Happy New Year!

The new year is always a time of beginnings, and so I’d like to share a story with you about beginnings. It actually happened in the spring—another time rich with beginnings—but I’m hoping it’s a good new year’s story as well.

It was the spring of 2000. I had decided about six-months prior that it was time to leave Chicago (a city that I adore) and move out to the country to live with horses. At the time, I was not in a position to buy property, and so I was looking to lease or share or work. I had been searching and frantically searching; I had no idea where I wanted to be or was supposed to be or how to make the decision.

One evening, as I sat quietly with my Reiki, a rather loud but sweet voice told me to move to Woodstock (IL). I knew of Woodstock, had volunteered at the Hooved Animal Humane Society headquartered there, and had been through the town many times on the way to my mother’s house in Harvard. But I didn’t know anyone there or have any leads about where to look or what to look for.

But the voice was so loud and clear that I told my mother about it and asked her to put the word out among her friends in the area.

Three weeks later, I got the call that a man in Woodstock was looking for someone to house sit for a year and care for his five horses. He was a military man and would be overseas for another year. The judge in my brain came up with all sorts of reasons why this wouldn’t work, the first one being that my taste in decorating would be wildly different from someone in the military, that there was no way I could be comfortable in the house, the second one being that there was no way I could possibly make a living way out there in the sticks. I know, none of this makes any sense, but the judges in our brains rarely do. Sometimes when our prayers are answered, we’re too busy being scared to notice.

Nevertheless, on a rainy day at the end of March I meandered down from a barn in Kenosha where I was boarding my horse, everything green, green, green from the days of rain, enjoying the scenery, and figuring that if nothing else at least I was having a nice drive in the country.

The moment I drove onto the property in Woodstock, my heart opened. It was a simple house, a simple barn on a 7-acre plot. There was nothing spectacular here. But the energy of the place nearly took my breath away. Sitting in the car in the driveway, I said to my little white dog, “Elika, we are going to be living here.” I was so excited that I wished I was hauling a trailer of my belongings and that I could move in right at that moment.

After spending a couple of hours with the owner, meeting the lovely horses who would become my dear friends, and making preliminary arrangements for my move, I headed back to Chicago. It had stopped raining, but there was still quite a bit of water on the roads, so it was necessary to drive with caution. I had been driving along the expressway for about ten minutes, in a state of both elation and peace, when I saw an SUV travel down the on-ramp, merge into the right lane of traffic, and then spin to the left 180 degrees. The vehicle was now in my lane, coming straight at me at about 50 miles an hour. At the rate we were traveling towards each other, we seemed destined to crash within seconds.

For reasons unknown to me, I did not panic. A clear, loud, calm voice spoke, enunciating each word: “Don’t. Do. Anything.”

And so I did not try to decide which way to turn the wheel; I did not try to decide whether or not I should brake. Although I could see the panic in the other driver’s face, I kept on the course I was on.

And then it was as though a bubble was placed around my car and all the cars around me and behind me. Traffic seemed to slow and drop back from the danger; time itself seemed to slow. The car coming towards me suddenly turned and was back on course. The driver was soon able to pull onto the shoulder, safe but visibly shaken. I would have liked to have pulled over and shared a kind word, but with the wet conditions that didn’t seem safe, and so I sent a bit of Reiki instead. I quickly glanced into the back seat to check on my precious cargo. My usually hyper-sensitive little dog, Elika, was curled up, fast asleep, apparently unaware that anything had happened.

What had happened?

I knew this: I could have died that day. But I didn’t. Divine energy scooped us all up and protected us. It was not our time to go.

For me, it was a dramatic signal that a brand-new chapter in my life was beginning: a life that began to come into full harmony with the animals.

And so I remind myself this new year to abandon all preconceptions, silence the judge in my head, and to listen to the inner voice, the sweet, kind, loving voice that offers both solace and direction.

Until next year,

Be well,


*This column originally appeared in From the Horse’s Mouth in January 2007.

© 2007 by Pamela Sourelis