I had a bit of happiness today that was unexpected and so fitting to happen on Earth Day…the beekeepers showed up with the bees! These bees are not my bees (I only have one hive thus far), they belong to a commercial beekeeper and every April for the last several years, the beekeepers come. Usually they come during the middle of the night, when the bees are more settled and lethargic but today, lucky for me, they came in the daytime. And even luckier still, I do not teach anymore, so I was home! These bees have been in the Atchafalaya Basin and when they leave here in July, they will go to Arkansas…at least that has been what happens in the past.
On summer mornings, I will, once again, make the trek to the edge of the woods and watch them in the early and most vibrant rays of the sun, leaving the hive to go out into the countryside to gather nectar to bring back for all to flourish. It is very communal and they work hard together, everyone works and has a job and the benefit is realized by all. They will stay busy all summer building their brood and collecting enough honey for the winter when the nectar will be scarce. If the season is good, and it usually is here in the South, there will be a fourth box that is filled with honey for us…their needs must be met first, however. Throughout the spring and summer my garden and fruit trees will benefit from the bees also – what a natural balance it all is. Anyway, I hardly know summer without bees anymore, I am glad to say that.
I am so happy today to be a really small part of this wonderful world of bees… I know it’s all kind of cliché and seems to be a trend lately, but for me, it is pure bliss…sweet as honey.
The sun has finally come out here; three or four days of gloomy weather is all we tolerate in the Deep South. Anyway, amongst and between the raindrops last week, I got my honey bees! I know my learning curve will be tremendous and I will get stung, both figuratively and literally. I also expect to lose a hive or two along the rocky path of this “curve” but, I’m in for the long haul. The hive sits in Elizabeth’s old Butterfly Garden, the one her four brothers made for her when she was 6 – that, in its self, makes me feel this new endeavor is bound to succeed – great Karma there amongst the wonderful memory from long ago. Anyway, I hope they are happy there amongst the four o’clocks from my mother’s yard and the hundreds of zinnias I planted along the fence.
Their neighbors are three of my hens and one possessive rooster…barnyard dynamics I will enjoy watching. Anyway, just wanted to post this as a prelude to my beekeeping effort.
berries in Florence
I was outside early one morning last week, a morning before the rains came when late spring and hints of summer were intermingling. I was in my garden picking strawberries I had planted in November – trying to beat the birds, breaking the fast of the night – it was wonderful, pure, whole food from my backyard. I have to say, growing your own food is fulfilling. I suppose the cultivation deed is somewhere in our DNA – a survival tool that we are hard wired for. I heard yesterday that one component of well-being and good health is to have something to look forward to – growing your food gives that to you along with whole food that is free from chemicals and filled with nutrients. Just a small patch of land can do big things for your health. Just saying…
Later, while in the woods, I was dazzled once again by the cobwebs that extended over the paths – masterpieces in the early mornings with dew outlining their shapes and emphasizing their details – little Rembrandts of the night reminding me of chalk artist in today’s cities – working so hard to create, only to be dissolved by an inevitable looming force of nature.
The day rolls out like a tapestry rug – each hour offering something different than the one before, like the chapters of our lives, unfolding and delivering little pieces of art that delight us and then disappear into the morning light of the next day where, if we look ahead, we will see yet another masterpiece beginning.
Anyway…this is my little post of the week. I hope you can find something worthwhile within this pile of thoughts that became words and perhaps push you to make certain you have something to look forward to, whether it is a child coming home for a visit (that’s it for me) or a trip you may take or a ripe strawberry in your backyard.