sweet aspirations

I walked through the spring garden in the middle of a busy day, looking for a few stray kale flower buds to put in a salad.  The buds have gone to bloom, and I found out whose turn it is to enjoy them now.honeybee5The honeybees.  I stood captivated by their beauty and industry.

Many years ago, these bees left the confines of the boxes tended by our neighbors.    They went native.  We don’t know where they live, but they frequent the yard and gardens throughout the season and we enjoy their company.  We’ve seen them feasting on tree sap in early spring, then coating their legs with bright pink pollen when the henbit blooms a little later.  Now, they’re into the brassica flowers.  Later they will enjoy squash, tulsi, and sourwood blossoms.honeybee3What got my wheels turning was their complete dedication.  They’re doing what they need to do.  They need to feed their family and care for their hive, much the same as us.  They work without distraction, but their diligent labors still look like a dance.

And their diligence shapes our world.  Their work creates fertility and food by way of their pollination.  And the product of their busy home life is sweetness itself in the form of HONEY.

They probably don’t know how much of a service they are doing for the rest of us.  Fact is, their lives and work are aligned so that this sort of goodness flows from them.honeybee2

We are so much larger than a bee, but what do we share with the world in the course of our lives?  I feel small next to the honeybees.  There’s so much to learn from them. I can only aspire as much…

I hope that the work we do here, to feed ourselves, our extended family and some friends somehow extends flavor, beauty, and appreciation into the world around us.  I hope that my tiny yoga practice and the little bit of instruction I can give, day after day, spills over into greater health, peace and equanimity for whoever needs it.  I hope that our little family, living, learning, and working together, can knit a strong fabric of love that expands to encompass generations to come.  I hope that our labors in our small lives can somehow contribute to the abundance, fertility, and sweetness of the world.

I want to work like a honeybee.  Small, quiet, and strong.honeybee1

As the nights grow warmer the night music increases in volume.  As I drift toward sleep with whip-poor-wills ringing around us, I think of the layers of life deep in the woods.  Somewhere out there, where none of the few inhabitants of this land has ventured, there is a bee hive, maybe even a few. The hive is loaded with wild rich honey, untasted by the human tongue.  The world is richer because it has never been found.



3 thoughts on “sweet aspirations

  1. I too have a love of bees. There is something about their place in the circle that inspires. Like you said, they do not do what they do for us, but from them comes health, sweetness and food production. All of which we need.

    Whippoorwills! I am so jealous, I grew up in the breeding area of their migration and I miss their song at night. I sometimes go to youtube and listen to recordings just to hear it again. It’s so calming.

  2. I loved working the bees on Spring Hollow with Susan and Basil, and continued the practice after returning to Tampa, where Ed (Ross) and I had stewardship of three colonies. And I do mean “continued the practice”, for working with bees can be a deep meditation to maintain a harmonious relationship with those we nurture to provide goodness for our lives. As you so beautifully write, “We are so much larger than a bee, but what do we share with the world in the course of our lives? I feel small next to the honeybees. There’s so much to learn from them. I can only aspire as much…”. I do truly feel very humble next to the honeybee.

    (You have your father’s gift for words, Coree. That is a legacy worth carrying forward.)

    Blessings, ever …

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