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Excerpt from:

The Journey Upward
Defining Moments in the Life of a Spiritual Psychologist
by Marilyn C. Barrick, Ph.D.

Chapter 6
Stories of the Elementals

God moves in a mysterious way
His wonders to perform;
He plants his footsteps in the sea
And rides upon the storm.
–-William Cowper

         Mark Prophet talked to his students about the nature spirits, the elementals, and how they relate to the divine plan of all mankind. His words are important for all of us to understand.
         He taught:

         If we had followed the divine plan, we would be able to see and be friends with the nature spirits. We would not have to deal with lesser or greater storms. The ground would shed forth dew to water our crops. No rain would fall, but a dew would appear from the air.
         The air would be saturated with moisture in just the right amounts everywhere on earth, and the deserts would bloom as the rose. There would be no excess moisture, and no lack of it....
         There would be abundant fruit. Many of the fruits that would manifest are not even on the planet now….We would have communion with the elementals, and we would be receiving our instructions from angels.
                                                 In a talk that Mark gave during the year before his ascension, he shared a dramatic experience that he and several of his staff had with the elementals. He told about the time he was driving near Chicago, Illinois, when the sky darkened with storm clouds and the ominous potential of a cyclone or tornado. As the winds howled and the sky became even darker and more foreboding, Mark and his staff gave decrees, sang to the elementals and called to the sylphs to dissolve the storm. Amazingly, the storm came to a screeching halt and the skies cleared in a matter of minutes!
         The ascended masters teach that because of mankind’s fall from grace, the elementals were assigned the task of maintaining balance on the Earth wherever an imbalance occurs. We can help the elementals to do their job by cleaning up polluted areas and resolving our personal traumas, because any kind of negative energy adds to the karmic burden. We and elemental life are both blessed when we banish despair and infuse our daily activities with joy and happiness.
         A friend of mine, a talented sculptor, has written engaging stories about the nature spirits. With her permission I have included one of them in this book. This tale is about the gnomes and also mentions the salamanders, sylphs and undines. Enjoy!

Tale of Two Gnomes
Kathleen Wilkins

         I had never expected to see a gnome, although on trips into nearby woods I often felt someone watching me. I’d spin around quickly, only to see the grasses move. It seemed as though something had run away. Other times I was sure I saw something move, but when I looked closely, nothing was there.
         A gardener friend told me that a gnome had suddenly appeared to him when he was planting rosebushes. It was a tiny creature, wearing a red pointed hat, who was carrying a miniature hoe, as though planning to help my friend in his garden. Startled at the little man’s appearance, my friend dropped the rosebush he was holding and yelled. From inside the house his wife heard the commotion, but by the time she came out the little gnome had disappeared. Fascinated by his tale, I dearly wanted to see a gnome myself.

The Setting of My Story

         My story begins near my Victorian home in Livingston, Montana, a picturesque town on the Yellowstone River surrounded by the Rocky Mountains, north of Yellowstone Park. I moved here from Los Angeles in the late 1980s to escape the crowds.
         It’s easy to forget the busy pace of the twenty-first  century when I’m sitting on my 1906 front porch, where I’m surrounded by pines and shrubs and hearing the sound of chirping birds. It has been a perfect retreat for an artist like me.
         Within walking distance are wilderness areas, and it is not uncommon to see a moose cross the Yellowstone River or a bear wander into the nearby park. With my love for nature, traveling deep into nearby forests can be a mystical experience for me. The natural scene is so much a part of Montana, especially after winter storms when the weather is beginning to warm up and I can be outdoors raking pine needles under the pine trees in my yard.

I Meet the Gnomes

         One day I suddenly noticed a small mound of dirt and leaves moving ever so slightly. I then heard what sounded like tiny chipmunks coming from beneath it. Thinking the mound might even contain groundhogs and slowly brushing away some leaves, I was astonished to see two tiny gnomes.
         About six inches in height, they were waking up in beds made from leaves and bark. Yawning and stretching with their eyes closed, apparently they thought that a breeze had blown the leaves off the top of their beds. When they saw a large human face leaning over them, their eyes became big and round. Sensing they were about to run away, I started to talk to them in a low calm voice, which I hoped would have a soothing effect. I told them they need not worry about my hurting them. I told them that I especially like gnomes and had been hoping that I would meet some.
         Then I said, “Aren’t you cold and wouldn’t you like to come in and sit by the fire?”
         The one with the brown Mormon-style beard said his name was Sam. He, especially, seemed to like the idea of getting out of the cold.          So I said, “Would you let me pick you up and take you into my house?” He nodded and urged his friend Igor to come with him. They picked up their tiny bags, and I reached down with my hands to let them climb over my fingers. One sat on my left hand and the other on my right, ready for the trip.

The Gnomes Meet Christmas

         Inside the house, they were stunned to see the great glittering Christmas tree with all its brightly colored ornaments. Gingerbread men hung by golden strands of tinsel, and twinkling lights reflected off metallic geometric ornaments, which created a magical glow.
         I then got the idea of taking two tiny rocking chair ornaments off my Christmas tree. I put them on the floor and they were just the right size. The gnomes sat down on them and I curled up in my own large stuffed arm chair, and in no time at all we were lounging comfortably by the fire. In fact, they dozed off.
         I had noticed that their two miniature suitcases were fashioned from pine bark and tied together with dried grass. When they awoke, Sam rushed over to open one of them and out popped two bright-colored jester hats. The gnomes put them on and began to juggle some tiny balls. Then they began to tell me the whole story of how they came to be in my front yard.

A Juggling Act Initiates a Friendship

         It turns out that they had both been living in Anchorage, Alaska. Sam was from Utah and Igor was originally from Siberia, Russia. Years before, Igor had managed to climb onto the back of a bird that flew across the Bering Strait to America. The bird had landed in a cornfield outside Anchorage, and from there Igor made his way to the nearest forest to find a gnome village.
         One day as Igor was out walking, he climbed over a grassy knoll. He heard laughter and not far beyond saw a juggler juggling three miniature pinecones in the middle of a grove of trees. Delighted gnome children surrounded him and cheered as he tossed the cones in elaborate patterns and then picked up a third and a fourth cone from the ground, which he added to the swirling mass. Amazingly, none of them dropped to the ground.
         Igor watched in fascination as the gnome added twigs and small stones to his act and flung them higher and higher into the air. Since juggling is especially popular in Russia and many of Igor’s relatives had been jugglers, he was particularly interested in getting to know this performer.
         He waited until late in the afternoon when Sam had finally completed his act, then walked over and introduced himself. They had so much in common, they talked on and on for hours. Igor was able to understand Sam because he had learned English as a small child from overhearing an old American woman talking to herself as she tended her rose garden near his home in Siberia.
         Sam and Igor wound up forming a juggling act and began to migrate from village to village to perform in exchange for food and lodging. (Gnomes use a barter system instead of money.)

A Desire for a Warmer Climate

         One day late last summer, when Sam and Igor performed at a little people carnival—a much simpler and earthier affair than our own—they overheard some acrobats discuss their upcoming journey to Mexico for the winter. As they described some of the sights and the sunny warm weather, it brought up a deep desire in Sam’s and Igor’s hearts to travel to a warmer climate to avoid the winter snow that would soon be coming.
         The common way for gnomes to travel long distances is on the backs of migrating birds, but there’s no guarantee of exactly where the bird will finally land. So the traveler is forced to have only a rough destination, like somewhere in either Mexico or Central America.

Discussion of Travel Possibilities

         Sam and Igor found themselves discussing the possibilities endlessly as they traveled from village to village performing their act. They discussed how far they might have to travel to find the right flock of migrating birds and whether they should have an old village woman make them warm clothes in exchange for their next juggling act.
         They discussed the benefits and pitfalls of traveling on the backs of various species of birds and which might be most suitable to take them and a small amount of luggage to an ideal location. They wondered what it might be like to live near a beach with palm trees, which neither had ever seen before, and whether Mexican gnomes lived in the holes of saguaro cactus if there were no trees around.
         They talked nonstop between juggling acts. They talked about every minute possibility that might occur on their proposed journey until the days turned into weeks. And by the time they got around to traveling on a migrating bird, all the birds they could have found had already traveled south. And so it was that they began a much slower journey south on the backs of deer, elk and occasionally a stray rabbit.

A Memorable Journey to Montana

         Although gnomes are very good at judging direction by the position of the sun and stars, the one thing they had no control over was the winding paths of the animals that conveyed them. After a time, they crossed over into Canada, and after a longer journey they found themselves crossing the American border, which put them in northern Montana.
         They stopped at gnome villages on the way south and had a particularly memorable visit with some river gnomes who lived in a thick grove of cottonwood trees on some private property that was walled off and had few human visitors.
         The river had a swift current, and in the summer some of the little people enjoyed jumping on leaves and using them for surfboards between large rocks. However, by now the river was beginning to freeze over in spots, and the surfers used pieces of bark because all the leaves were dead.
         The villagers were particularly cheerful, good-natured and generous, and for an extra day’s juggling the two town seamstresses created some sheared rabbit coats for Igor and Sam. They had left their coats behind, so they were especially happy to now be protected from the increasingly bitter cold wind.

How Did They Find My Garden?

         I suppose you might be wondering how they found their way to my garden. As it happened, my neighbor had two cats which were missing for several days. They had a close relationship for cats, being brother and sister, and they always traveled exactly ten feet apart and one never went anywhere without the other. Their names were Tildy and Jacob.
         They happened to be wandering along the Yellowstone River two miles from Livingston when the gnomes noticed them and climbed on their backs, hoping they’d travel south. Their fur was so warm, Sam and Igor each took off their sheared rabbit coats and tossed them down to an old gnome couple beside the river who were dressed in rags and looked like they were cold. Within a couple of days, the cats were back at my neighbor’s, where the gnomes spotted the clump of dirt and leaves in my front yard. And the rest you know except for the very end of the story. ...


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