A GIFT FROM ECHO
by Nedda Wittels
Can animals in spirit manifest gifts
into our material world?
It was about a
year after Echo, my Arabian mare, had been euthanized at the age of 32.
I had cleaned up all her things and put them away. Horse blankets
and brushes were washed and stored. Leather tack was cleaned,
covered in leather preservative, and lovingly packed away. I had
gone through all her things, including her medical kit, giving away what
would not keep, and cleaning up everything else. Now I just had
memories and my grief.
I was sitting down to meditate one day
when I felt Echo nuzzling my neck, as she used to do when she was in
physical. I said hello to her and she responded with another soft
wiggle of her nose against my skin.
“Echo, would you like to be groomed?” I
asked. I heard “yes”.
We had been together for 22 years, and I
knew Echo’s physical body intimately. With my eyes closed, I began with
a rubber curry, starting on the left side of her neck near her head and
working down her neck, over her withers, and across her ribs. I didn’t
miss a single spot. In my mind, I curried her entire left side and then
moved to the right side of her body. A curry brings up all the dirt and
dust that horses collect when they roll to scratch an itch or remove
dried sweat. Then a brush removes all the dirt and leaves a shiny coat.
I was thorough in my mental grooming. I
used all of Echo’s favorite grooming tools, including the rubber mitt
with bumps that worked so well on her lower legs where horses have no
muscles to protect their bone. After brushing her thoroughly, I combed
out her mane, and carefully brushed her tail, separating each hair. I
picked out all four of her feet. It was the same way I had groomed her
almost daily all the years we were together.
Echo had loved to be groomed. She would
stand there like a princess being prepared for a royal visitor. She
especially enjoyed having her mane and tail combed out. I could feel
her satisfaction at the job I was doing, even though she no longer had a
physical body with which to experience it.
When I finished, I gave Echo a big hug,
and opened my eyes. To my amazement, a half hour had passed, about the
same time it would have taken me to actually groom her when she was
alive. I got up and left the room.
Twenty minutes later, I headed into the
kitchen past the chair where I had meditated. On the floor, right in
front of the chair, was a long tail hair. I was mystified. I had
vacuumed the house many times since Echo’s passing, and that all her
things were put away. Where had it come from? How did it get there?
I picked up and examined the hair carefully. Echo was a grey horse with
many crystal clear tail and mane hairs. This was definitely one of
hers. It had not been there when I sat down to meditate. The tail hair
lying on the floor had been materialized as a “thank you” gift from Echo
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