Grandma Zoe’s Jockey Days in the 1920s (Feb 1997)

The front cover is a photograph of my Mom's mom ... Grandma Tessier in her riding duds. Grandad Tessier was a race horse trainer and veterinarian. Grandma was 4' 10" and weighed 82 pounds and raced them for the different owners. She loved horses and was an excellent rider. She was the only Canadian woman jockey in the 1920's and won so many races that the men got annoyed and decided to ban women from horse racing. She spoke five languages, had a photographic memory and her favourite topics were politics, religion and unions. She enjoyed a good debate and was labelled a Communist because she was always rallying support for the Russians, especially when she worked for Senator Morris in Oregon, USA. She learned to read Russian and German so she could learn about their herbal cures for her own health problems ... she had eaten rat poison as a five-year-old and her health was always very fragile. I guess you could say I came by my deep desire to heal myself naturally, and by doing so, I hope to inspire others to help themselves. I am discovering that the joy in life is to enjoy the journey and reconnect with my body. The destination is just a means to help me get focused.

As each year draws to a close, I start noticing repeat patterns and thoughts as I take time to listen to the hints from the universe on what I need to work on next for my own personal development. Last year it was about being five years old. I reparented myself, getting in touch with my sadness, my joy and my anger, emotions that a child feels easily and that up until then I had a hard time getting in touch with. I was able to let go of some of my ways of needing to gain love via my mother's or father's approval. I enjoyed choosing just the right teddy bear to snuggle with at night and I am still in awe of of the rocking horse that Jan bought me for my birthday. It is something I will always treasure. Sharing it with the children who come to the Centre leaves me spellbound as I watch and listen to their excited voices.

Time does move forward, and this year's theme is to think and be like a teenager. Exploring my options and getting a second chance is a gift from the heavens. I'm sure I'll have just as much fun discovering another part of me. I severed the apron strings to my mother when I was a teenager and my doing so allowed us to become friends ... good friends who can laugh together and at the world for taking life so seriously. I am grateful that she thinks so young and that nothing limits her drive to get what she wants. She is my inspiration and one of my best teachers, as was Grandma. I am so glad I can enjoy her company and that she is still living, for she does enjoy life.

Early in December, I phoned Mom to tell her that her Christmas present would be arriving on the bus Tuesday. She went into her usual routine about not wanting me to buy her anything. After letting her fuss for a few minutes, I interrupted her to say I was sending up a friend to drive her newly-painted fuschia and turquoise motor home from Terrace to Penticton so that we could spend two weeks together. When I phoned her a week later to confirm his exact arrival time, she was in her glory for she had decided to have fun with this 'present' informing everyone that her daughter was sending her a young man, complete with bow, for Christmas. We all had a good laugh.

I am at a point in my life where I can slow down, and having Mom around is a good mirror. It has helped me to reinforce my decision. For so many years I needed to be busy to be worthy of her love, and so I didn't make the time to be truly present with her. Sometimes I felt I was doing it more out of obligation than from really wanting to. This year was different: I choose to spend my time with her and that excited the child within me and we had a marvellous time together ... my mother, my friend Gerry the chauffeur, and me.

Gerry was a volunteer at both the Spring and Fall Festivals of Awareness last year and I am delighted to say we are officially dating. Last April he attended a vegetarian cooking class at the Centre and afterwards he asked "What is the Festival all about?" He then said he wasn't working and offered to make posters and help where needed. He enjoyed the weekend so much that he started volunteering at the Centre.

I am so glad that the last phase of my life is complete and that I took the time to process it through to completion and I thank you, my readers, for encouraging my honesty. The timing was perfect, as clearing out the old vibrations has allowed me to create space for someone new ... and what would a teenager be without her friends? Now I will be able to explore more fully the world of feelings for I know I have been given a second chance and I intend to listen to my body much more this time round.

Organizing the Fall Festival of Awareness, I was reminded of how much time and energy I had put into getting the first Spring Festival at Naramata off the ground in 1989. When the deadline arrived for early registrations we had only ten people signed up and I felt undecided about what to do: maybe we should cancel the event. I told Jan I needed to go for a walk and headed up to the clay banks, asking for clarity from the universe. Every time I thought of cancelling it, my mind had an another idea ... finally it came through very clearly: "Cancelling is not an option." I came back from the hills and said to Jan, "Time to get creative 'cause the Fall Festival is not getting cancelled." Urmi, Michael, Gerry and myself did all the cooking and Naramata Centre helped out by giving us a reduction in overall costs. The weekend turned out to be magical and the people who did attend felt blessed to be in such small intimate groups. The instructors enjoyed the slow pace and got in some healing time for themselves.

My gift was having my auric field crack ... one more time. Friday evening, I was the centre of attention as Linda and Phil from Winlaw decided I was the chosen one to receive a Didgeridoo healing. I lay down in the middle of the room and they played their didj's over my body, sending vibrations right through to my bones. I was addicted and signed up for a private session on Saturday afternoon, and I followed that up by standing near their good vibrations Saturday evening at the Musical Jam. Sunday afternoon at the closing ceremonies, Ros Barrett played his magical flute and we sang songs to Gaia. I was in awe as I felt the words resonating in my bones. As we turned to honour the four directions, Laurel chanted loudly to Mother Mary/Quan Yin to give her blessing as we closed the circle. I could feel my body shift as if struck by lightening and I began to cry as feelings of gratitude overwhelmed me. The tears of joy flowed for over an hour and then I walked through a winter wonderland of snow to the hospitality house for the final dinner. I was high for several days before I crashed and admitted to needing a rest.

My auric field cracked for the first time after the very first Spring Festival, and a second time when I agreed with my husband that it was time to part. Three is a magical number for me and with this added transformation, I am ready to continue with my assignment ... developing a healing sanctuary in downtown Penticton. Jan, Marcel, Mike, Urmi and Gerry will help in reminding me to slow down and enjoy the journey while giving me that extra help and guidance to get the job done. I am feeling truly blessed and delighted at the prospects for 1997!