Posted on Sep 20, 2017
By Ellie Laks, Founder of The Gentle Barn
As the week draws to a close, I am both elated about our grand opening and saddened that shortly after it'll be time for me to return to California. This time spent in Missouri has been so good for my soul! After the many goodbyes to senior animals and the shattering losses of both Spirit and Dudley, I desperately needed some resuscitation, which St. Louis has doled out generously.
Each morning for the last two months, I have begun each day outside with the humidity hugging my skin like a warm sweater. My nostrils filled with the fragrance of the forest, flowers, and grasses. My eyes taking in more green than I ever thought possible. My ears serenaded by nature's orchestra in full swing. Every square inch of the property is alive with bouncing crickets, jumping toads, crawling spiders, and insects in every color. It's like a magical wonderland and I the enamored explorer.
This land isn't just breathing the life back into me, it's filling us all up. The St. Louis Six have access to three different enclosures with open grass pastures, wooded forests, and their soft sandy barn. They roam freely eating the leaves and grasses, itching their backs on the trees, and lounging lazily in their barn, chewing their cud while meditating. In the first three months they ran away from us and huddled together, but now they are venturing on their own and even walking right passed us with soft, fearless faces.
The St. Louis Six escaped and were saved from slaughter in April. Shortly after we found the land, and closed escrow in late July. For two months we have been fencing, building, preparing, and cleaning. Last week when the animals came home we became a sanctuary. This weekend, the animals will become ambassadors—sharing their stories, opening hearts, and healing the community.
I'm so proud of their recovery, grateful for your support, and blessed to be living my dream every day. Thank you for helping me create the third Gentle Barn, heal animals, help people, and make this world a more gentle place. It might look like we've saved lives in Missouri, but the truth is that Missouri has saved me!