They showed up yesterday, the bees. I was waiting for them and yesterday while cutting grass near the woods, I saw them, 96 wooden boxes stacked neatly near the canal – home.
I knew then the beekeepers had come the night before dressed in beekeeper suits and a truck with a hoist. They had come during the late hours traveling from the Atchafalaya Basin I suspect while the bees were asleep and calm; they come here in spring for the Tallow trees and stay till summer. I never know ahead of time when they will come – there are no loud noises, no pomp, only bees buzzing through the woods the next day. It’s a simple thing I suppose, these hundreds of bees making honey while pollinating our food supply but it is so important that it is essential.I have left the clovers hoping to give them more nectar for I hear their population is dwindling. Not hard to believe – there are people who see a pasture and never consider the bees or the wildlife that lives there – they think “progress”.
Anyway, the bees are back for another spring and in summer, I will have honey. As I said, they came quietly, just slipped in through the backdoor, fulfilling their purpose.
I had so many messages about my last post on the “empty nest” – just says how we, as mothers/parents, all feel so deeply and universally about our children; we all feel the heart tug of letting go. I did these funny angels to remember these times…
It’s the end of the day, the end of carnival season, and Valentine’s Day is soon. I lit a candle in the kitchen; one Elizabeth got for Christmas, and made some hot tea. I want to write a few words and cherish this February evening and the fragrance from the candle and the steeping of the tea make it a bit more special.
I love this little pocket of holidays – beginning with Ground Hogs Day, then Mardi Gras (for all of us in South Louisiana) next to Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day and culminating with Easter and Passover – so quaint and simple. And then, the first day of spring is in there somewhere. The weather is still unsettled and some days we must stay inside to rummage through our houses, sorting, finding, doing, and some days give us sunshine and we go in our yards to check the buds on fruit trees and move away the leaves to see what might be peeking beneath. I watch the small birds that are visiting in the side yard under my kitchen window, the ones that seem to make the ground move as they do. I wait for the robins to come from the woods and to see a lone honey bee in the sparse clover – it’s the cusp, a place between winter and spring, a place to watch how Nature moves so beautifully from one season into the other.
I look for the signs of spring while holding on to the quietness of winter, quiet here in south Louisiana anyway. I need more time in the winter. I want to write more and paint more, when spring arrives, I am outside putting together some sort of garden. I am so pathetic then, no discipline to stay inside.
It seems there is a conflict as to when spring will arrive according to the Almanac: “As you may have heard, Punxsutawney Phil, arguably the most famous prognosticating groundhog in the United States, did not see his shadow this weekend, which means spring is supposed to come a bit early this year. Of course, as we reported last month, we’re not expecting an early spring. So, now the race is on to find out who is right, the Almanac or the rodent.”
Don’t you love the lightheartedness of this? Amongst a world of virtual images and digital everything, there is still room for a groundhog and the farmer’s almanac trying to decide when spring will arrive! I feel happier just reading this – hope you do too.
I also feel happier looking at some still lifes in my friend, Tere’s early spring yard – so beautiful and so promising. Some people use paints to cover a blank canvas, she uses flowers…
and my favorite…
Beginning today, treat everyone you meet as if they were going to be dead by midnight. Extend to them all the care, kindness and understanding you can muster, and do it with no thought of any reward. Your life will never be the same again.
The sun is out today; it has broken through the gloom and cold and is scattered throughout my house and it is very welcomed. I have enjoyed these few winter days of being held inside, too cold to spend more than a moment outside watching through the kitchen window, but I think a day of sunshine will be especially nice. This morning I am thinking of my 20th birthday, surely propelled by the stillness of the season and my house at this moment. I am there because I am thinking about my dear friend that I spent that birthday with and I am thinking of her because she lives in New York and I always think of her when this extreme winter weather barrels in on her state. These little beads of memory lead me to a painting, a painting I did that long ago of “birthday flowers”. My friend and I were art students in Nice, France in 1974 and on June 29, I turned 20, but no one knew it was my birthday except her. We had NO money but she showed up with a random bouquet of delicate birthday flowers she had bought at the French Market and I did a small painting of them; it still hangs on my wall. I have had 56 birthdays and certainly do not remember most of them, but this is one I am remembering on this cold February day. It is the act of kindness that I still hold dear and although I seldom see my old friend, she is there in my little painting and is there in how I see the world; she was sunshine.
A bit of fragrance always clings to the hand that gives roses.