About author Jaylee Balch
I had no idea that my lion nightmares would stem from my formative years when my folks and I lived in a caravan in Wankie Game Reserve in Rhodesia (now known as Hwangie G.R in Zimbabwe). My father was an engineer and contracted to a mine in the area and my bath times were in a galvanized tub in the African bush with my dog yanking my diaper off at every chance it had. The night times would impact for decades as the only nightmares I ever had were the sounds and visuals of lions. They were the re-occurring themes in my nightly sojourns until my mother told me that the lions would circle the caravan at night and growl so loud that it was impossible not to remember them at some level of my being.
I was grateful that they were the only bad dreams I had, because on the lighter side, from as young as I could remember, I would inhale books of every genre and without thought, take note of each author’s style, liking some and disliking others. Little did I know that I was forming myself and carving a path for my future as an author. Being young in Rhodesia was a blessing and yet came with anxieties known only to those who may have lived in war torn countries. I still have the vivid memory of the bombs going off in the local airbase near my grandmother’s house and the guards at the farm gate or the military convoys into town. As part of a family living on the periphery of the terror of that war, we endured the personal tragedy of terrorism, as we lost loved family members during and as a result of the war.
Shutting out such war torn images was relatively easy as a child living in the wondrous gift that is Africa. Africa is a living juxtaposition of absolute beauty of nature versus unforgiving harshness: it is that ‘strange’ diversity that is, to this day, a source of powerful and beautiful moments that I will cherish. To be a child and see leopards hunt their prey or to see a herd antelopes in full flight and a myriad of other moments of pure connection with the animals and land that is Africa.
I felt so alive under the African stars – no artificial lights, only the purity of the light from the stars to guide me – I am sure they gave birth to the many wondrous fantasies I experienced. I would climb to the top of mountains to be closer to them, even as a child I loved to climb mountains. I had to be on top of the world, able to see everything for as far as the eyes could see.
At nine years of age, I was taken to Scotland on holiday, the land of my ancestors and grandparents and I never wanted to leave. It was so breath taking to me and beautiful that I have returned whenever I get the chance and deep down I feel the pull of the Celts still today.
When we left for South Africa when I was twelve, leaving my grandparents and my home did not go down well for me. I was introverted to some degree and my focus was channeled into my swimming, which would take me on a journey for a decade through state championships but I stopped when my grandmother had a re-occurring dream about an accident I was to experience. Eventually I accepted her dream as the prophetic message that it was and a new chapter of my life opened. My new journey was first an admission of one of my family traits that was discussed only in private . . . prophetic phenomena.
This discovery of the world of prophetic phenomena has certainly been significant in my life. Initially, it helped me to understand my dreams, which I later learnt were prophetic, my feelings about people, visions I had which came true and things I heard which were not there, I turned to spirituality and God and sought understanding. Even after everything I could learn there, I felt that there was more to know and understand and began my quest for knowledge and followed trials into many religious and spiritual paths.
As a side to this, I spent much time sitting reading at school and was certainly not popular or memorable, school bored me witless and I preferred to spend my time in the realms of the imagination. As a random act, I later learnt that I was actually very intelligent in many non conventional ways.
I walked a long path with a revival church and still today, I have an open heart for worship but I did learn about my abilities and most of them were not welcomed with open arms in some religions. I certainly tried to marry for all the right reasons and even had two children and dogs and a house. When my children were four and five years of age I would encourage them to sit in the long grasses of a game reserve and close their eyes. They learnt to call the Zebra, who were very curious and would stroll over to see these two tiny beings sitting in faith. I was very adventurous with them and we hunted for dragons in strange forests and they climbed the chain ladders of the highest cascading waterfall in the world. It was suggested to me that they were the youngest ever to do this – I will never know. All the classic stories of childhood I retold to them in my own unique way and my daughter has asked that my version of the story of creation be shared with the world for its humorous unfolding – we shall see.
But normalcy was never to be my destiny and my family life all fell apart. It was in the despair of my ordinary and uneventful life that I began to write, by hand my first book. I wrote over five hundred pages and still it sits on the computer needing a massive overhaul. I did a double degree in psychology and communications and found it tedious and limiting and still I studied until I came to meet the Tao Grand Master in Johannesburg through a friend. I was open and intrigued and I needed to know more about the way, the truth and the life and why I was born in the first place! From my first church, I learnt that I was loved and would always be looked after and from the Tao way, I learnt that there was a way and there was a truth and it could be found within. This did not seem to conflict my earlier upbringing, so I embraced it and it included my Christianity and seemed to make it a whole lot bigger. I have wonderful memories of my times with the Tao community and their gentle ways and great cooking but I was lead to meet my now, Australian husband and best friend. It was a chance meeting on a boat on a river in Africa where I went on a journey where I left everything behind and found myself exploring next lands and a whole new world.
Secretly, I knew something else – I had for a long time used my prophetic ability to ‘see’ if there anyone out there who would understand me and had caught a glimpse in Australia. I thought it was near impossible for me a single mom to meet such an exotic creature stuck in a one horse town in Africa. But providence was kind and I met this Aussie and contrary to popular opinion left everyone and everything to pursue my quest to understand myself and destiny.
Being a very controversial topic, I fought long battles within and often thought that I should return to the expected motherhood program but when I thought of settling down to normalcy, a part in me cringed so I stood strong and kept going. Was I a diligent mother in the ways I could be – yes! I returned each year spending months at a time with my children, bringing loads of gifts, I called, sent cards and presents and still knew that I was standing against an army of people who loved them but quietly standing for something I needed and wanted too.
It was in Australia that I met a Tibetan Lama through my husband and this was no ordinary Lama. Without disclosing anything discussed and shared in confidence, this was to be one of the most enlightened beings on earth I had ever met and most likely would meet and through these meetings I learnt so much about myself and how I am in this world. My times with him, grew my understanding and added to my previous teachings, magnifying them and I learnt the ways of the mystery schools of Tibet. I must insist that it be known that at every stage with every teacher of each spiritual discipline, the highest regard of Christ is made known. The Tibetan taught me about the path of the inner Christ.
This changed everything!
Suddenly, I was given permission to breathe and actually exist and have an impact in the world. After four thousand or so books that I had read searching for the truth, I knew a few facts that were irrefutably, the cornerstones of learning to surrender into my destiny or my soul purpose.
I did a Master Hypnotherapy certification with a highly recognized school in North America and through encouragement from the Lama, began to work with animals in different ways but mostly, calling them in from the wild by using my gifts. I have called wolves by my side, held hummingbirds, been massaged by raccoons, trained chipmunks and their families, called orcas in strange places and many of Africa’s wild life to me. I have hypnotized sharks and swum in strange waters with rare creatures. My own chickens climb up my leg and sit on my shoulder and the butcher birds sit on the window sill and listen while we speak and prepare food. I have called snakes and I am now working to call and love spiders, which makes one of the main characters in my books very interesting. Partly, my reason, is that one of my abilities is to know when someone or something will pass from this world and each time a spider will appear and give me a fright.
Finally, I was climbing Table Mountain in Cape Town with a really good friend who is a deeply spiritual man, a film maker and works with wild life and he gave me the opening lines of a story he told his son and my imagination took those few sentences and went to the moon and back. This was the beginning of the Tomas of Terra trilogy. Across the globe, there is an army of people who care for the earth and wish to make the changes that bring about, not only a change in earth herself for the better but a change in the people of earth so that they can become the custodians of a bright future and that is my task, my destiny and my soul purpose.
When I sat down at my desk to take a peek through the door which our friend had opened, I discovered the Liminal realms and all its folk. What took me back at first, was the inhabitants all rushing at me, trying to be in my book, wanting to be known on earth. This must sound like a mad person in a living reality and half of that is true! They were eager to make themselves known, to be a part of the changes on earth and definitely involved. I had to reassure them that they would all be known through my books but they had to be patient and allow me to write a story and bring them in when their turn came. This is why the first book is loaded with creatures introducing themselves. Thankfully, I have managed to quell the urges and they understand that their stories and their parts in the unfolding of the changes will be made known within time. I have completed the first trilogy in the saga of Tomas and am currently completing the second. I have written ten children’s books and a number of other similarly focused novels. I have a collection of poetry and wedding vows, which I have written and plan on releasing all of these to the public within time.
This is my story and I’m sticking to it.