what was I called when I was your wife in Egypt?" S: "You were called Tuya. I called you always 'my wife' and all others called you 'Great Wife'. A Great Wife handles all things. No matter what you do, it is right. If you weep, it is right. Lightness is right. Do not repress emotions. If you cannot feel, you cannot give out light and love to others and work will not be done." I had been dwelling on a personal issue. Me: "Sometimes I judge myself harshly." S: "Judging yourself is like judging others. You must not judge. With knowledge comes responsibility which when fulfilled 193
becomes wisdom. I would that you be wise as you have always been. There are many things that I have to show you. They may not be what you expect. There is growth in hard times. Remember laughter and light." Me: "I have been thinking of my children on this earthly plane." S: "And well you should. I chose for you and to not understand your responsibility would be to deny my gift. Perhaps your greatest work will be with them. Do not be dismayed. I will not leave them to wander alone. Your wisdom and counsel may be needed. There is no substitute for your wisdom. But that is why I saw these souls come through you and they were given to you. As I chose to be with you my wife, I could have chosen to be with someone else." Me: "I chose to be with you?" S: "It was ordained and destiny. You were not given total free choice." Me: " Why me?" S: "Because of your qualifications, your need to others. Should you be in need to your children I will send you there. Some things you can do there that I cannot do in my realm. That is why we are not together now. If you must choose between a stranger's child and your own children, you must choose yours." S: "Adult children walk their own steps, and they are not yours to direct at this time, only to support. They are your work and some of your finest. They are good souls. I chose wisely and well."
S: "The East continues to deepen in danger. There are people who beat themselves and cut themselves with knives that they may be angry and attack." Me: "In desperation?" S: "And ignorance. They have been given a choice, but they choose incorrectly. They might of their own freewill step back, but it never happens. It is the taste of blood that drives them on. Have you any questions? Then I stand aside, and bid you farewell for only a little time my wife."
28th February 2002: Seti: Me: "Welcome my Husband." S: "And my wife. It is my wish to be with you." Me: "I have no questions." S: "There is no advice. There are warnings. We will speak of that as the time grows nearer to departure. The situation continues to worsen and you must heed my words." Me: "Thank you for the perfume and the healing for Darla." Seti had filled the room with a perfume familiar to me. S: "It is my gift. You have only to ask." Me: "Thank you. It is an honour. I feel wiser, clearer, and closer to you." S: "You grow wise my wife." Me: "Although I was not given complete choice in my marriage to you, at this time I am pleased it happened." 195
S: "That pleases me." Me: "I am concerned that I have so little sight and hearing of spirit. I am wondering how I will be able to converse with you when Darla and I are no longer together?" S: "Do not feel concerned if you do not feel with your eyes. You feel with your heart, and that is most important. Each person has a number of gifts. No one has everything. Try to open your heart and your ears will follow but you must have great faith in me. It is good for you to be in this spot at this time (With Darla, in her home at Mitla). It is your period of growing and opening, as a flower does." Me: "I send my love." S: "And you mine. Are you clear on all issues, and at peace? Remember the shadow that covers you and reaches to your heart."
Jackie: Young Jackie comes frequently for cuddles and to walk in the garden with me. He spoke of the nightmares he sometimes has about being left alone. I told him he could come to mummy if it happens and he does. Sometimes I find he just slips into my bed anyway and goes to sleep. J: "Nanny says I am too big to be kissed goodnight. Daddy and Nanny don't know I come to you. Why don't you talk to Daddy? He has friends who come to the big house. No children come. Daddy tells me I must be very good and I could grow up to be the king of a great country. I tried Daddy's big boots on one day but I fell over 196
and he got angry. I have small ones the same as his. Do you think I can get big ones when I am big?" Me: "Of course you can. Daddy will get you some Jackie." J: "Louie doesn't let me ride him, and he runs too fast." Jackie is really very good, and careful not to get his clothes wet or dirty...too careful. I am trying to loosen him up a little.
If Seti is with me in the garden when Jackie comes, he steps aside to allow my son time with his mother. Seti: S: "It would please me for you to wear perfume. You know, because you will remember my favourite from many years ago." Me: "When opportunity presents." S: "Opportunities are made. I would have you walk in peace and dignity as befits your position." Me: "I will remember." S: "When you come before me it is good to prepare yourself, for always you will be my beautiful wife."
1st March 2002: I felt the intensity of Seti, Peter, and Charles overshadowing me at the same time. Seti: S: "It is showing you it is possible for three to dwell in one, as Lucy, Tuya, and Lexie are one. Some of the lessons learned from you went towards making me who I am. Some lessons were very 197
difficult for both of us and we never repeated our errors. As must not you in the realm in which you walk." Me: "My life as Lexie?" S: "A life that you chose with my approval. Your duties remain there, as do your joys. One day it will all be brought together. That is the moment of ultimate growth. You need only to take one step. Should I tell you the steps should be backwards that is the way you must go." Me: "You see me all the time?" S: "Of course. Did you doubt it?" Me: "Sometimes this is disconcerting." S: "For privacy you may withdraw from my shadow at any time." Me: "Would that upset you?" S: "Do you not know I am beyond that emotion?" Me: "I do now. Sometimes, it is difficult for me. I do not have the understanding you have from where you are." S: "You may call on me at any time. Is there anymore you require? Then I will step aside as there is much to do."
2nd March 2002: This morning Darla and I discussed the 21st century, and specifically the role of western women of our time, including issues of independence and feminism, comparing it to women in Tuya's time. We spoke of what we gathered from writings about this period before appealing for help from Seti. Seti: 198
S: "I understand your time but on a different level. Do you feel our love? This is what is important at this time. The circle of our love, and the lesson is patience. I wish you to be in the best of health (I had an ear infection). I remember what it was like to suffer." Me: "You lived a long life, and I have read of the painful conditions you endured. I have very good health at present." S: "At your age so did I. There was much to do so I stayed long. Now I work in a different way." Me: "May I ask how many times you have lived here since that time?" S: "Only once. Your perfume surrounds you." Me: "It is not quite the one you spoke of, but it is from the East, and it is for you." S: "And that is all that matters. It is good for you not to see death and desolation, or the future to come. Should brother fight brother you must not take sides. Both are your brothers. Have you a question?" Me: "No. I am attempting to have patience." S: "You must attain rather than attempt. You are a good mother. The little one comes to play. I have much on my mind." Me: "Then I will not bother you with frivolous questions." S: "The only frivolous questions are the ones you do not ask. You must ask anything you doubt. In your heart there is a knowing. Listen to your heart in time of doubt. I step aside for now, for there is trouble in our land, and I must calm." 199
3rd March 2002: Today, becoming involved with working on the book, I had not noticed the passing of time. It was later than usual when I thought of Jackie. I found him waiting at the door. In future I must remember. He is so precious.
Seti: Me: "Welcome my Husband." S: "And my wife. It is imperative that you have alternative plans if the gates of Egypt and Israel are closed. I will help you but you must decide where you will go. Things are not progressing. Prepare yourself for any event. Your light cannot shine if it is the worst of all times, only before and after. What is required of you may not be what you expect. Would that there was peace that we may walk the land. Do you understand the depth of what I do? Support through prayers is imperative. Are you well? You must have more healing tomorrow." Seti has been giving me healing for my ear problem. S: "My healing is always good. Do not doubt it. No matter where you go your light will shine, and peace is needed throughout the world." Me: "I am learning so much." S: "And with each learning comes another opportunity. People are preparing in secret awaiting the time they rally." Rivka: 200
Rivka: "I come to comfort you and remind you that to wander in the wilderness is not a bad thing as long as in the end you know where you are going. Our children played together." Me: "Shall we meet again as I travel the world?" Rivka: "Yes." Seti: S: "What would you have, my wife? My shadow whirls around you and intermingles with yours." Me: "It is a comfort."
4th March 2002: Last night, in spirit I visited Jackie in his world. We ran, laughed, and played in the woods together. It was wonderful being with him and seeing him so happy and carefree. I did not approach the 'big house', not wishing to intrude on Charles in his world. Seti: Me: "Welcome my Husband." S: "I come only to show you the situation remains in conflict." Me: "You are very weary." S: "Yes. I do not wish to describe the scenes I see. Walk with me one day in a perfumed garden. I find you pleasing in my sight. I decide to step aside as time grows short."
Jackie comes more frequently now. Sometimes three times a day I feel his little hand slip into mine. He rarely stays long before saying: J: "I can hear Nanny calling me. " J: "Nanny wears a cap, so I don't know the colour of her hair. She likes me to be very clean and she is very clean too. I don't always want to be clean. Louis is my general when I play wars. Once I poked him with my sword and he bit me. Have you any boots mummy? Those are not real shoes you are wearing." (As he looks at my sandals.) Me: "I'll wear them tomorrow."
5th March 2002: Seti: Me: "Welcome my Husband." S: "And my wife. My heart is heavy. In Hebron a young soldier lies face down on a dusty street with his red beret soaked in blood. His mother does not know her only son is dead. There are happenings occurring very rapidly. The area must be settled before you go there. I will not have your light extinguished. You have great gifts not to be laid waste on a dusty road." S: "Be prepared my wife for changes that might come and although you have freewill, in this I would you heed my advice and wishes. Never again will I deny you freewill. If there is not a peace agreement soon the war will escalate. First in Israel, for the Palestinians riot and if there can be no agreement between Israel 202
and Palestine, the other Arab Nations will stand together. I cannot imagine the devastation. Even our Egypt, which voted for peace, will be equally involved because it borders the conflicting lands. Pakistan supplies weapons, nuclear and chemical, to Palestine, and I fear a dark cloud at this moment. All is unsure and unsettled. It could change for better or worse: depending on the hearts of the people. This is the ill wind, the yellow wind of which we spoke." S: "The thirteen righteous have great power, but men will decide the outcome. I will advise you of all changes and convey my wishes and desires to you. I must leave you and stand aside, for many may die. There is a depression of news and false hope. America sells weapons to both sides for monetary gain as they seek to control the Middle East for their own benefits, and it is very dangerous. I leave you with my love. If I can I will come later to give comfort and take comfort. Goodbye my wife."
Jackie: Me: "Do you play with a top?" J: "What is a top? Will you get me one? Will you help me climb a tree?" I did. He is growing very fast. He seems two or three years older than when I arrived in Mexico only weeks ago. J: "Nanny doesn't run with me mummy but you do." Sometimes I have to as he will take my hand and pull me very fast. 203
J: "I will have fruit pudding tonight. Cook makes it. Sometimes I go to the kitchen and Cook gives me sweets."
6th March 2002: Seti: Me: "Welcome my Husband." S: "And my wife. I come tonight to be powerful and would you heed my words. It is not for you to step into the land of the Pharaohs at this time, nor to Israel and Palestine. In my saying this you are free to choose. Events have changed much since you were first told of the journey. Now is not your time. There will be another and I will tell you when it is advisable. There are many things to do with your light and power. Your children in the land of your birth also need your strength and light. Writing you will continue wherever you may be. Your help is always needed. I do not come to cause confusion or unhappiness but the world is changing and you must be aware of this. I would that you continue to grow as I have watched you blossom and though at times I may seem far away my love is always with you." S: "Do you have questions or confusion? For the place you were to go, where you were necessary, is untouchable. You have done well in your preparation. Always I have great pride in you. Focus on the two main gifts you have at this time. Many will be added later. I see you, as you were when you first came to me in all your beauty. Yet I am most pleased with your wisdom." 204
S: "As always the road divides. You must choose which path to walk. I will love you and honour you on any path. I will come to you tonight if you are unsettled and confused about this. Remember this is a delay and not a cancellation. You are an honourable woman. Do you wish to speak of other things?" Me: "Not of importance, considering other matters." S: "My wife grows wiser by the day. My wife, I am loath to leave you but I must go. I stand aside but my shadow shall permeate your very being." Me: "Will you be as close as this all my lifetime?" S: "If you choose." Me: "I now remember you contacted me about five years ago, but the information regarding the future you were giving frightened me." S: "It was your stage of growth. Change brings fear. It is not the nature of man to change." Me: "There will be much suffering?" S: "Continue prayers and you must gather other groups. You will be a shining light to them." Me: "Shall we finish the book at this point?" S: "No….It will continue until the end of your time in this realm. There is much to be said. There is wisdom to be given and many thoughts to know. It is a guide for a journey and a remembrance of your journey. It will help others. People will read of this book. If one soul is saved that is a great accomplishment. " Me: "Is this book to be published in my lifetime?" 205
S: "Then the way will be shown you. My words are not to be taken lightly." Me: "You are aware of all I have written?" S: "I see no change at this point." Me: "I imagine if change is to come I will hold the pen while you add or delete what is necessary." S: "You are my wife and my scribe." Me: "How are you?" S: "Only work is important." Me: "It is my concern for you." S: "Your love is good and strong." Me: "You have given me so much and I have returned so little." S: "Your growth is your gift to me. If you have no thoughts I will step away." Seti quickly returned, feeling concerned about how the news he had just given us was affecting me. Me: "In knowing my strength, you must not be concerned for me. There are many in need." S: "I step aside."
So my itinerary was about to change. Darla will accompany me when we make the now delayed journey to Israel and Egypt.
Jackie: J: "Some men work in our garden. They are just gardeners." 206
I explained these men have children, maybe little boys like him, and they work for his daddy so they can buy food and clothing for them. J: "Do you think I could go and play with them at their house?"
Seti: Me: "Welcome my Husband." S: "And my wife." Me: "I have no questions." S: "Do you have answers?" Me: "Yes. I will visit London, Greece, and Crete on my way back to Australia." Me: "I have been with Jackie, using imagination. I am not confident with this method. Was he with me?" S: "Of course." Me: "He is a joy to me." S: "You have added much to his existence. He will always be a joy to you. How is your health?" Me: "My ear problem has improved with your healing. Thank you. Things have not changed in the East?" S: "Do not despair my wife. All is not lost. It is not known. I take my leave. We will meet in a little while."
7th March 2002: Charles: Me: "Welcome Charles. I have not seen you for a long time." 207
C: "I came to thank you. You are giving our son what he needs." Me: "Charles, may we talk together about Jackie if the time ever comes when doing so would be helpful to him?" C: "Yes, and I don't forget." Me: "I was with Jackie last night. I checked him when he was asleep." C: "I know." Our interaction was warm and caring. The earlier emotion and passion did not arise. The focus centred on our son.
8th March 2002: Seti: Me: "Welcome my Husband." S: "And my wife. Please be reminded that as long as the righteous live it is possible for them to prevail. And we will pray for these to be made strong and take their place and lead their people to lessen the conflict. All cannot be stopped. Remember the power of prayer. Do not struggle with those who know not, and know not they know not. They are fools; shun them. Those that know not and know that they know not are fertile ground for your teaching. You work hard my wife." Me: "Not as hard as you, my Husband." S: "We labour for good reasons." Me: "Yes." S: "Practical situations remain the same. Pray for peace. I shall return to you tonight. You must rest. And so I stand aside." 208
I spent a restless night. I had seen a desperately poor man at Oaxaca during the day. He had no legs and using only his arms he was pulling himself across a crowded street. His body and clothes were filthy, but that all ignored his plight touched me greatly. Then I dreamed of a young girl who was crying as she showed me she too had no legs. Was that myself? I realized how emotionally fragile I had become. Then residue from earlier lives intruded upon me. I did not deal well with this. Next morning when I spoke of my feelings Seti was comforting and understanding. Seti: S: "Your life is like a bee hive. All enter by the one door and live in different cells. There are many cells. One cell is your life now. One cell is your past lives on earth. One is your life with me. One is your work. One is your personal growth. One is your future life, and many more cells to be filled. I am pleased with your work."
Merlin Emrys: Me: "I am pleased to see you but it is not the best day for you to come. I am feeling very emotional. " Merlin: "My child, remember the cave where you came to ride the horse, and how you tried and tried before you conquered. And remember the crystal there that you loved and how it shone as it turned and how it made you laugh. You were emotional then, and it was your emotion I loved the most. I will stay beside you all day 209
and you have only to say Merlin to call me. I give you a good day, sunbeams and moonbeams." Later in the day, again feeling strong, I thanked Merlin. Me: "I am confident I can cope now. I hope we will meet again soon." M: "We will. The magic ordains it. I, Merlin Emrys, exit."
10th March 2002: Seti: S: "The situation remains the same as far as world news may go. However, I approve of your companion today." I had met a friend for lunch in Oaxaca. Me: "Yes. He is a good soul and a good friend." S: "And therefore to be valued. It is good to see you seek fertile ground." Me: "He is growing very fast." S: "Yes. Your work is very good." Me: "Men like him are very valuable to our world." S: "Yes, and so few of them step forward. Do you have any questions or need clarification?" Me: "No. I have been communicating in my world." S: "As have I. That is necessary too." Me: "Yes. I sometimes need to anchor myself here on this plane for a while."
S: "You must have roots as well as wings. I am pleased with you today. I know you are saddened by reports of death but we will not dwell on them because it is well known." I bought a newspaper in Oaxaca today and read that the last week has been the bloodiest in Israel and Palestine since September 2000. S: "As a mother it is good for you to pray for the mothers of those who have died. Theirs is the sharpest pain. And so my wife, if nothing is required I will step aside. I will guard you through the night and be with you if possible." Me: "Go with my love, my Husband." S: "And I leave mine with you."
Jackie: J: "I am nine and a half now. I know my letters, and my numbers." Me: "That is really good. Do you have a tutor?" J: "Yes." Me: "Do you like him?" J: "He is very serious." Me: "He will teach you well." J: "I have a friend now. He is a stable boy. My grandmother sent him to help me to ride. He is a little taller than me." Me: "Does your grandmother visit you?" J: "No, but sometimes we visit her. She does not love me. Daddy would like her to. I do not love her either. I love you Mummy." 211
Me: "And I love you too." J: "I am always polite with my grandmother. She and Daddy shout sometimes. She told me I was born on the wrong side of the blanket." Me: "Does Daddy know she told you that?" J: " No."
This information concerned me greatly as I have long suspected it was Charles' mother who was responsible for Lucy's untimely death. The fact that she sent the stable boy to my son struck fear into my heart. It was Darla who reminded me all would be well as we had already been given a vision of Jackie grown tall and straight. However that night I was to find myself, as Lucy, sitting in a chair beside his bed, guarding him from danger while he slept. I was patting him as I had when he was a baby. I lingered long, and before leaving secured all the windows. This morning, still concerned, I picked up my pen and found Lucy's thoughts come through me:
My son. My son, The room is safe; I know that's true, and I can no longer be with you. May angels guard your bed at night and keep you always in their sight.
I cried, From silence came these words:
The trumpets roar, the clarions call, slowly, slowly turn the clock. The God of Ages rejects thee not.
The way will open. The mists will fall, and a peace comes over all. The mountain streams will forever run, and the world turn round. My son. My son.
11th March 2002: Jackie: Me: "I guess you are too big to sit on my lap now." J: "Yes. I will sit beside you." Me: "Do you ever get sick Jackie?" J: "I had a tummy-ache once. Daddy says I'm part French." (Charles' mother was French) Me: "You are also part Welsh." J: "Yes. Daddy says I am half Welsh. Mummy lived in a castle. There was a big war and the castle was knocked down. He built it again because he promised Mummy he would. I would like to go there one day. I am going to learn Latin. Daddy wants me to be good at my lessons. The lady with the harp still comes and brings a girl with a flute." Me: "Would you like to play an instrument Jackie?" J: "Yes but I don't know what yet. Nanny says I am growing quite handsome." Me: "And so you are." J: "Louie sleeps a lot now. He is getting old." Me: "Is he still your general?" 213
J: "Sometimes. I have toy soldiers now and we fight wars. Sometimes Daddy shows me where to put them and Daddy gives them names." Me: "I guess you are too old to play boats in the water tub like we used to do." J: "Only if you want to. I would like to go on a real boat." Me: "Ask Daddy. He has one. I suppose you are getting too big for me to kiss you too." J: "You can kiss me on my right cheek and I can kiss you too." Me: "Mary too?" J: "Yes. I must go back to my studies now."
Seti: Me: "Welcome, my Husband." S: "And my wife." S: "The news continues to be bad. I thank you for your concern and your prayers. It is good to see you are well this evening." Me: "I thank you for your caring. I feel you were involved with Merlin coming to me." S: "All things must work together if we are to have harmony in our lives and in the world. And I remind you about the children. Before much time has passed you will return home to see them and that pleases me." Me: "I have omitted some conversation which I consider to be personal between you and me. Is that all right by you?" S: "If I had wished it to be otherwise I would have told you." 214
I laughed, knowing that of course he would have done so. S: "Did you think you were doing it alone?" Me: "It is good to laugh at myself sometimes." S: "It is good to laugh. Joy, happiness and laughter can overcome many ills of the body, mind and spirit. Remember to keep all things in balance. I will not give you in detail tonight what is happening in the world. Details are no longer necessary. I have spoken to you before so you could see the seriousness of it." Me: "Yes. We understand the seriousness." S: "You must learn to read my thoughts my wife." Me: "I wish to do so. I did once before but the information you were giving frightened me. I will try." S: "Of course. Then shall you. Do not worry yourself over it. It will come as the book has come. Things are as they should be." Me: "I shall try in quietness to hear you. I know it is essential for you, for me, and for our work. I have no questions. I have just been working." S: "And each day we grow and learn progress is made." Me: "The days pass quickly." S: "Yes. I have many things on my mind, but I will come. You spoke of our son today. Speak of him only with love and reverence. Guard your words. Better no contact is made at present. There is nothing done wrong, I give only advice and counsel. I do not want you hurt. I feel more than sorrow. It was from my seed he came and by my right hand he left. You have only to hold out your hand to feel my love. So I stand aside my wife and bid you goodnight." 215
Me: "And I you."
Jackie: Looking older and very confident. Me: "How is your friend the stable boy?" J: "Father dismissed him. He said he was not doing his duties well." Me: "Do you miss him?" J: "No. Father said he was a false friend. But I have other friends now. Father's friends bring their children to visit. I have my own horse now and Father has a new filly. My Grandmother is dead. Father cried but I didn't. He said there was no love lost between us. Father says it is important to be affectionate with your children." Me: "Does he put his arm around you?" J: "Yes. Nanny is old now. Father says she was a loyal servant. I have a lady tutor now. She comes three times a week to teach me Latin and French. I can now row Father's boat on the lake myself. Sometimes my friends come with me." Me: "You call Daddy 'Father', now you are older. Would you like to call me something different?" J: "What would you like to be called?" Me: "Whatever mothers are called by boys your age." J: "It's mother or madam." Me: "I choose Mother." Jackie now speaks of 'Our Estate'. Me: "Can I come and visit you there?" 216
J: "I would like that." Me: "Where will we meet?" J: "Under the big tree by the lake." Me: "Maybe you can take me for a row on the lake?" J: "Yes. I will bring some fruit, and maybe some cheese." Me: "And I will bring bread." J: "Will Father come?" Me: "I don't know. You can ask him if you wish. Do you like the boots I am wearing today Jackie. I see you have new ones." J: "Yes, yours are very handsome. Can I kiss you on the cheek before I leave? I go hunting with Father but I don't go with Father's friends. They have matters to discuss. I often wonder what they speak of. Father has very important work you know." Me: "I suppose they talk about that. What else do you think they talk about?" J: "I think they would talk about their sons. Father says he is very proud of me. I often wonder what that means." I explained. J: "Father says I will always be called Jackie. I was called after my Uncle James." Me: "Do you see him?" J: "No. Father went to see him once." Me: "But he didn't take you did he?" J: "No."
He kissed Darla and me formally on the right cheek and left to attend to his studies. Never a day passes that he does not come to visit.
11th March 2002: Seti: Me: "Welcome my Husband." S: "And my wife. So you go to the water?" I planned to visit Gloria at Zipoliti Beach. Me: "Have you been reading my e-mail?" S: "No. Maybe my words will come to you more loudly there in the quietness." Me: "Did I get some of your words last night?" S: "Yes. You work hard. Your labour will be rewarded." Me: "I relearn as I type your words. That and your love is reward enough." S: "The fragrance is beautiful." Me: "Is this your favourite perfume?" (I knew it was the one he loved when I was his wife in Egypt) "I will look for it again in the future. My days remain the same." S: "I learn also my wife, with the promise I will return, I step aside."
Last night I spoke to Seti regarding my concern that having arranged to meet Jackie by the lake, I may not be able to converse with him, hear what he is saying, or even see him. Almost immediately I found myself as Lucy, looking beautiful in my green dress and carrying a flower-decorated hat. A picnic basket was by my side. I was amazed when Jackie came, as he was again so much older. I kissed him on the right cheek and he kissed mine, before we walked to the rowing boat. He rowed very well. We unpacked our basket on reaching our picnic place further up the lake. Jackie had planned our outing. Servants were waiting to hold the boat steady as my son assisted me to disembark. I spoke of my girlhood in Wales and went on to tell him how his father and I would ride together at Roch, of how much we were in love, and of the wondrous day when we wandered hand in hand across the fields below the castle, before running down to the sea. After a perfect day together, enjoying experiences missed during a lifetime when we parted too early, I left Jackie by the tree. Jackie is now very tall, handsome, and confident. And secure in the love of his father, his mother, and his sister Mary.
12th March, 2002: Seti: Me: "Welcome my Husband." S: "And my wife." 219
Seti did not speak after that. I asked about the world situation, fearing bad news. S: "I prefer not to discuss it, but I am watching. It is best I step aside now but I leave my shadow." We felt he had been called away. 13th March 2002: Seti: Me: “Welcome my Husband.” S: “And my wife.” Me: “I have been looking forward to seeing you this morning.” S: “There is so much to be done. One day if all goes well we may spend time together”. Me: “I hope so. I understand if you are unable to stay.” S: “When the world calls it is my duty. Nor would you shirk your duty”. Me: “The children have been in touch. All is well”. S: “Yes. All is well, but they still need their mother‟s wisdom and her touch”. Me: Jackie is growing”. S: “Yes”. Me: “He is a joy to me”. S: “I am pleased. I knew it would be so. He will always be able to find you, and you him”. Me: “And thank you for placing me beside the lake”. 220
S” “It was my joy also. My wife, I must step aside. I will come if you need me; you have only to hold out your hand. My shadow stays with you. But before I step aside I will stay a little while.” Me: “I am growing closer to you my Husband.”
Jackie: Today I did not walk in the garden. (It is there Jackie meets me). Earlier I found myself in a room where Jackie was sitting at a desk doing his lessons. I'd stayed with him for a while and did not expect he would come again. However he needed to share something with his mother and came to where I was working at the typewriter. J: "We had rowing races on the lake today when friends came here." Me: "Did your father's friends stay at the big house?" J: "No. They came to watch us." Me: "I'm sure your father was cheering you on." J: "Yes and I won." Me: "That is great Jackie. Is Father still winning his horse races too?" J: "Yes." Me: "Sometimes Jackie, your father and I would race each other on our horses in Wales, and sometimes Jackie, I won." J: "Father says sometimes he let you win."
Just as I was about to say some words about that I was called to the phone. While I was absent Jackie told Darla that his father had written a book in gold lettering. J: "He wrote it about himself and my mother. It is for me to read when I am older." Then, some of his friends dropped by and he left with them.
14th March 2002: Jackie: Again Jackie came to find me at the typewriter. Two years had passed in his world. Me: "Did you have trouble finding me?" J: "No. I never have trouble finding you. I have been away at school for the last year. Father sent me to Eton." I asked many questions to which the answers followed: J: "Yes we play many sports. We wrestle and have running and jumping competitions. Father predicts a bright future for me. I am almost as tall as Father now I am sixteen. This afternoon I am going riding with a friend from the next estate. We ride to the river on the horse trail that goes through the woods." J: "No, we do not see many animals Mother, because we ride very fast." Me: "What do you and your friends talk about? Do you talk about girls?"
J: "Sometimes, but mainly we speak of world affairs. My friend's name is Henry. Are you happy Mother? Father says it is a young man's duty to make his mother happy." Further answers to my questions: J: "I can give you a hug. Father says it is all right for me to give just my mother and my father a hug. Yes, I give him one too. Yes I did get a new dog. Her name is Leah. Our old one grew old and died. Father buried him on the hill. I had a chestnut colt waiting for me when I came home. Father still rides the filly. He says it is important to look after animals and that we can learn a lot from them. " “Father is working in his study. He says he is a 'man among men'." (I know he is too.) J: "No. I do not bring my friends home to stay during holidays as Father thinks it important we have this time together." "With your leave Mother I will go now." And my son, wearing his russet-coloured shirt, brown leather waistcoat, and his trousers tucked into long brown riding boots, left. My heart goes out to Charles for the loving care he gives our son.
Seti: Me: "Welcome my Husband." S: "And my wife. I see you were in conflict today." I had been pondering on some personal issues between Seti and myself. 223
Me: "Yes, but I am able to handle it." S: "I have dealt many times with conflict. Do not forget my shadow and my hand." Me: "I knew you were with me. I prefer to deal with this myself. If it becomes detrimental to my work, please speak of it." S: "Of course. As you choose." Me: "It is not a problem now." S: "You please me my wife." Me: "Thank you. I am growing stronger I know." S: "And wiser." Me: "I miss not knowing what is going on in the world." We were in a situation where we had no newspaper, radio, or television. Information regarding world events, except for the one newspaper bought the day I travelled to Oaxaca, came from Seti. S: "Sending your light is enough." Me: "What I say is for myself. I miss knowing." S: "Do not concern yourself over this. I will share the good things with you." Me: "I would like to know." S: "It is my job. Would you change places and you be responsible for the World?" Me: "No." S: "Enough said my wife. You spoke of a land of plenty and a land of nothingness." In meditation today I had found myself drifting on a flat raft in the centre of a stream. To my left was what I called 'The Land of 224
Nothingness'. The banks were lined with people dressed in colourless clothes, silently still as they looked towards the river. Or were they looking across to the other side of the water from their barren and desolate land? On the other side in 'The Land of Plenty ' the vegetation was lush and green. Trees were laden with fruits of all colours, shapes and sizes. Branches bent low with the weight. Numerous tables were piled high with delicious food and children paused to help themselves to large portions, as they ran joyfully hither and thither, calling to their parents who watched and joined in the games. Happiness and love permeated the air. Me: "Did you show this to me?" S: "Yes, that is our work. It is for all to have plenty, to take the opportunity to choose. This is our hope for the future, 'The Land of Plenty'. If you have no further need of me I desire to step aside. Remember to reach out your hand."
15th March 2002: Seti: Me: "Welcome my Husband." S: "Welcome my wife. And how is your health?" Me: "You came to the doctor with me this morning? They were amazed, with the seriousness of the complaint, I was not suffering more pain. You took care of that I know. Thank you." S: "I too have suffered much in the physical realm. Your wisdom grows daily." Me: "I trust I learn every day, sometimes painfully." 225
S: "Have you any questions?" Me: "There are some things I do not understand. I do need explanation but I prefer to leave it for now. I am working on patience." S: "All things come in time. One day you will understand and can then say 'I understand all'." Me: "Did I deal with my earlier issue myself or did you help?" S: "You always have my help." Me: "Well I did at last have a goodnight‟s sleep." S: "Rest is blessed because it refreshes the soul." Me: "And your day?" S: "My day continues day and night. There is no day for me. The time will come when we can walk in a perfumed garden, but that time is not now." Me: "I look forward to it greatly." S: "If all is well I will step aside. I will come again."
16th March 2002: Seti: Me: "Welcome my Husband." Yesterday I succumbed to negative thoughts. It had been a restless night for me as I looked within. S: "And my wife." Me: "There was more learning for me last night." S: "Our existence is a cycle of learning." Me: "I hope to make progress." 226
S: "Hope is not enough. Action must follow the intent." Me: "I have the thought and some understanding." S: "I would that you understand the trials are for your growth as it was for me." Me: "Sometimes in the darkness of the night issues arise that are very difficult." S: "You have only to ask. You must sift the wheat from the chaff. It is necessary for your own growth. Power comes from within and from growth, self power. If anyone or anything seeks to do you harm, take your own strength. Your eyes will be opened. I, as a Pharaoh, took you to be my Queen, and with it came your trust. I cannot clear your confusion. Clearance comes from inside your heart." I requested to be given clarity in an area regarding the future. S: "Do not be concerned with things yet to come, the day only. You have not been given a light task. Remember the laughter. If there is no more discourse I will step aside."
19th March 2002: Seti: Over the last two days I had been discussing with Seti some personal issues stemming from our earlier lifetime together, and some too of this time. S: "The solution must be based on intelligent consideration, not personal trauma. The fog will lift one day and you will know the truth. Sometimes progress is to stand still, not always going 227
forward. Take stock of your knowledge. Should you be overcome by sadness, step away for a while. You must take your own strength and not lean on me, for to do so would deter your complete development. Remember the light, the laughter, and the happiness you must share with others. If there is no more discourse I will step aside."
20th March 2002: Seti: Me: "Welcome my Husband." S: "And my wife." Me: "I am feeling clearer, happier within myself." S: "That is good." Me: "But I prefer not to discuss it at this time." S: "Then it shall be as you wish. You go to the waters?" Me: "The day after tomorrow." S: "And your health?" Me: "Improving." S: "You will meet more people there." Me: "I have worked there before as I am sure you know." S: "You know I am busy?" Me: "Yes, but I would have liked you to stay longer." S: "I will come. You have only to call me." Me: "I hesitate when you are so busy."
S: "It is for your personal growth and also mine. I would linger longer with you but I cannot. So I step aside with the promise I will return."
22nd March 2002: Today I travelled down the mountain to Zipolite Beach. The road is torturous. It twists and turns, taking approximately eight hours to reach the Pacific Ocean. It is always a joy to spend time with Gloria.
23rd March 2002: Seti: S: “All I have written can be said in these three sentences: Behold the might of the glory to come. The world is one. The choice is yours.” S: “Come ye children, come ye now. The valley mists forever fall, and a peace comes overall. The rivers run, the sun will rise. Come ye now, come ye back. Walk my child along the track. The seasons change, Know ye all the time has come to call, to call to all. They must come further, further, to the sun.”
27th March 2002: In spirit I found myself in Jerusalem. Although in this lifetime I have never been there, I knew I was walking towards the Western Wall. 229
I heard a voice speak to me: "Who do you come with?" Me: "I come alone." Voice: "Do you want pride?" I hesitated. Pride is an issue I have to battle. If this were my desire it would be absolutely impossible to ask for anything else. There was no choice in this situation - just acknowledgement or otherwise. The question must be answered. I searched deeply within myself before lifting my hand to touch the wall. Me: "No. I ask for truth, to know truth." Stepping back, I found Peter and Seti waiting for me.
3rd April 2002: I had returned from the beach and I was now again at Mitla. Seti: Me: "Welcome my Husband." S: "And my wife. You leave tomorrow?" Me: "Yes." S: "It is good." Me: "Athens on Monday." I was unable, with my ticket, to travel to London and Crete, so I was going to Australia via Greece and Thailand. S: "I will watch over you." Me: "I do have difficulty travelling sometimes." S: "I too have had my difficulties in travelling." 230
Me: "We of course know things are still difficult in the Middle East. You are very weary." S: "Very. But I must leave now my wife, in order to take my place where I should be." Me: "Goodnight my Husband." S: "And my wife."
4th April 2002: Seti: Me: "Welcome my Husband." S: "And my wife." Me: "Thank you for the perfume." Seti had surrounded me with perfume. S: "It is my pleasure. So you go to your country?" Me: "Yes." S: "I know. I guard your journey." Me: "I send my love." S: "It is well received." Me: "Was the pain I felt in my heart today your pain?" S: "The pain is with everyone. I must leave my wife. I am being called, but remember the shadow of love I leave with you. I take my leave."
5th April 2002: Seti woke me during the night. Seti: Me: "I am awake, that you know." 231
S: "Yes my love, let it flow, the time has come for you to go." Me: "Where to Seti? I must know." S: "Yes my child. You must go. Keep on writing. Let it flow." Me: "I do. I do. I want to hear. For me you must make it clear." S: "The world is waiting. The word is now." Me: "The sentence falls but goes around. Around and around it goes. Where to go? Is it to the East? Jerusalem?" S: "No." Me: "Athens is where I'll be, Athens, Athens, by the sea. Crete? To Australia? Is all not well? To walk? To talk? I cannot know! Oh Seti, if only I could hear.” S: "You must come. Closer, closer to the sun. The way is clear, the journey long. Listen to the Angel's song. Do not falter. Do not wait." Me: "We are coming to the gate." S: "The gate my dear is tall, and strong." Me: "Seti, Seti, here I come. Walking, walking, all the way, up the mountain, down the hill." S: "Further, further, do not stay. Delay thee not. You know the way." Me: "The waterfall. I see it, on the left, the snow-topped mountain on the right. The sun is there, yet out of sight. I walk the road. I sing the song. I will not falter. I will not wait. Yonder, yes, I see the gate, the golden glow. The latch is open. That is the way. The dawn is breaking. Soon it will be day. Is this the day for all to come? Closer, closer to the sun?" 232
S: "Yes my dear. Now lead the way. Lift the latch. Walk you through. The others will follow, you know that is true." Me: "I hesitate." S: "No. Push it hard. You are walking your own backyard." Me: "I'm walking through. I hold open the gate." S: "No. Keep going. There is another gate." Me: "It's blue. It's pink, rainbow hue. Seti, I see it. I know that is true. Walk on I shall. I am through the gate! To the left the valley deep, stretches before me. I hesitate. There is no sun! Is this the
way? To the right the mountains call. I climb. I climb to reach the top. I struggle on, but I'm almost there. The sun is rising. This was the way! I greet the dawn, another day in all its beauty. All is clear. I sit on the peak, the highest here. Seti, Seti, why have I come?" S: "My hand, my hand. Take it now. Put down the pen. Come, let's ride, ride my dear, across the sky."
6th April 2002: Seti: Me: "Welcome my Husband." S: "And my wife." Me: "Thank you for last night." S: "We must always see clearly." Me: "I feel more confident about hearing." 233
S: "And so shall it be. Are there any questions? Then I take my leave."
7th April 2002: Seti: Me: "Welcome my Husband." S: "And my wife." Me: "I have no questions, but this is the last time I will be able to communicate clearly with you, as Darla will no longer be with me to channel your words." S: "Always you can communicate with me." Me: "Yes." S: "You sound doubtful my wife." Me: "Shall I just pick up the pen?" S: "That is the way." Me: "I appreciated your presence close to me today." S: "I always leave my shadow with you." Me: "I have a long trip ahead." S: "You are strong and good, and it will pass. May I assist you this evening? Then, I will take my leave my wife as there is much to do and the time grows short."
15th April 2002: I felt Seti close to me and knew it was now I was to visit his land. I reached for his hand but when I looked up I found I was with the blonde man who had earlier told me that he would be my guide. I 234
held tightly to his hand until we arrived where Seti was waiting for me. We walked the fields where crops were ripe, re-experiencing our earlier love. It was just Seti and me. I met no others. Our children were not there and I did not think of them before returning to my world. I feel they had yet to be born.
17th April 2002: Today with Seti I stepped back in time. He guided me to a table where a number of people wearing grey robes with hoods were seated. He stood behind my chair. I felt unworthy to be there and unaccepted also. I left. Seti: S: "Well my child. What to know?" Me: "The group? The table? Who were they?" S: "You know." Me: "Shall I go there again?" S: "It is up to you." Me: "You give no answers. I want to grow." S: "Yes. I know." Me: "Where? Which way? When? I have, my Husband, I have the pen." S: "Turn the page, then I speak." Me: "I wait." S: "This now is the time to grow." Me: "From here where do I go? The group? The table? Was that my seat?" 235
S: "Yes my dear." Me: "Why did I leave? Was I not ready to take my place? Have I failed? Is it lost?" S: "The way now is up to you. The choice is yours. The road is wide, there are entrances on either side. You must decide which way to go." Me: "Will you be with me?" S: "If you wish." Me: "Now I grow. Tall and strong I take that road. It's hard I know, but it's mine to go. Are you leaving me? Is that a yes?" S: "My child, I will be with you wherever you go. Long or short, narrow or wide. I am always there, by your side." Me: "Thank you Seti. I feared you would go, that I'd not succeeded, not grown enough to keep you by my side. Is it time to stop?" S: "No. Reach the top. Tread the mountain. Walk the road, and always, always carry your load. Up this side and down the other." Me: "The table Seti. It worries me that I did not stay. Why?" S: "You will see." Me: "I was not ready?" S: "No. Not today. But there is another way, another road." I interrupted: Me: "Why could I not sit? I need to know." Seti did not answer. Me: "Okay. I'll walk the road. Another step, another stride and I'll make it to the other side." 236
S: "That you will. That you must." Me: "Oh Seti!" S: "My dear all is not lost." Me: "I think I must stop." S: "There is more to know." Me: "Tell me please. I am here to grow." S: "Keep working hard." Me: "Tell me please. I am here to grow" S: "You know. You know. It is for you to grow." Me: "Humility now I know. I have learned this quickly. I put down the pen. Is that all right? " S: "Yes. We talk another day."
18th April 2002: Seti: Me: "Welcome my Husband." S: "Welcome by wife." Me: "Seti, thank you. It's learning for me. I'll work on ego and on pride. I know I must." S: "Just let it go." Me: "I'll do just that. Have you anything to add?" S: "No my dear. It's your way to go. It's up and down. It's round and round. It's over the bridge. It's by the brook. Stand tall child, you're coming back. Back to the sun, the way is long. Listen to the Angel's song." Me: "You say that often." 237
S: "And well I must." Me: "Alright then in it I trust. The clarion call comes clear and strong. I follow, follow all the way. We meet my Husband, another day."
Being human, sometimes in the middle of the night I succumb to negative thoughts. Seti has given me these words: S: "Remember, always there comes the day when light will ease, the sun will glow. This dear is where you'll go. You'll step forth, you'll walk the road to other worlds, to other calls. You will answer. You know it all. Look within, the answer is there, your growth, your strength. The One, the All, it travels with you. It shows the way." Another time: "The sun shines, the rivers run. This entire earth will be overcome. The world spins, it spins around and around. The day will come when comes the call for you to go beyond the gate, to places far, to mountains tall, to places far beyond the sun. The angel's call forever nigh. You my dear need only sigh for them to come to take you home."
I again left Mexico. My first stop was Greece, where I looked in awe at ancient ruins and marvelled at myths lost in time. The natural beauty of Delphi, with hills, valleys, lakes and abundant wildflowers was healing to my soul. I returned via Bangkok to my Australian home. 238
Darla and I have waited to be directed to Israel but we have been told it is not divine timing. Meanwhile, the unfinished book is to be published. Our journey will continue at a later date.
Addendum Peter: “And the end was the beginning.”
MY GRATITUDE TO:
*PETER, CHARLES, SETI, who really wrote this book. *DARLA, who channelled most of their words, taught, protected and guided me. *L.A, who challenged and pushed me to understand. I honour your uniqueness, fearlessness, and patience. *(I shall call her ANNE), who recognized me on that ferry and carried me through another part of my journey. *AMANDA (MANDY), who came with her daughter and dog, to live at my house, therefore forcing me to believe the unbelievable. *MERLIN, for comfort in times of great stress. *My sister, COLLEEN MORGAN, for her wisdom, love, and fortitude, as she typed, retyped and corrected my manuscript, never once raising an eyebrow or challenging what I was presenting. *UNA MYRTLE, who fulfilled a sacred contract made between us before birth. *And to my daughter, Cate, who assisted when the time was right.
BEYOND TIME Author: Lexie Green
Colleen Morgan (sister) 266 Bent Street South Grafton, NSW, 2460, Australia email@example.com
Cate Green (daughter) 90 Bourke Street Maitland, NSW, 2320, Australia- firstname.lastname@example.org
Book Website; www.beyondtime.com.au e-mail; email@example.com
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