Circles in Time is the first novel by Diane Adams Taylor. It is being published by Tate Publishing Company and was released in early 2012.
The heroine, Faith Lucas, finds her self trapped in an abusive marriage. When an on-going nightmare of being choked to death threatens to destroy her very existence, she begins her personal quest for answers. Guided through several past lives by her spiritual advisor from the Other Side, Faith discovers many ancient secrets and buried memories. Through this journey of abuse, love, suffering, redemption and enlightenment, Faith is able to find her true purpose in life and to begin again.
Some people believe that time is only measured in a linear manner. They believe that it stretches along the horizon like a ribbon, unwinding from a roll down slopes and up hills, until the roll of ribbon finally ends. Time always has a specific beginning with each birth and a definite ending with each death while various milestones occur along its path. They believe that death is the end of all human existence and a person only has one opportunity to learn a particularly difficult life lesson. Based on the actions of a single lifetime, a person is judged on their merits or their mistakes.
Some others believe that time has no specific beginning and no definitive ending but rather forms a series of perfectly connected circles. These circles rise in a vertical motion towards the heavens in a never-ending pattern of intertwined rings. Life and death are the same and these are the circles in time in which you are born and you die many times. Each of your many lives is spent in trying to fulfill your commitment to perfect your spirit and to grow in God’s love. This is the story of one woman who has lived many lives on earth in her quest for love, redemption and enrichment of her soul.
She was startled awake by the familiar choking feeling of hands wrapped tightly around her throat, stealing her breath away from her. Struggling to open her eyes, she turned to look at the clock to check the time. It was 5:00 a.m., time to get up. She groaned as she thought of the long day ahead of her after one more night of interrupted sleep. Each night before she fell asleep, she prayed that some of her questions might be answered in her dreams. Another night was over, yet she still had no new clues to help her solve this mystery. The choking sensation had come to her many times. As she neared her fiftieth birthday, the sensations grew stronger and occurred more often with the new emotion of overwhelming fear.
She tried to bring herself back to reality by repeating her usual grounding litany. “My name is Faith Lucas. I am a school administrator. I am married and I have one child – a daughter in college. I live in the year 2003, and it is time to get up and go to work. I have many responsibilities that I must tend to before I even go to work. I am alive and well, and no one is trying to choke me to death. The sensation I have felt is just part of a nightmare.”
She swung her legs over the edge of the bed, being careful to be quiet so as not to disturb her husband who still lay sleeping in the next room. As usual, he was totally oblivious to the panic Faith was feeling. Thinking aloud, Faith said, “I wonder if you are the one choking me during the night?” A voice in her head responded “Maybe”. No time to explore that thought right now. Once again, too much work and too many responsibilities faced her in the coming hours. She would just have to put these thoughts away until the end of the day when she might have a few moments to herself.
As she dressed and applied her makeup, she noticed the dark circles under her eyes. She thought to herself “This is becoming ridiculous. The lack of sleep is going to kill me before I am choked to death in a dream.” She returned to her jewelry box to find something to lighten her mood. She pulled a favorite antique necklace from the box and placed it around her neck. The sensation of hands around her throat immediately overwhelmed her. Faith grabbed the necklace from her neck and placed it back carefully in the jewelry box. The sensation stopped. Faith then chose a brightly colored pin instead of the necklace and fastened it to her suit jacket. She checked her reflection in the mirror and, once satisfied by her appearance, walked down the stairs into the kitchen.
Turning the coffee pot on to brew, Faith put some bread into the toaster while she started packing lunches. The strong scent of burning toast caught her by surprise, and she threw the bread away. The acrid smell from the trashcan brought a memory from deep inside her brain. A vision flashed into her mind of lying at the bottom of a staircase, unconscious with a fire raging around her. The picture in her mind was so vivid she started shaking uncontrollably. Thinking she was having a mental breakdown, Faith silently asked God for help. Her shaking subsiding, she completed a few moments of deep breathing to quiet and calm her thoughts. Once she was breathing normally, she returned to the tasks at hand.
With her morning routine complete and her husband off to work, Faith drove away from her house and turned the car toward her building where she was employed as a school administrator. With a few moments in the car alone, she had time to reflect on the ongoing nightmare. She tried to remember what she felt during the dream and analyze what it all meant. The choking sensation was similar to fingers wrapping around her throat. Then after a time, the fingers seemed to loosen from her neck, but her lungs could not extract any oxygen from a stifling scent. Faith had never been able to recreate the sensation as she had this morning when she put the necklace around her throat. The vision of the fire raging around her was a new addition to the nightmare, but it had occurred while she was totally awake. In her mind, things were progressing rapidly and getting much more dangerous. She had to get some help to figure out the meaning of these sensations that had tortured her for so long. She resolved to stop at the library before going home this evening to do some research. For once, she resolved to stop procrastinating and try to get some assistance to solve this puzzle.
Her day as principal of an elementary school was spent in its usual routine – children requiring attention, parents requiring information, and teachers requiring direction. The day sped by, as was the normal pattern. There was no time to think or reflect on her concerns. As the school buses filled with children slowly pulled away from the building, a thought popped into her head. “Past lives.” someone or something whispered to her as she walked back to the office. Faith walked into her office and shut the door. The many questions the teachers usually had at the end of the day could wait until tomorrow.
She logged on to the Internet and put in the words “past lives”. A number of hits came up on her computer screen. Faith scanned the list of possibilities. Several sites caught her attention while a handful of authors came up numerous times. She jotted down four names that appeared the most frequently in the search. She decided to make a stop at the bookstore on her way home from work.
As Faith pulled into the parking lot at the bookstore, a thought came to mind. “What if this nightmare is a manifestation of something that happened to me in a former life? How am I going to figure this out so that the nightmare stops? What is this new information about a fire?” She hurried into the store and immediately went to a clerk for assistance. After the clerk directed her to the area of the store with the books on past lives, Faith started to peruse the shelves to scan the titles. Several titles caught her attention, and she pulled them out to check the contents. Because she was completely new with this topic, she had to depend on her gut instinct. Checking the time on her wristwatch, Faith realized she must hurry, so she quickly chose three titles and took them to the cash register to pay.
Driving home, a feeling of satisfaction rushed over her. Finally she felt that she was being proactive rather than waiting patiently for the dream to end. She resolved to start reading as soon as dinner and the housework were completed. Faith pulled into the driveway, took a deep breath, and closed her eyes for her last moment of calm. She climbed out of the car, now ready to start the second shift of all working women.
The evening passed uneventfully – no work problems, no husband issues, and no college traumas from her daily phone call to her daughter who often needed a mother’s wisdom – so Faith was able to go to her bedroom early. She immediately picked up Many Lives, Countless People, the title which seemed to have the most information on past lives from the books she had purchased.
A fast reader, she typically skimmed a book the first time and then reread the book a second time if it caught her interest. Following this pattern, Faith started reading. Midway into that book, a section on getting information on trauma in a past life slowed her reading. It detailed a meditation technique to calm the mind and ask for help from the other side in order to understand events or exit points. She mouthed a silent prayer and gave thanks to God for providing her a glimmer of hope. Faith read and reread the passage, all the while memorizing the sequence of the mediation. Eager to begin, she showered and prepared for bed. Since the choking feeling usually came to her during the night, it seemed to make sense to meditate lying in bed with the lights off, so Faith climbed into bed.
She began by doing some yoga relaxation exercises to cam her mind and body. Visual images from the memorized passage easily came into her brain as she progressed through the meditation. Feeling her body growing lighter and lighter, she seemed to slip into a twilight sleep. Suddenly she opened her eyes to find herself in a field filled with multicolored wildflowers. A dusky sky streaked with the colors of purple, dark blue, red and pink was overhead. Someone called her name and she turned to face the direction of the sound. Once her eyes adjusted to the change in light, she saw a young, beautiful woman holding the reins of a chestnut-colored horse. The woman had silky blonde hair flowing freely down the middle of her back. She had large, blue eyes with long, dark eyelashes. She was dressed in a pale-blue, Grecian-style gown with her arms bare. Her skin was light in tone with hints of pink in her cheeks and lips. Slowly Faith walked toward the woman who was now reaching out her hand to her. As she approached, the young woman indicated she wanted Faith to mount the horse. Doing as requested, Faith seated herself on the horse. Then the woman started walking with the bridle in her hand, leading the two. Faith’s mind immediately filled with questions, and she impulsively blurted several of them out. The young woman turned to her, smiled, and made a gesture to indicate wait. Patience while waiting for answers had never been one of Faith’s virtues, and her mind was racing with all the possibilities there were to ponder. However, she did as she was requested, and a great wave of peace descended upon her.
The gait of the horse was hypnotic, so when the motion ceased, Faith slowly looked around her. A massive, white marble building with tall, fluted columns gleamed in the early-morning light. The atmosphere around the structure seemingly beckoned her to enter. She dismounted the horse and walked up the steps alongside her beautiful guide. Standing at the entrance of the building was another woman who immediately greeted her and called her by name. This woman appeared to be older than her guide yet just as beautiful. Faith understood instinctively that the woman wanted her to follow into the building. Once inside, the older woman spoke, “We have been waiting for you, Faith. We have heard you praying, questioning various events, and asking for help. We knew you would come to seek the answers in your own time. It is now time to begin. We are inside the Hall of Records, which contains all the information you seek regarding your past lives. What do you want to know first?”
Faith considered her words carefully but immediately went to the source of her most pressing concern – the feeling of being choked to death that had infiltrated her dreams for such a long time. “Why am I awakened from sleep due to this strange sensation as if I am being choked to death?” she questioned.
The older woman did not respond but instead led her into an enormous room filled with numerous rolls of paper. Walking quickly to a section, she stopped and said, “These are your life charts for your current life on earth and your many past lives that have gone before. This is where you will find your answers, but not all will be revealed at once. You must learn patience and wait for the time to be right for each question to be answered. You must also know that nothing will be foretold that pertains to future events in your current life. We will never violate the precept of free will given to you by God. If yuo were given information about what may be it would influence your free will, which is forbidden. You need to know this so you will not ask about your future. Now walk with me.”
Faith was torn by her desire to read the life charts and her desire to obey this woman. She turned to walk with the older woman and followed her outside. No words were spoken until they reached a small granite bench set in a grove of trees. Situated in the center of this wooded area, a flowing brook tumbling over some rocks provided them with a soothing background noise.
Once seated, the older woman spoke. “You have witnessed something tonight that very few people experience during their lifetime. You do not remember, but you have seen this place many times before between your lifetimes on earth. Life and death are the same. This is where you come to rest and revive your soul for another lifetime on earth if and when you decide you want another experience. People choose to return to another lifetime on earth because that is where the greatest growth for your soul can be obtained. Suffering in a lifetime always has a specific purpose – great suffering may bring much spiritual enrichment. You choose the time, the place, the events, and the circumstances of your next life before you leave this side to return to earth. The people on this side help you make decisions to hasten your spiritual growth and development, but you use your free will to make the choices. Think about what you have learned tonight, and we will talk again.” With that said, the older woman was gone.
Faith saw nothing but blackness and felt a huge thump as if she had fallen from a great distance. Her eyes opened and she saw that she was in her own bedroom once again. The clock on her bedside table flashed 4:49 AM and the alarm would soon ring to start another busy day. Although Faith thought she had been awake all night, she felt strangely rested and at peace for the first time in a long time. She now knew for certain she was not alone. Answers to these pressing concerns would be provided as the time was right. She smiled to herself, said a few silent prayers, got out of bed and went into the bathroom to start her morning routine.
Once again her work day rushed by at its typical frenzied pace. Being the principal of an elementary school in a suburb of a large city in Ohio meant that there was always plenty of work to be done. Today there were teacher observations to complete, a school assembly to oversee and a district wide administrator meeting to attend. Running a school was always hectic and full of challenges but Faith loved the children and they returned her love.
A tall woman with shoulder length auburn hair, she had a quiet strength about her that made parents trust her and teachers turn to her for help. She was not considered beautiful in the conventional sense of the word but her eyes were large, emerald green in color and very expressive. Her smile was disarming, genuine and heartfelt so that her face became luminous when she smiled. She treated all who came to her with kindness and with respect. She tried to be fair and equitable in all her dealings with parents, students and staff. She was never too busy to answer a question, provide assistance or give support.
Faith could not imagine doing any other job and her enthusiasm was contagious. The achievement of the students in her building was always in the highest category for the entire school district and the state. Students who had long since moved on to other schools would frequently return to visit her. She felt her true purpose was here with the children and she had always been grounded in the here and now. What would others think of her if they knew of her research into past lives?
Faith realized that her inquiries would have to be done at home and privately so that no one, not even her husband, found out about it. Being a public figure also made you a public target and any hint that Faith was exploring past lives could bring her up before the Board of Education for censure. The school day ended, children went home, teachers left the building and Faith sat down alone in her office. Her mind started to recall the older woman’s words. What was this terrible event or events that had her choking to death with someone’s hands wrapped around her throat?
Why did a necklace trigger the sensation? What did this vision of seeing a woman lying on the floor with a fire raging all around her mean? Why did the smell of burning toast summon this vision? Faith became anxious for the day to end so she could recreate the meditation and hopefully find some answers.
Refocusing her thoughts on school business, she completed some paperwork, planned a teachers’ meeting, read her emails and returned phone calls. Several hours later pleased with her accomplishments, Faith left her office for the day. On the drive home, she remembered that her husband, Jake, had mentioned he would be home late this evening. Inwardly, she smiled at this reprieve. Jake had control issues and being with him was always very stressful. This was her second marriage; her first marriage to the father of her daughter had ended in divorce after nine years. Her current husband and she had been married for almost sixteen years but they had always been very difficult times.
Jake was tall with a strong muscular build even though he did not choose to exercise. He had piercing cold blue eyes and prematurely white hair, beard and mustache. He rarely smiled and when he did it appeared to be more of a sneer than a smile. His skin was marked with acne scars from his adolescence. Jake was not a handsome man but his presence was commanding and he kept himself meticulously groomed. He tended to be arrogant, conceited and pompous. When Faith first was introduced to Jake she did not realize his shortcomings. Over time she came to realize his nature was that of a bully, with a cruel demeanor and a cowardly nature. When Jake and Faith first met, he behaved as if he was a considerate, kind and loving man. Once they married, Faith found that his wonderful treatment of her was all just an act. He had used any means necessary to trap her so he could own her as a slave rather than a wife and companion. Many times over the past sixteen years she had contemplated divorcing Jake. For some reason, which Faith was never quite able to understand, someone or something always stopped her.
Suddenly, feeling a sense of freedom and feeling almost giddy from it, she realized she could go home without worrying about cooking dinner and completing other necessary housework. That meant she was free to read her books on past lives with no interruptions.
Her evening had gone exactly as she had planned with a quick frozen dinner to eat and no housework to finish. Faith had managed to skim all three of the books she had purchased from the book store on past lives. Some of the information did not seem to fit her situation while some of it did. She marked sections in the books for future consideration but mentally she planned to complete the same meditation again tonight.
She did not want to change techniques and be unsuccessful in her attempt to talk to the older woman. One thing she thought she would add to her new routine was to ask about exit points. Her readings stated that it might be necessary to find out how she had died in a previous life if a severe trauma had occurred in that lifetime. Only by asking to see this death could she put these dreams to rest. She felt as if her very life depended on finding the point with the horrible choking sensation, making contact with the older woman again and getting some of her many questions answered. Preparing for bed, she reviewed the meditation which had given her a sense of peace and comfort the previous night. Faith climbed into bed and started the relaxation exercise to begin her quest for answers.