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    The Manger Angels

Animal Paradise Newsletter
Winter 2009

 The Manger Angels 
by Janet Dobbs

A feeling of total peace came over me as I sat on the floor of a barn at Spring Farm CARES animal sanctuary in upstate New York on a perfect fall morning. Each year during the holidays, the season of peace and joy, I am always taken back to the time that I was shown what it must have been like in the manger at the moment that Jesus was born. 

It was late October and the leaves were painted in the beautiful colors of bright oranges, reds, yellows, golds and browns. I was having the most wonderful time as I drove through the mountains of central New York state. Each small town that I passed through made me smile as I took in all of the Halloween decorations that adorned each front porch, door and yard. Not just the typical carved pumpkins and the occasional stalk of dried corn, but painted tomb stones, coffins with Dracula popping out, ghosts in trees, spider webs on bushes...a much needed delight and distraction as I was nearing the end of my 12 hour drive from Virginia to Spring Farm CARES. The long drive allowed me to decompress from my usual day to day life as a video editor for a Washington, DC TV news operation and get me in the energy of nature and the animals. 

I was so excited to be going to this magical place that is home to many animal teachers and master teachers. I was going to Spring Farm to attend my first advanced animal communication course taught by an amazing animal communicator, Dawn Hayman. I had been called there by a llama named Gulliver and hoped to learn why he wanted me to b there. I could not wait to meet him. Four months earlier I attended a beginning animal communication workshop in Virginia taught by Dawn. The last exercise of the class students were to have an actual two-way conversation with an animal. Everyone was so excited and most of the students wanted to talk to the group of horses that were located down the mountain from the barn where the workshop was held. I really wanted to have a conversation with the horses as well, but something tole me to stay near the barn. Dawn brought photographs of many of the animals that live at Spring Farm with her to the class to give us a chance to communicate with a large variety of species. I picked um a pile of photos and looked through them waiting for someone to "call" me. I stopped at a photo of a white llama with black markings. I am not a country girl and I have never seen a llama in-person before and I didn't know the first thing about them. He "called" me. 

I went outside the barn and sat in cool green grass with my back to the barn wall, facing mountains. I followed the instructions that we were given in the class and looked at the photograph of this very interesting creature. I asked Gulliver if he would talk to me, that I was a beginning student, and had never talked to anyone as magnificent as him before. I began asking questions from the question list that Dawn gave us. There was a little back and forth, with questions like--What is your favorite thing to do? What is your favorite food?--but I didn't feel that I was able to receive or hear what ever it was that Gulliver was sending to me. I began to feel sorry for myself and cried because I couldn't do this. Then I put the question list down next to me on the ground and opened my heart and just sat with the photo of Gulliver and then closed my eyes. 

What happened next changed my life forever. I saw in my mind's eye a bright pink, red and orange flash of light. It looked very much like the bright light that spreads out in all directions right after a nuclear bomb is detonated. At the same time my heart was filled with so much love and emotion that tears began to roll down my cheeks. This ccared me, but a voice told me to "stay with this" if I could, because something magical was going to take place. I closed my eyes again and took a deep relaxing breath as my heart continued to open. It was Gulliver. I was in the presence of the most amazing being. I was humbled and in awe. 

The group came back together to share our experiences, both successes and challenges. Each student shared wonderful information that they received from various animals such as: one horse wanted a different color halter, another very young horse gave people different names that she would like to be called, another talked about what horse was her best friend and who was bugging her. I didn't get anything like that and I felt like such a failure. Dawn was about to end the class when I raised my hand telling her that I didn't know what happened in my conversation or what happened to me. I shared my experience as best as I could, trying to put what I felt and experienced into words as Dawn just looked at me with a non-expressive stare. I "knew" that she was going to tell me that I was crazy! She did not. She smiled and shared with the group that Gulliver was a master teacher at Spring Farm and that many advanced students had been brought to their knees in awe when they talked to him. Well I had to go meet him!

I arrived at the door that leads to the area where the llamas, sheep and e goats were. I had to pause and take in what I saw. It was a beautiful sight. A beam of sunlight was shining on a female student sitting on hay that covered the floor of the barn and she was leaning her back against a wall. She was facing 2 horse stalls, but able to see into the area where the llamas and sheep were. 3 goats were with her. It was a tender and moving moment. I didn't want to disturb the scent. She motioned me to come in and I did. I quietly sat down in the doorway between the goats and llamas. I had never sat on the floor of a barn before, but here I was. It was a dream come true. I had my back resting against the wall of a horse stall, with a horse just on the other side My feet were stretched out straight in front of me. About one foot away from the bottom of my feet was Gulliver. He was lying down on the barn floor with his head erect looking deeply into my eyes. His legs were tucked under his body much like a kitty does. Just behind him, also sitting on the floor was his good friend Corrie, a while llama. To my immediate left were 3 black sheep, Angel and her sons, Michael & Gabriel. To my right stood Simon, a white goat that had long ears and a very long white beard. Rounding out this group were two black and white goats that were walking back and forth greeting other students that would walk in, sit down for a moment or tow, and then leave. There was no way that I was going anywhere!

The scene seemed to be more like a dream to me than reality. I just could not get over the fact that I was actually sitting on the ground, closely surrounded by so many amazing animals. Each one of them alone is an amazing being. As a group,...well let me share my experience with you. I began to ask some questions of this group, especially "my" amazing Gulliver. Answers came to the trivial questions that I asked, as students entered and exited. Then I was alone with them. I took deep breaths taking in the wonderful clear, cool, fall air along with the aroma of straw, earth and the unique smells of each animals. I told Gulliver that I loved him and thanked him for the blessings that he sent me at the first workshop in Virginia and told him that I would never forget him. I told him that I was honored to be so close to him. He looked at me with his large deep dark eyes, gave recognition, but nothing more. 
Gabriel (one of the black sheep) talked up to greet me and looked deeply into my eyes. As our hearts and souls came together in that moment, tears filled my eyes as emotions filled my heart and soul. He wanted to see my pen and paper. He kept pushing my hand that held a pen to take notes. I told him that I wanted to make some notes so that I would never forget. He didn't see the point in that. Gabriel seemed unsure when other students would come and go from their area and he kept going over to Gulliver, touching him and nuzzling him. Gulliver reassured him that all was well and that the humans were all students that were here to learn from them. 

I heard Simon the goat say, "I can fly with the angels!" I thought I was hearing things, but he said it again. He had a sparkle in his eyes. At that moment Gabriel came over to me and sniffed my shoes. I asked him what he learned by doing that. he replied, "To know where you have been and if you are an ok being." That made sense to me. 

Celeste, another goat, said, "Can't you see the angels" They are all around us! Can't you feel them?" I looked and saw tiny sparks of light that seemed to be floating in the air and then I closed my eyes. I could "feel" the angels that Celeste mentioned. There were many of them, all around us filling the space that we occupied as well as outside. All I could do was smile. I opened my eyes and felt the deepest peace that I have ever known. Gulliver and the others told me that what I was feeling is the peace that was felt in the Manger at the moment that Jesus was born. I looked into each of their eyes, one at a time and thanked them. Gulliver said to me, "Now you are beginning to learn what we are all about. We are all teachers, and you have so much to learn. Be patient and open." I asked, "What do you have to teach me and what do I have to learn from you?" Gulliver and the group replied, "When we are all together peace and joy is all around. Can't you feel it? Let it flow. Let it fill you and send it back to the Universe for all to enjoy." I felt as if I was in another place, not on this earth but closer to heaven, as if I was in the Manger Scene, surrounded by white light and angels. 

I stayed in that moment with my "Manger Angels" until the group was called back inside. I shared my experience with the group as we each shared and Dawn told us that there actually are angels there. I had no idea at that time that the place in the barn where I was sitting with Gulliver and the Manger Angels was very close to the site of a horrible fire that had taken place almost that very day of the year several years before. The Manger Angels had witnessed not only the fire burning down their barn, but the loss of many of their animal friends as there was a big snow storm that Halloween night and the fire trucks could not get to them. The angels that Simon and Celeste wanted me to see were the many animals that had lived at Spring Farm and were not in spirit. 

At the time I did not know what kind of impact my experience with the Manger Angels would have on me, but it was life changing. That moment in time was a fork in the road on my path of life that has taken me to the present moment and will stay with me for the rest of my life. I often return to that moment where I am surrounded by Gulliver, Simon and the Manger Angels. I sit with them in the silence and live the experience once again. 

My wish for you is that you too find this kind of deep connection, love and peace with your animal companions and all animals. Just "be" with them in the silence and allow them to teach you. 

Please visit Spring Farm Cares at: 

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