I prefer to write about successes. However, I feel I can't be the only one who has occasional blocks and blunders, so, I'm sharing this.

My comments have to do with manipulation. I have experienced a distinct situation that has pointed out the necessity to stay neutral, honest and sincere. After several years of using Perelandra material, I guess I became too complacent with how well everything was working. This year there were a series of "synchronicities" which have pulled me up short. I received my planning information in January. However, when the time came to do the planting in April, I found myself in Florida due to a family health crisis with my elderly parents. When I returned five weeks later and checked in, things had changed drastically to the point where I learned how flexible nature can be and how inflexible I was. This time also became known as "Invasion of the Carpenter Ants." I was getting panic calls from my housemate in Connecticut while I was in Florida. "Hang in there." I said, "I'll take care of it shortly." Ant traps and spray were not options.

Opening to the Deva of Carpenter Ants when I returned, I stated our position, we did some timing arrangements, and I felt I had received confirmation of their exiting the premises. For a day or two we watched as black forms seemed to scurry in formation from one place to another — but not out. We had been assured that we could help by use of a glass and a post card, being very careful not to pin any legs in the process. We spent hours escorting ants through the back door. We even thought we were getting ahead. About the fourth day, we had ants emerging from every possible nook and cranny imaginable, all over counters, food, in the sink — you name it, there they were. It was obvious that things were more out of balance than before. In an overall property coning that I was in I asked about the ant situation and several words popped into my head. I had tendinitis in my left hand and could not use it for kinesiology, so I had been getting very strong feelings and "hits" and was starting to trust these in place of muscle testing. [See below for information on another method of kinesiology.] The words were manipulative and insecure. Ouch! Me, who had such a success with the bald-faced hornets a couple of years ago? [A Peace Treaty With Hornets, Perelandra Voices 1993] I felt I was being told that I swung from manipulation to subservience. That was not what this action was supposed to be all about. Where had I gotten off the track?

Obviously, I tried again, trying very hard to stay focused, open to the needs of the ants, what I was to learn from their presence, while still being honest in stating our need to have them leave the house. I must admit that it did not feel any different than the first time around, but for whatever reason, within a few hours the numbers diminished to a trickle. Since then, I have found an entry point in the side of the house with much coming and going.

Although there are only one or two ants a day inside, what is going on inside the walls of the house is of deep concern to me. I have wanted and asked to feel "connected" to nature. Did I ask for this? Is this my connection? I am not satisfied with my part in this situation due to old labels of "failure." If I could just lighten up and see the humor when I'm in the middle of it, it would really help. I get so serious — and have to do everything "right." If you could have seen us with the ants, it would have caused wild hysterical laughter. Somehow, I just missed the whole thing at the time.

It will be an ongoing communication. The bottom line is that although it may not always be smooth sailing, I am learning. I am grateful for the patience that nature shows for the attempts that this human makes.

— N.F., Connecticut