Written by Gillie Sutherland and published in The Express and Echo
In a world where there seems so much focus on what divides us, I’m often drawn towards the things that connect and unite us.
For instance, the presence of angels is a phenomenon that most religions agree on.
Tonight reminded me that angels come in many forms, and it’s brought me a sense of peace as I wind down for the evening.
Sometimes angels come in human form. Friends we know that are always there for us, that consider what we may he going for, and reach out to help without us even asking.
My friend Rob from Exmouth is such a person. He was originally a yoga student of mine, coming to classes in Topsham and at Powderham Castle, and we formed a solid friendship which has been equally nourishing and inspiring.
Against the odds, with my dodgy WiFi connection tonight, we chat about everything that has been going on in our lives; his empathetic nature meant that he knew this was a difficult time for me in terms of my work, and his support felt like a warm hug from across the seas.
We got chatting about the importance of connection, and how many have struggled through this time due to lack of social engagement.
I told him about my latest findings, in how important oxytocin is in reducing stress and keeping us in a state of wellbeing.
We release oxytocin when we give birth and take that first look at our newborn, but also when we cuddle, when we move to music, and when we enjoy time with loved ones.
It’s also released through connection to our pets and I was interested to hear that more and more people since lockdown have been acquiring pets.
Rob told me that lords and ladies back in mediaeval times would sleep with their pets at the bottom of the bed. They prrovided comfort and safety and a feeling of being nourished.
I know this feeling so well.
My little cat Lucky Boots has been my faithful friend, my protector, my cuddle companion, and a true earth angel to me over the years. He sleeps with me on the bed and often puts his paw across my arm when Im dropping off to sleep as if to say “you’re ok, just rest now”.
I felt the presence of angels once more this week though. It had been a challenging week, but then I discovered that the cat is been feeding for a friend had just given birth.
I heard the cute little meows and when I went to look, there were the most adorable little furry faces staring back at me. My heart was melting. All was well in the world again. I had a new sense of purpose, making sure I looked after their mum and gave them the best start in life I could.
I never gave birth myself so I haven’t experienced that big dose of oxytocin that comes from having your own child, but this gave me enough of a boost to know what it’s about.
Whether earthly or ethereal, one thing I know for sure is that there are angels everywhere, and I feel blessed to know this.