By Sheila Bontreger, Minnesota
I woke up one morning to a beautiful snowfall. Thick flakes of snow falling reminded me of love all around.
I decided to take a ride to see the Temple of ECK, the spiritual center of Eckankar, which was being built in Chanhassen, Minnesota, at the time. How would this sacred building look during its first snowfall?
As I neared the entrance to the property, I saw a road sign that read “Bunnies for Sale.” The image of a house rabbit popped into my mind. I thought, Oh no, I can’t do it.
Recently my pet rabbit had passed away. I didn’t think I was ready to adopt another one. Yet surprisingly I found my car inching into the driveway near the sign. “I only came to take a look,” I told the gentleman who greeted me at the door of his house with a tiny rabbit in his hand.
“Why don’t you hold this new baby?” he asked.
Of course, I melted.
“I’ll sleep on it and call you tomorrow,” I promised.
Several signs during the day led me to know that the deep fire this baby bunny had stoked in my heart left me no choice. I returned to the house and brought the bunny home with me that day. No need to wait another twenty-four hours to make a decision.
While I drove the rabbit to her new home, I tried to settle on a name for her. For me, bunnies mean love consciousness. Then I remembered my experience that morning of watching the snow falling and thinking of flakes of love. Snow Bunny would be a good name for this baby. Later, I shortened her name to Snowbie.
Snowbie was white with an orange stripe in the middle of her back. I used to have fun petting her and spreading out the fur to give her back more of its ginger color.
Snowbie brought an amazing, healing presence to my life. I missed her deeply when she left this world.
Fast-forward to a decade after Snowbie’s passing.
I went to the Animal Humane Society in Golden Valley for a second visit with a kitty I was considering adopting. I had met him the previous day. I looked at the kitten again, though, and realized that I didn’t feel a connection between us.
When I put him back in his cage, I looked up to see a beautiful, six-month-old, orange-and-white kitten staring at me. I took her into a room where visitors and shelter animals have a chance to get acquainted. My heart began to sing.
As I lay on the bench, the kitty crawled onto my tummy. I was having stomach troubles at the time, and she seemed to know exactly how to make me feel better. Gratitude for finding her filled my heart. I felt like I was in the presence of an angel, so Angel is what I named her.
Angel Lives Up to Her Name
After that first day at the animal shelter with Angel, our strong heart connection continued to amaze me. Even though we went through many moves and life changes together over the years, I always felt her strength and patience, giving me support. As we got to know each other better, Angel constantly cloaked me in her love.
One day, I connected the dots and realized that Angel was the same Soul as Snowbie. Angel’s strong, silent presence reminded me of Snowbie. Angel was mostly orange. I remembered my pleasurable times smoothing the orange stripe on Snowbie’s back. Had she come back in Angel’s mostly orange body to please me?
I was so happy to know that my house rabbit reincarnated so we could continue our journey together. I had heard of pets reincarnating but never experienced it personally. The love this Soul had for me and our relationship was astonishing.
Angel and the Temple of ECK
It has been more than two decades since the Temple of ECK was built, and I am thankful for the blessing of its beautiful, spiritual presence. When I spend time there, I am reminded that I am Soul. I feel joy and the existence of God in my life. The spiritual leader of Eckankar,
Sri Harold Klemp, writes, “The Temple of ECK is a gift to the world. It will bring a spiritual healing to many.”
One day I got an inner nudge to share with Angel the joy of visiting the Temple. After all, it was on a trip there one snowy day that this Soul, as Snowbie the bunny, had entered my life.
In the car I was able to capture images of Angel gazing at the Temple of ECK—that golden-roofed, sacred building. Angel’s fascination with it reminded me once again that life goes on with divine love.
—Photos by Sheila Bontreger