A peacock brought Steve to Animal Aid
Steve Gecko, 51, an extraordinary volunteer, has an amazing story to tell about a grave illness and a most miraculous recovery–thanks in part to healers and medicine folk in the form of bees, a peacock, 15 chickens and a human friend and acupuncturist named Spark, who all seemed to conspire (with many additional dear friends) to give Steve the medicine of love. And at Animal Aid, he’s continuing the healing chain.
Says Steve in his own words:
“Before my illness I was very healthy and in great shape–I went snow boarding, hiking, trekking, I was a successful artist, I was financially secure, owned a couple of houses and so on. Out of no where I came home from a trip and suddenly started vomiting blood.
“It turned out I got a behind-the-scenes look at what happens when you don’t have enough insurance. I learned I had blood clots in my liver and the veins leading to the liver. I was a good advocate for myself, and did get help, but had to have two liver surgeries.
“After the second surgery, I stopped trusting much in western medicine. I took a year to heal enough to consider travel but I did recover enough to decide to change my life.
“I sold everything, or gave stuff away, and moved to a community of friends in North Carolina. I left LA and joined people who were working on the land–healers, acupuncturists, volunteers doing, well, everyone is doing something for someone. Through Chinese medicine and acupuncture, I began a new level of recovery. My acupuncturist in fact became my best friend.
“In many ways I had gone to North Carolina to die. I knew at that point the advice of the doctors, which was sort of ‘go to the beach and die’ was not for me. After about two years I started coming back to life. My friend told me he could actually see my energy leaving my body when I first arrived. He said ‘you have a choice whether or not to cross over.’ About a year later he said ‘You’re healing; you’re heavy, your energy has come back.’
“And he was right. On the farm I started working with animals–goats, chickens, peacocks, 15 chickens which we never eat–I gave them all names.”
But it wasn’t an easy recovery. Steve continues:
“One day I was weak, but went and laid on the lounge chair, listening to the bees, which I did often. Everyone else was occasionally stung but the bees never stung me; I’d talk to them.
“Lying in the sun in the lounge chair, I looked up and, well, this peacock looked at me; she looked at me and came up to me and stared at me for a while. And then she laid her head on top of my wound, on my stomach, cooing.
“The incision site actually started heating up. Then the chickens started gathering around me and they too started cooing at the same frequency. It was the most bizarre thing I’d ever seen. I know this is total woo woo; I know it is bizarre, I used to be a skeptic but I’m not that way now.
“I knew that when I came back to my health completely I had to do some kind of work with animals–because I was blessed with health. The old life was gone; I couldn’t go back.
“My healing was also confirmed by the doctors in LA who said they’d never seen such a recovery.
I was invited to go to India by a very dear friend and traveled by myself for the last week in Udaipur last year. I had read about Animal Aid in the Lonely Planet Guide book, and I knew I wanted to come here. I came for a quick tour, but instead talked for three hours to Jim, and realized he had found his calling in life. I was very impressed by that. I’d been also searching for my calling and I knew—I knew I wanted to come back. Thanks to my friends from San Francisco, Robin and Lorye, the desire became a reality. They sponsored my trip and they made a generous donation to Animal Aid.
“I really believe when you set intention it can really happen. I’m going to begin art work again. Animal Aid helps me remember a lot of what I went through.
“What’s the signal that life is over? I was ready to go; I thought I needed a particular quality of life. I don’t want that. People who come here are going to have to confront that–the Animal Aid experience pushes a lot of buttons; you meet yourself.
“What I went through physically was horrible. I believe I needed to learn about pain and suffering; it was a lesson I needed to learn. I want to have a new life. A life helping animals.”