Journal note from grasshopper field.
I slept most of the way down at the back of the van where I was
sitting with Crewman who was wearing earplugs from a small CD player and staring happily at the passing scenery
as if one rural highway is any different from another. Still, there were some stunningly beautiful yards with
the start of fall colours.
Crewman and Bolo helped me put up my tent. We are camped on a bit of
wild ground in a copse of large, old trees, by a creek bed that has just a trickle of water on the bottom from
the nearby spring where we get our water. Bolo has set up a food tent complete with table and chairs, a solar
powered cold box, a Coleman cook stove, bread jam, peanut butter, juice. Good thing I have my bag of nuts and
So, I am sitting on the root of one of the large old trees. The wind
feels soft and comfortable on my bare arms and legs. Bolo is heating up stew he made to bring and the others are
playing cards at the kitchen table. Perfect thing there are four of them. That leaves me free to take this time
for myself. This is all so magical to me. I am looking out over fields and fields, miles and miles of fields
that were planted with wheat. About a quarter of the wheat is still standing, but the fields are full of
grasshoppers, an incessant movement of flying leaps among the wheat.
Petunia lays aside her journal and stares out over the fields. As she
softens her gaze, the grasshopper movements appear to be a visible wind swirling among the faded yellow of the
wheat plants. Her body is still and relaxed from her twenty minutes of stretches and she sits comfortably
listening to the wind in the leaves of the branches above her, the hum of the grasshoppers and the great still
silence of the land. She feels her heart opening out to the land in awe of its beauty. Petunia thinks of the
dream spirit mint sprig in her heart and wonders what it means to be a Plant Person. She listens for any clues,
but hears only the wind and the drone of the grasshoppers and she stares out over the devastated wheat fields
with soft eyes and awareness alert to inner perception.
It seems as if there is energy over the field, like a wave made of
the noise and movement of the many insects, of their frenzied activity, and of the dust they are creating that
shimmers in the late afternoon sun. As Petunia focuses her attention on the dust, it forms into a silvery cloud
before her. Simultaneously, she experiences a strong reassuring, comforting energy within herself. Breathing
deeply, slowly, she watches a Being of Light emerge from the dust cloud. Petunia stares in awe while a voice in
her mind tells her that this is one of the Guardian Spirits involved with the grasshoppers. She is still trying
to formulate an appropriate greeting in her mind for such an apparition when the Being bursts into a puff of
shimmering fluff and Crewman comes into sight of her, to inform her that food is being served.
Crewman makes conversation, as he leads her back to the camp area.
“Any regrets yet about coming?” he asks, shooting a glance in her direction, a hint of real interest in his
Petunia contemplates the shock of red hair beneath a baseball cap and
finds herself radiating the comforting, reassuring energy of the Spirit Being, and she says, “Oh I find it all
“Yeah, me too, every time, no matter the weather. I'm one of Bolo's
Crewman unzips the tent flap, releasing enticing aromas of spicy stew
into the air around them that permeate Petunia's nostrils and consciousness, bringing her firmly into her
physical body and student role. The vision of her experience with the Being of Light glides to the back of her
mind while her appetite is satisfied.
Petunia is holding a cup of steaming mint tea with both hands wrapped
around the mug. Prof Bolo is talking about the grasshoppers, not bothering to try to contain his
“Sometimes I wish they could talk to me, tell me what their growth
patterns are determined by. I'm not into poisoning or eradicating any species. Anyway, sign up for the tasks you
want to participate in, dawn start tomorrow if anyone is an early bird.”
“Have you ever tried to communicate with the nature spirits?” Petunia
finds herself asking, before she has a chance to consider where such a question might lead.
“Not yet,” Prof Bolo says smoothly, “though I must confess that I
have moments when I feel that it should be possible to do it.” Pause. Prof Bolo gives his head a little shake
and then looks at Petunia as if he is seeing her for the first time. She notices the gleam of interest in his
“Are you one of the psychically sensitive channel types?” he
Petunia is still contemplating how she might answer such a question
when Prof Bolo answers for himself. “But of course you are! I see it now. Well then, let's clean up here and get
a fire pit happening. Then Petunia can tell us how we may be able to communicate with the
Prof Bolo flashes a conspiratorial grin at Petunia that surprises an
answering grin on her face and before she can formulate any excuses such as she's never done this before and has
only vague notions about how to, a surge of comforting reassuring energy permeates her gut and the thought flits
through her mind, that nothing ventured is nothing gained. Even so, she is glad to get up and focus on the
clean-up, to let herself absorb and digest this unanticipated turn of events. The rest of them happily leave the
washing of the dishes to her and Spyke. Spyke hums companionably as they capably clean the food tent.
By the time that Petunia is ready to join the others, the sun is
setting, a fire is burning and some of her companions are tuning their instruments. Crewman has a guitar in his
hands, Artema is blowing warm breath through her recorder while Prof Bolo strums a little mandolin. The sight of
them sends Petunia scurrying back to her tent to get her hand drum and rattle.
As the sun sinks below the horizon and quiet settles over the wheat
fields, Petunia drums and sings and rattles and laughs and feels so much at home, as if she's always lived like
this with these people.
Finally silence settles over the group as a song fades away. Prof
Bolo catches Petunia's eye. “Well, I'm as ready as I'll ever be to talk to grasshoppers so tell us what you
And they are all still. Petunia centers herself in her breath. She
feels the deep stillness of the land and she intends for her mind to perceive the Being of Light who had
revealed himself to her, earlier in the day. First she recognizes the now increasingly familiar reassuring,
comforting inner touch. Soon she hears an inner voice announcing that the spirit is present.
Petunia says, “I am perceiving the Being of Light now. As I close my
eyes to focus more clearly, I am sensing there is another presence here with the Being of Light. I am starting
to see it now. It is a grasshopper, yes, a large old Grandmother of a Grasshopper Spirit. This may sound crazy,
but the Grandmother Grasshopper seems very distressed. She is telling me how ashamed she is about her species
being so out of control on this planet and she is apologizing for the damage they are doing and oh no, she is
weeping as she asks for our help.”
Prof Bolo's voice is very gentle and melodic as he says, “Tell her
that we are here to be of service to her and would like to ask her for some advice, if she would be so
“She is grateful, all smiles now. She is asking if we would please,
please call Crowoman, that she would know what to do, how to restore the balance. Grandmother grasshopper is
rubbing her front appendages together and bowing, oh, she is bowing right out of the picture.”
Petunia was preparing to ask the grasshopper spirit who Crowoman was.
Prof Bolo mutters, “What about our chance to ask her some questions?”
I'm still here, Petunia hears in her mind as she feels a surge of reassuring, comforting
energy. She refocuses on the Being of Light, and presently she tells the others, “The Light Being is apologizing
for Grandmother Grasshopper's hasty departure. He says she is very relieved now that she knows that Crowoman is
coming.” Petunia pauses and grins. “Crowoman has a website and that is how we must get in touch with her. And
the Being of Light, who is one of the guardian spirits of this area will answer Prof Bolo's question about how
best to interact with the life cycle of the grasshoppers to keep them in balance. He says it is very simple. In a self-healing, self-balancing, sustainable system the
animal species balance themselves. The solution to the grasshopper overgrowth is to return the birds to the air,
the small rodents to the fields, to sanctify their nesting areas and ensure a basic food source of wildflowers
and native plants. To take care of the eggs that the grasshoppers lay in the soil, you need for the soil to be
alive, fully functional, containing organic matter and micro organisms supporting the larvae of other insects
that feed off the eggs as do any number of birds and digging and burrowing mammals.”
Petunia is so intent on hearing and relaying the message that it
takes her awhile to perceive that there has been an energy shift. She is alerted to it by an inner wink of
humour that momentarily disrupts her focus. As she refocuses, she becomes aware that the Light Being has
extended his mind link to Prof Bolo who is responding with an incredulous, beaming grin. She hears Prof Bolo say
out loud, “Yes, thank you, that gives me much to work with, indeed, I appreciate this very much.”
In fact, the Being of Light extends his reassuring, comforting energy
to all in his presence for a timeless moment before he thanks Petunia and calls her Plant Friend. After a moment
of honouring the light within one another, the Being of Light fades from Petunia's mind and
“Wow, that was pretty far out!” Crewman exclaims into the awed
silence. “Gawd, I feel so full of energy!” Crewman unfolds from his slouching, seated position, stretches, and
begins to stomp around the fire. As he passes by Petunia, she hands him her rattle and then he really starts to
ham it up and before Petunia can sort out another coherent thought, there she is dancing, laughing and yeehawing
with the rest of them.
Finally, Prof Bolo halts. “I don't know about the rest of you, but
that's about all I'm good for tonight. So it looks like you and I, Petunia, are the only ones on the early
shift. Spyke, can you make sure the fire is out before you turn in, please and thank-you. Good night
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