Nahimana Forest

Animal Sanctuary

Building awareness of the Oneness and value of all living things through kitten rescue and our natural forest.

The Root of it All

Jasper was found outside the front door of a restaurant in Jefferson, North Carolina. It was a cold, late Winter evening. He appeared, a raggedy black cat with green eyes and a tongue that hung from his mouth. At the time he seemed to only want what customers had in their take out boxes.  My extremely supportive husband and I inquired with the hostess and learned he had shown up weeks ago and had taken to begging for food from exiting patrons. He was thin, had a bloody ear and his lips seemed swollen. After a quick trip to the nearest farm supply store, we returned with a crate into which he somewhat hesitantly agreed to go while we traveled back home. 

The next day at our vet, we found that Jasper had no microchip.  From his condition, the doctor guessed he had been on his own for some time, been fighting with other cats, and incessantly licking a wound on the inside of his lip, causing the swelling.  After several weekly trips for shots, a steady, healthy diet, and lots of love, he readily settled in at a small cottage on our property where we cared for him throughout the day.  In the coming weeks, as our attempts to find his owner were unsuccessful, this now healthy, affectionate cat would find a place in our home and our hearts.

Some time later, we received a call from the restaurant where we first met Jasper.  They had a litter of three kittens that were assumed to have been dropped off in their parking lot. Perhaps with slight hesitation, we loaded up our crates and brought them home.  Within a couple of weeks, we received another call - word, and we suppose our phone number, had spread and someone had found a litter of five abandoned kittens who also found a space here in Nahimana Forest.

For some years, I held a vision in my heart to build a sanctuary for the neglected, but it had not manifested.  It seemed that Jasper and these eight kittens were the message that the time for Nahimana Forest had arrived.


About Amber


As a child, it was natural to find me running through the woods tucked in our neighborhood, climbing trees, playing with our animals, playing in a creek with friends, and biking.  I had a love for nature and animals and thought that one day I would become a veterinarian.


Straying from my own true desire, I followed in my mother’s footsteps and became an early childhood school teacher.  During my career, I taught 4th, 2nd, and 1st grades and a program called Reading Recovery for 1st graders who needed extra assistance to improve their reading skills.  Though I loved the act of teaching children - and still feel called to work with them - after eleven years of experiencing the stress of government testing in the public education system, I made the decision to leave teaching and reconnect with my Soul.

Sometimes, the path to one's truth delivers tough experiences.  For me, that included significant loss - a marriage, the death of family members and pets. It was a traumatic time, yet it was what I needed to find my way back…to my calling.  My purpose.  I had become so distant that I wasn’t exactly sure what my truth was at the time.  I guess it was equivalent to “losing myself”.

So a new journey began. I traveled around the world to India where I was guided to remember the Oneness of us all.  In Scotland, I reconnected with my love of getting my hands in the Earth, caring for herbal gardens, and sharing with others in the Findhorn Community.  I became a Reconnective Healing Practitioner, finding my roots growing as I was called to work with, to my surprise, cats!  This led me to become an insatiable learner of energy healing as I continued on with Reiki I, Animal Energy Healing, and, later, Shamanic Healing which, for me, combines the aspects of healing with the support of nature, guides, and animals in spirit and form.

What I gained from these travel experiences was a return to what brings me joy and the reminder of the spark of love in our hearts that connects us all.  I believe we are all One, regardless of the senses of separation we came to experience in this life.  We are teachers and learners, guiding each other back to that spark of love that is always ignited within each of us.  


Since moving to this mystical forest in North Carolina, I have continued to find joy by using my energy healing practice with wildlife in need.  I have raised chickens (for eggs), kittens who were left on our property, and volunteered at May’s Wildlife Rehabilitation Center in Banner Elk, NC, where I assisted in taking care of many abandoned, ill, and/or hurt songbirds and crows.

All of these experiences, and importantly, the cold winter evening when we first met Jasper, have led me to create this space where neglected animals can find sanctuary, heal, and be messengers of the connectedness of all living things.  Through interactions with our local community and beyond - especially children - an awareness of this connection will encourage our human race to care for animals, Nature, and each other.