I took early retirement from work in 2004 and was more than happy to be spending time with my husband, having time to pursue my hobbies, enjoying grandmotherly pursuits and going away on holidays as often as we could afford to!
In 2007, Pete announced that he would really love to go to Australia to see his sister who had emigrated there some thirty years earlier. They were both worried that if they didn’t make an effort to see each other, they might never manage it and she was unable to come to England for health reasons – so, after much discussion, we decided that he would go on his own in 2008.
Coincidently, at the same time I was receiving e-mails from an old friend living in the USA who I hadn’t seen for some twenty years urging me to visit so, for the first time ever, Pete and I set off on separate holidays!
Arriving safely in America – and, incidentally, feeling very proud of myself for having made my first ever transatlantic flight by myself, I was met and welcomed by my friend.
After a good night’s sleep, he decided to take me out for a drive around the beautiful villages near his home in Massachusetts so that I could get a feel for the area – and he was right, they were lovely. Suddenly as we were driving along in the middle of nowhere the words ‘I used to live here’ came unbidden from my mouth, much to my own astonishment. Strangely he didn’t seem at all surprised and simply said ‘yup, you probably did’ and we drove on!
When we stopped for coffee he asked me if I could remember anything about what had sparked me to think I used to live in the area, so I told him a little about some odd dreams I’d had. I’ve always had quite vivid dreams but a few years ago I started having dreams that were quite different in character. They were very clear and more like memories than dreams, with none of the strange confusion that usually happens in dreams. In fact, some of them are as clear to me now as they were then!
As I told him he started to grin at me and I thought he was laughing at me, until he suggested that a Past Life Regression would help me make sense of it all.
Oh yes, of course it would, no doubt about that I scoffed! OK, I was on holiday with nothing to lose, so I said I would. To cut a long story short, the next day I set off full of ‘English woman abroad preparing to humour the natives’ sort of spirit and met a middle-aged ginger-haired woman called Gerrie.
She installed me in a comfortable armchair that had seen better days and off we went. She recorded the whole session for me and what was later to fascinate me was the fact that my voice and accent changed as the recording went on – from a young West Country burr to an American country twang.
I felt quite comfortable; I was aware of the sounds from outside and didn’t feel at all disconnected. We agreed a safe word ‘Blue Dove’ that she would use if I became distressed and I would always know that I was safe and could stop whenever I wanted to.
She asked me was it night or day and was I inside or out. I responded day and outside. She asked what I had on my feet – and I was off. My feet were wet and I was on a beach. As her questions were answered my story spilled out.
I was called Liza Simmons, it was the time of King James the second, and I had just left a ship that had carried me from England to this new country of America. I was a servant whose mistress had died on the voyage and I was in fear of her son who threatened to accuse me of murder by witchcraft if I refused to go with him. While he was busy I edged away then ran into the trees and escaped with only the clothes I was wearing and a small bundle.
I told how my mistress gave me a beautiful blue piece of glass, which she said I could use for money if I needed too – dark blue, blue as the night. As we moved forward in my memories I told how I had been rescued in the forest by a man called Charles who had looked after me. We lived wild, travelling thorough the forests, trapping and trading and I was very happy. Charles knew a Native American who was a Nipmuc Shaman that we just called Friend and who wove his way in and out of the story.
At another time I was frantically seeking a special herb called Cranesbill, which would help Charles who was ill at the time. What I know about herbs you could write on a postage stamp, but there I was telling Gerrie how to prepare it, that it was quite safe for children and that it stopped you being sick.
In time I had a daughter whom I called Mary after my mother and a son whom I called Tom, who had bright ginger hair!
We lived happily enough until events made us move across the state to live – still in the wilds, although we built a house for shelter in the winters. The winters in
Massachusetts are hard, with ice storms and snow and last for several months.
It was during such a winter that my son died, and we were all slowly starving. Charles decided that he had no choice but to go and try and hunt for something to eat – and he never returned. I was so cold and so hungry and I felt so guilty that I couldn’t feed Mary that life seemed hopeless. Friend came, buried Tom for me and took Mary to live with his people and I died, refusing to leave my home.
Gerrie then took me forward to after my death, to the warm place where there is no cold or sorrow, where I was reunited with Charles and Tommy and where I settled to wait for the others that I loved.
Now of course, I might have made up the whole thing. I might have been over-exposed to too many historical films. I might have read too many historical novels – or it may have all been true. I know what I truly believe and you must make up your own minds.
Desperate to talk about it with my friend, I was a little put out when he promised to talk about it later in the day, but first he wanted to take me somewhere I might like. We drove in silence for a while as I tried to process what had happened and suddenly we stopped and pulled in at the side of a road, with tall trees on both sides. “Off you go then – I’ll wait here. Come back when you’re ready”.
“What do you mean – off I go. Go where?”
“Get out of the car and walk – you’ll know”.
Simply because I absolutely trust him I got out of the car and suddenly I crossed the road and saw a path into some woods and off I went, up into the trees. As if by instinct I wandered along until I came to somewhere I seemed to recognise – somewhere where the rocks were towering above me, many times the height of a man. Then I understood – this was where I had lived and died. This was where my house had stood, where I had known such joy and such sorrow. The very trees and rocks seemed to speak to me of it.
I sat down and listened – in the silence I could hear small animals scurrying about their business and birds singing, but no human sounds at all. As I let the feeling of the place seep into me, I knew why he had brought me here; somehow or other he knew that this was my place – but how?
I don’t know how long I sat there but it was some considerable time before I got up and found my way back to the car. I was very emotional and found it hard to leave but we drove on in the search for coffee and somewhere where we could talk.
I asked my friend how he had known and what our link was. He replied that I already knew if I chose to think about it – and he was right. He was my Nipmuc Friend then and my friend now, and he had known all along that I needed to discover my story for myself.
His story is his story and not for me to share, except that one fact – we were linked then, and he had saved my daughter and buried my son.
Arriving back in England I could not shake off my experiences or dismiss them with thoughts that I had imagined the whole thing. I needed to know more about a whole raft of issues that had been presented to me by this.
You may be familiar with the phrase “When the student is ready, the teacher will appear” – and this is exactly what happened to me. Firstly I met a lady who was a psychic and running a group which she invited me to join. Through this group I met other people who were searching, and through them I met still more people. Suddenly I was at the centre of a web of people, all of whom were able to offer me insights and opportunities.
This led me to realise how many people were interested in things I had never really considered before. Knowing how much I had wanted to talk to like-minded people but had not known how to find them, I founded the Havant Wonder Women. This provides a safe, comfortable environment where women can talk with other women irrespective of age, beliefs and background of things which can be very loosely grouped under the heading of Holistic, where we can listen to speakers on a wide range of topics, explore our feelings and perhaps most importantly make new friends.
I have always been a writer and instinctively I knew I had to record my memories from my Past Life, and eventually I realised that other people might be interested in the story. After many false starts I turned the whole story into a book called The Overcoming. Obviously there were lots of gaps in my memories, so I used my imagination to fill them and the device of each character telling their own story, and I eventually ended up with a novel which I genuinely thought was interesting and this was published in May 2011.
My life has changed completely since 2008. I have been privileged to meet wise and kindly people who have guided me on my path, I have become a Reiki practitioner, taken up shamanic drumming, become a radio broadcaster and have come to realise what a rich, full life we can all have if we only are prepared to open our eyes and hearts to the wisdom which is out there.
© Chris Elmes