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The old watermill
The Nada Chronicles, part 45
By Mara Oldenburg
A few years ago, after a tough period in my life, I travelled on my own to the winter sports in Austria. I had hired a room in the family hotel ‘Zur Alten Mühle’ (ye olde mill) in Reichenfels, a small town faraway in Carinthia. However, it happened that there were to be no winter sports for me that year. I´ll tell you why.
It is a long drive to Carinthia, almost 700 miles, but in high spirits I took off via the German Motorways, on my way to fresh adventures. I can guarantee you that the adventure I experienced is well worth the telling.
At a certain point I was dead tired and stopped in the vicinity of Salzburg on a parking lot alongside the Tauern motorway in order to stretch my legs. There was a small path which led into the mountains, and I decided to follow it a few miles to give my cramped body the opportunity to recover. It was not long before I was out of sight of the racing cars, and found myself alongside a small river in the midst of a conifer forest.
It started to snow. At first a little bit then somewhat more, and after a quarter of an hour the world was transformed from grey to white and a fairy-like silence came down on me. It was a steady – constantly falling – windless snow, which is only possible in between the shelter of mountains.
Slowly it became dark I and I thought about returning to my car, but something in me said I’d better go on. I called myself dopey, yet I went on and on. There seemed to be no end to my walk, and although I said to myself that the cramping of my body had been gone a long time, I did not listen to myself.
Over the narrow entrance a wooden board was hammered, poorly advertising Gösser Beer. I had never heard of that brand, but then, neither am I a beer drinker. Not to think of root beer for that matter. It meant, though, that surely a refreshment was to be had here. Most of the snow was wiped away at the entrance and moreover I noticed it had stopped snowing.
I stamped my cold feet clean and entered an unpainted dark hallway with doors to the left and right, but beyond that, nothing. To the right it smelled like stable; I had no business there. At the other side I was luckier, because here was the guest room. There were a few tables with chairs and a bar at the side of the corridor. It was cold though and not a living soul was to be seen. Less than a minute later the door next to the bar opened, and an attractive young woman in a terra coloured woollen dress entered. She wore her hair made up high with a flowered scarf tied on to it. Over her dress she wore a Tyrolean apron, on her legs plain grey stockings and at her feet old-fashioned black calf-length boots. In short, everything in the room breathed ‘old time sake,’ and at first I did not feel very much at ease.
The woman looked at me and I have to admit that from her big dark eyes spoke a certain spell and recognition that gave me the shivers in my spine. Nonsense of course, because from where would I know this lady? Stupid thought. Such a thing certainly couldn’t be true. Her small lips, below the somewhat strong and straight nose, smiled just for a second while she went on until behind the bar.
“Good day!“ She greeted me with a warm
deep alto voice that seemed to fit her well formed body entirely.
“A very good day to you,” I replied in my best German. “Are you
closed? It looks a little bit barren here.” “No,” she replied. “We
are not closed, but with this snowfall I do not expect many customers.
But come with me into the kitchen, the furnace is aflame, and maybe
we will be able to make it a little bit cosy,” she said in a mysterious
voice, at which she once again produced her enticing smile.
She nodded, put a pan on the hole in the stove and filled it with – as could be seen – tomato soup. “It will be warm soon,” she said superfluously. In the meantime I looked around a little bit. The kitchen had a high covering, with a kind of vault as a ceiling. At the one end were the tables and the benches against the walls. At the other end was the large antique wood stove with a work top to the left, and a continuously running tap above which a rack for pans was fastened. In front of me, next to a cupboard, was the door leading to the hallway. Against the walls, where one would expect wainscoting in these surroundings, a kind of fake wallpaper with crimson red dye was painted half way up the wall. High up on the long wall were two small windows. Everything gave, in addition to an old-fashioned feel, also a plain impression. But I suspected when more people arrived and the beer was flowing, the atmosphere would change astonishingly.
The soup was served with a big chunk of bread, and while enjoying it the lady asked me if she could come and sit at my table and eat her own bread and soup. I said yes and while she shook my hand she said: “Welcome madam, my name is Aramia, may I ask where you come from?”
“I am living in the Netherlands, originally from England,” I said and still shaking her hand I added: “My name is Mara, my pleasure.”
We got talking and after we finished our soup Aramia went to the back of the house and came back with her knitting. Ever since my weekly visits to my grandma I hadn’t seen such a thing. She was knitting a large stocking, which she magically let appear with quick fingers and using six needles. While talking I looked at the quick rhythmic movements of her slender fingers. On her right hand she wore two golden rings above each other. Surely she was a widow, and that at her age. She certainly could not be very much older than I was. She recognized my staring at her fingers.
“Yes,” she sighed. “My Peter is already dead for two years.” “I’m sorry.” I answered but did not know what to say any further. “If you like I’ll tell you about it,” she added.
“Ten years ago we got married. It was
a gorgeous September day. We were happy and had a wonderful life
before us. From his savings Peter had bought this ruin and it was
our intention to renovate it and rebuild it as ‘Family hotel ‘Ye
olde mill’. But unfortunately he got ill very soon and the renovation
never got underway.“ Aramia sighed. “Those were heavy times.” She
was silent for a long time, got up and brought a bottle of schnapps
and two glasses. She poured and said: “Prosit, to life!” I looked
at her and saw a tear surging, through which her eyes became even
prettier. Again we were silent for a very long time.
“When you entered,” she said after a while, “you were startled just a moment when you saw me. My face looked familiar and also my name did ring a certain bell.” I nodded, but did not say anything. “You have to know, Mara, and I am sure that I can say this to you, that I still make contact with Peter in the hereafter from time to time. Frequently we talk with each other and it is every so often that he gives me clues that are relevant and that help me with the making of my decisions. I knew, for instance, that you were coming, at least a woman with just about your looks and indeed your energy. I looked forward to our meeting but was a little bit ashamed about this miserable place in which I had to receive you.”
“You are right,” I nodded while her knitting needles tapped, and she again became silent for a very long time. My feelings worked overtime, and suddenly I remembered a dream I dreamt not long ago.
I find myself at the shores of a large lake. The weather is overcast. At the other side are low hills with conifer woods at the shores. I am at a sandy beach. Because there is no wind, the waves are lapping calmly at the shoreline. Furthermore it is dead quiet. At the far end shore I can see a small boat setting off from the shore. Slowly it is rowing in my direction.
Above me I hear the shrieking of seagulls and the chirping of a redshank.
The boat comes always closer. The person in it sits with her back to me. She is clothed in a terra coloured woollen dress. She wears her dark hair made up high with a flowered scarf tied on to it. Over her dress she wears a Tyrolean apron.
The person gets out of the boat and sets foot on the sandy shore. When she turns around I can see her face. She is my spiritual Guide.
I was a little bit scared, because while I remembered that dream, suddenly I saw the resemblance between Aramia and the guide from my dream. The dream ended abruptly back then but all of a sudden it seemed as if it took up again…
“Are you one of my Guides?” I asked. Again with
that half-smile she looked up from her knitting, but still did not
say a word. Surely it was meant that I’d draw my own conclusions.
And then I knew. Mara…, Aramia…, It couldn’t be coincidence. “You
are another part of myself,” I managed to utter. “You and I are
aspects of the Higher Soul of which you and I are part of.” I knew
it existed but never had thought it would be possible to experience
something like this in physical life.
“Now I will tell you more about the implications. It is essential to know that it is always good to handle these kinds of things in a way that makes sure that your inner pureness can be uplifted to a high degree of perfection, making it possible to do what you expected from your life before you were born. Recognize that this will be as good for you, as for others.”
“It is also important to keep in mind that this standing at the crossroads comes to the building up of the respectability of body and soul to a high rate of perfection, thus being able to go on with the inner enrichment of your mortality, and by that of your immortal soul.”
“Always keep in mind that God asks us to respect the Divine Spark within ourselves, and follow it to the fulfilling of that which is important for the progress of the soul. Always keep in mind not to bestow on others anything that you would not like to have done to you. Bring Love in your own life in order to bring Love into the lives of others.”
“Follow the path of your choice and once again you’ll become a happy woman. Giving a smile to others is so very worthwhile. It does not cost anything but is worth a great deal. Bring joy into the lives of others by behaving as someone who is joyful herself and has an abundance of it to share with others.”
“That is not always easy and certainly not when tiredness takes possession of you. Just then, in difficult moments like that, you should comprehend the love you feel for others, for human and animal. Also right then you should spread that love in order to give the other man or the other animal the opportunity to feel the same bliss you are experiencing in those moments when you yourself feel the euphoria of happiness...”
Aramia fell silent and went on with her knitting as I sat there slowly sorting out these beautiful words. What wisdom. “Thank you so much, Aramia, for these outstanding words. I know they come from deep within your heart, and because you are who you are, I know that they were buried in my own heart as well. I just didn’t know how to dig them up. Thank you for this wise lesson.”
We hugged. “It is not necessary to thank me for this, Mara. Lessons like this, directed by the Divine world, are on the house and are given to you by those who have chosen, in dialogue with you, to help you on your path of life. They see to it that this path will be as much as possible in accordance to the expectations you had when you were about to incarnate in this life.
“Right at this moment it is time to make a choice about what to do with your life. You are, more then ever, conscious about this, and I am certain that you will make the right decision; for yourself, for your surroundings, and for the Divinity that is also in yourself...”
Because of the fact that you have been able to read this story, it is clear which choice I made in that old mill.
I saw a shadow of a shadow
She is my great example
She is there whenever
I saw a shadow of a shadow