When I was 25, my mom gifted me a reading with a psychic in Austin, TX where I was living at the time.

I can still see her clearly in my mind’s eye, sitting in a rocking chair, eyes closed, her gray hair long and loose around her shoulders. She was a lovely, gentle woman, probably in her 50s at the time.

That was over 25 years ago and two things from that reading have stuck with me across the ages.

One was that she saw me surrounded by books that I would write in the future. I’ve written three and am working on my 4th. At the time I was finishing my Masters in Latin American studies with an emphasis on literature, so this was no surprise to me. I’ve always wanted to write books.

The second took me by surprise and keeps coming back to me over and over again. She asked if I had a career with animals in mind. I laughed and said no, not at all. Hmmm, she replied, I keep seeing you surrounded by animals. Her words, surrounded. She even asked again, are you sure?

I had spent my childhood surrounded by animals of all kinds. I love animals. We had kennels and my parents raised German Shorthaired Pointers for a while. We had a horse named Blacky and a variety of goats, rabbits, parakeets and one cat, also named Blacky, long story.

I have continued to have an affinity to animals and tend to pay attention to the ones that surround me or come near unexpectedly. I see them as messengers and reminders. I feel connected to them in many ways.

As I started my creative painting journey, I wasn’t really thinking much about what the psychic said or what I was painting until I realized how often animals appeared in my art. They became the primary focus of many of my paintings.

Each animal I connect with has meaning and a story to share. As I reflected on my upcoming art retreat Wild Creative Abandon, I realized that animals would be the focus. Suddenly I was back in that little office in Austin, hearing the psychic say, are you sure you don’t have a career with animals planned.

I love how life comes full circle.

I am surrounded by animals in my art and in my spiritual life.

If you love animals and animal magic and wisdom, come and play with me and my friends Dina VanDecker- Tibbs and Sherry Hess in Denver, Colorado for a few days. August 13 to 15.

We will be gathering, connecting, creating art in community and tapping into the magic and wisdom of animals.

Type yes in the comments if you’d like to learn more and I can email you the details.

The wolf above is a painting from a few years back and is still one of my favorites!