Prologue & Chapter One



“I don’t know how long we can hold her!” Will shouted to his first mate, Miguel, above the raging wind and water. “The storm is just too strong!”

The sailing vessel Mystic Travelers slid safely down the wall of a massive wave despite the razor’s edge trajectory. Any miscalculation would topple the schooner and drop the five crew members into the raging waters of Lake Superior.

“Get below and prepare the transporter! We may have to abandon ship any moment. Put Sonja between us to relay the order on my command. We must prepare to transport immediately!” Miguel responded with haste. Will’s voice grew hoarse from the continuous shouting necessary to communicate over the roar of this rogue storm. The mainsail was reefed, the jib and genoa furled. The line of sail necessary to descend the massive waves was almost impossible to follow. The storm relentlessly tested Will’s masterful sailing abilities. He used every ounce of his energy to hold the wheel, direct his first mate, and make the necessary adjustments to keep the vessel from capsizing.

Again Will executed the slide of the vessel down the wave with perfection, giving his four colleagues time to prepare for the transport. A Coast Guard helicopter appeared overhead but couldn’t help due to the enormity of the gale. The lake swelled again. Will, still at the helm, worked diligently guiding Mystic Travelers down another steep and narrow trajectory along the wave. A third of the way down, the wind abruptly changed direction, gusted, then blew hard and steady. Will was unable to correct for the aberration. The ship began to fall off the wall of water.

Will yelled, “Energize!”

He heard the command echoed by Sonja.

The ship toppled off the wave, rolled, and dropped four fathoms through the air into the turbulent water. The wave crashed down upon them, cloaking the schooner. Everything went dark. The ship and crew disappeared and never surfaced. The storm raged on……

*          *          *

Chapter One


Time is not at all what it seems. It does not flow in only one direction.The future exists simultaneously with the past in this present moment. The distinction between past, present, and future is only a stubbornly persistent illusion.

-Albert Einstein-

I don’t know how I found that place when I did. I was lost in the north woods at three o’clock in the morning. I’d been driving all night. The cafe was lit and the open sign was on. I noticed that mine was the only car on the street. I crossed the threshold into Sunnyview Cafe. The tiny bell above the door jingled and an adventure began I never could have imagined.

I picked up a menu off the host’s stand, noticed a wooden model of a sailing vessel, and sat down in a booth. I opened the menu and saw nothing but blank pages. On the back of the last page in the lower right hand corner was a question in small print that simply asked: “What do you want?”

What do I want? I thought to myself. How about a glass of water, a cup of coffee, and a new life? What kind of joke is this? The night cook’s way of saying, “Get lost,” or did a disgruntled employee decide to be a smart ass?

What do you want? The question began to sink further into my tired mind when I noticed a rustling in the kitchen and looked up to see the most beautiful woman I’d ever seen walk out to approach me carrying a glass of water and a cup of coffee. She wore a dark blue flowing gown over a white gown that showed at the wrists and neck.  An attached hood hung down from the neck of her gown onto her back, underneath her well-coiffed auburn hair. It reminded me of a religious habit I’d seen somewhere in my travels.

She placed the water and coffee in front of me and sat down. Her eyes were brown; strong and compassionate. They looked right into my soul. I could feel my pulse race as my metabolism shifted.

“What do you want from this new life?” She asked without introduction or hesitation.

I don’t know why, but I felt like I was going to pass out. Was her question rhetorical? What did it matter to her? How could she know what I was thinking? The fragrance of her presence was like wild roses with a hint of mint. Her eyes spoke of a vastness that reminded me of a clear night in the Canadian Rockies where a billion stars could be seen and felt in the depths of one’s being. Her presence was that of a Greek goddess, although I’d never met one, and the sound of her voice was as beautiful as a rainbow, as bright as the sun, and as deep as the ocean. She seemed ageless. I couldn’t tell if she was thirty or sixty, which added to my confusion. The silence that ensued after her question seemed to linger into eternity. I was speechless and stunned. Who was this person? Where had she come from? The silence persisted as did the steady gaze of her curious eyes. What do you want from this new life? Echoed in my ears.

Remembering Alice in Wonderland, I pinched myself to see if I was dreaming. A sharp pain traveled from leg to brain verifying I was not dreaming. I was sitting in the presence of a very eccentric and stunning woman. I couldn’t speak so I picked up the glass of water, took a drink, and tried to get a grip on myself. In my many years of life, never before had a question or a person had such a profound effect on me. I returned the glass of water to the table and willed myself to relax. Not sure where to look, I closed my eyes and bathed in the moment, considering everything about it. Relax Remember Surrender Renew. The mantra I’d been working with for some time came up for me as I became aware of my breathing. The short shallow breaths elongated and calm began to take over.Relax Remember Surrender Renew. I could feel my body releasing its tension from the night driving and this new dark night experience. The energy of Life seemed to be awakening in me and as it did I was caught up in a vision.

I sat by a small campfire in the Black Hills. A woman laid beside me, wrapped in a buffalo robe. The night sky was shimmering with stars. The howls of the wolves sang the end, and beginning, of an era. It was the end of the world as we had known it. The Wasechu, the crazy white people, had come to the land and were overtaking her. The ways of the reds were over, the ways of the whites beginning. The two of us were medicine people for a tribe that had lived and loved in the plains and mountains of what was to become the state of Colorado. We represented the last of our band and were making our way north to make a new life for as long as it was given. We were being guided and protected by the spirits of the deep, who accompanied us along the paths of the ancestors. We saw the end of our place in the grand design and were now traveling to the beginning of another. The night was cool and open to the infinite possibilities of Life. We were at peace.

The cafe sign flickered on and off and finally went out. The smell of freshly brewed coffee drifted into my nostrils, bringing me back to the question, the present moment, and the woman. I shook my head slightly, trying to shake loose from this strange vision.

“What do you want from this new life?” she asked again.

“What new life?” I blurted out. “What the hell do I know? How about peace on earth, good will for all creation? How about the enlightenment of humanity? How about a whole new way of being together in the world that honors and respects the dignity of everyone and everything? How about the end of exploitation, greed, hunger, and war? An end to anxiety, regret, despair, blame, and humiliation? No more condemnation, hopelessness, fear, craving, enslavement, antagonism, scorn, righteous indignation, pain, suffering and…”

Tears began to seep from my eyes. The sadness from all the journeys, all the difficulties and all the despair I’d witnessed and experienced began to pour forth. I tried to control myself but the dam broke and I began to cry. My grief sparked a flashback.

“I can’t stop the bleeding!” I yelled as I grabbed more gauze.“The whole side of his head is gone!”

The other medic came to my side to assess the situation. “Move on, he’s gone. The casualties are coming in like a wave. We can only do so much. Save the ones you can and let the rest go. That’s the choice we’ve been given. Move it!”

The blood, the sounds, the pain, the suffering, the futility of war…and for what? Another foothold in another part of the world so we can drink more oil and eat off the backs of the peasants? Patch em up, sent em home or back into the fray, so we can eat another Big Mac and clear-cut another forest?

The scene changed and I was wiping my teary eyes with a napkin. Where am I? I looked down at the table. There sat the steaming cup of coffee and glass of water that reminded me I was still in the strange cafe somewhere in the middle of the night. I looked up, the mystery woman was still there with an angelic glow around her. Embarrassed, I ran my hands over my face, trying to rid my mind of the war scene I hadn’t remembered in decades. I had no explanation for my behavior or my surroundings. I put my elbows on the table in defeat, rested my chin on the heels of my hands, and looked up curiously at the woman, growing more tired by the moment.

“It’s been a long dark night,” she said, “and it’s a brand new day. It’s time for some rest. There’s a cottage and a bed with clean sheets out back. I’ll lead you there.” She got up. I followed. The darkness enfolded me. We walked for some time. All I remember was hearing a door close as my skin embraced the cool cotton sheets. Was I Home?

*                    *                    *

Did you like what you read?  Are you ready to read more and begin your Awakening?

Mystic Travelers: Awakening is available at these online bookstores:

by Rick on September 10, 2011 ·

Bill Kurz

very nice beginning! definitely looking forward to more of the story and like the idea of getting the tale in dribs and drabs. I got a similar hit from the opening chapter that I got when I read ‘The Shack’ last year.

how cool to read your work, Rick. looking forward to reconnecting with you down the line!



Glad you had a good experience this morning Bill! Thanks for your support and look forward to reconnecting down the road…..



Awesome Rick, I like the unfolding. And the likelyhood that the unfolding is unknown.


Patric Roberts

Well, U have my attention brother and “Alice Wounderland” seemed an appropriate intuitive landmark in your mystic landscape. I especially enjoyed the description of the most beautiful woman. Yes yes yes! Good beginning!


Randy Pote

Love the beginning-especially the mantra. Similar to a sermon, “wake up–remember” Thank you for the invite.



Wow! I didn’t know what to expect, but this is wonderful. I can hardly wait! And yes, I did find part of myself in there!


Uncle Dick



Randy Meyers

Chapter one – Oh my gosh, love it. Thanks Rick!



Glad to hear from all of you. Sounds like there is a chord being struck. There will be things in this story that you will like and that you won’t like, just like life. Again, to have this be an effective read, you’ll need to reflect on how the characters, language, settings, and reflections mirror your many selves back to you. I’m hoping you find out something new about you and open a bit more to the mystery of Life to become more Compassionate, Appreciative, and Transformational in all your relations. Remember to Remember!


Stephanie K.

Eagerly awaiting the next installment…


Kenneth Plattner

I like the idea of the book, although I feel kinda jerked around by the jagged movement in and out of various realities. It is hard for me to breathe and read your story at the same time. It entices adrenylin in me… which I generally (and carefully) avoid.

We have known each other for a long time – this book feels like the Essence of that young man I met over 38 years ago when we were vibrant seekers back in Seminary.

My favorite part was the Einstein quote – I appreciate how that quotation flows through your content.

My preference would be to simply have the book – to read it (with pages) when I want to read it… The interaction with other Mystic Travelers distracts from my experience… but then I’ve slowly become an Introvert (so that just makes sense, cause I just don’t play well with others so much anymore).

I’m sure you have a good reason for marketing your novel this way – And I wish you much success. I am grateful that you followed your Muse and have placed your Genius out into our world.
I would like to have seen who you dedicated the book to, and who are the gentle souls who have been your formational teachers. I missed that part (which is usually before the Preface) – and a note about your Editor would make me happy also – just sayin’…

May creativity, beauty and abundance expand deeply into your wisdom –
I hear you calling your Reader to savour, appreciate and trust in Life…
Thank you.
kenneth plattner





Joe Reynolds

GREAT GREAT first Chapter !!! I cannot wait to read more!!!!!!!


Kathy Mordeaux

very intriguing beginning. It reminds me a little of the opening of the book The Shack. Sort of a guided journey into a different perspective on spirituality. The suddenness of the flashbacks seem to mirror the disorientation of the crew on the ship in the Prologue, and the sense of hovering between one reality and another. What the Celtics call liminal space. I’m eager to read more.


Elizabeth Ann

You’ve got my attention! “What do you want?” asked once stirs the pot. When it’s asked three times, there’s gonna be trouble. Looking forward to what’s ahead.



The way you start, with adventure, mystery and multiple-dimensional time context has me egear to dig in! Great start to your adventure! I really appreciate you doing this!


Nate Reynolds

Rick: Very cool…


Nancy Stiles

You have my attention. I especially like the blank menu with “what do you want?” then the lady who appears with the water and coffee like she has read his mind. Good beginning!


Sylvia Reynolds

It is as though we are there with him…..and wondering what will be happening next….excellent….looking forward to next chapter…


marc reef

Hi there , i enjoyed your first chapter this morning and will read some each day .
Quite an enticing read . I did like the cafe menu saying what do you want ?
It resonated with a moment from my past . I wish you well and will continue to read soon .


Eleanor Flame Bridgman

I just finished the first chapter. You definitely have got my attention. I think what you are doing is called automatic writing. I have done some, but never tried using the computer. Somehow it is all a matter of waves and their lengths along with colors, musical notes and the planets. I no longer have a firm grasp on how this works–I just know, or perhaps I should say believe, it is true. I shall read more and am delighted to join with you, Captain, and your other seekers. Flame


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