|Setting up the Hives|
She's been dumping so much rain upon us lately that we have begun to feel like plants ourselves...and the desire for dirt beneath our fingernails has been ressurected in our breasts...you can smell the damp soil everywhere. I cannot politely agree with those who moan: "Ah! I wish it would stop!" not when you can practically HEAR buds opening up and bulbs pushing up and out from underneath the soil...
|examining the new arrivals|
|firing up the smoker|
On our way out the door we pass Ann, an tiny white little woman. She notes from a distance of 4 feet that my daughter's are small wee ones, in dresses and twirling. But she starts to sob softly muttering that she can't see them because she's going blind. She cheers up when they go and stand inches from her face...and then she smiling she asks them "Are those tasty lollipops? They sure look good!" She is like rain and sun on a misty day. One minutes smiling and chatting, the next sobbing softly. "I have been searching and searching so long for my daughter!" she cries, "but she never came." At her age, it is more and more evident that what makes Ann (and all of us) who she is (and who we are) is the love we have for people, and the love people have for us. As we leave, I hear her words echoing over and over in my head...and they sound so much like the second to last words of the late Pope John Paul II, recently cannonized by the Church a saint:
"I have searched for you, and now you have come to
|Releasing the new colony|
me, and I thank you."
These are the words every elderly person utters from the heart whenever they are visited...
|removing the Queen's cage|
|Sound the Alarm! Goats escape and snack on new shipment of hay.|
But yes....I am writing this on a computer. On a Blog. On the World Wide Web.
Too bad though. I'd rather have you all here for tea. We could say all this face to face smoking pipes and drinking tea and whisky in front of the woodstove fire, punctuating our conversation with nibbles upon chocolate, slaps on the back, and guffaws.
Every once in a while a gifted human being, and by gifted I mean, gifted in human-ness, can create a magical moment with the aid of technology. Jimmy Fallon succeeds on the Tonight Show not because he's the poster boy of all that is new and modern....but because he's so charmingly old-fashioned, and can often be found late at night, juxtoposing new technology with old timey magic:
But some of our nursing home residents remember a time when every church, barber shop, and general store boasted a group of guys who could achieve something like the same sound...And I can't help thinking (after my instant applause and appreciation) that the world needs i-pad apps now because there are fewer fallons, joels, and barbershop quartets. And I wonder which came first? The dearth of singing men, or the modern technology that has kept so many young men off the ballfields, out of the church choirs, and in their basements playing minecraft? It's very much like the advent of the tractor in farming which started with: "WOAH MA! Look how much I got plowed, disced, and planted ALL BY MYSELF!!!"
And continues with: "Son, there's no place for you on this here farm. You gotta go to the city and get yourself a job with benefits."
|New workers settling in|
And ends with: "The median age of the American Farmers is 65. The small family farm is a thing of the past."
Last Saturday we hived our bees. Time always stands still in Spring when we do this. Bees everywhere. Crawling in my daughter's hair, crawling over Mr. Farmer's hands, bees in the hood of my jacket. Bees clustered around their queen in such an un-American show of loyalty, foreign and fascinating to behold!
Bees are a farmer's secret weapon. They do such quiet work, bizzing here, bizzing there, pollinating crops and building comb, and making honey. They are a stunning example of industry and cooperative effort.
It was fitting that the arrival or our bees came during the octave of the great feast of Easter. Just six days earlier we had spent the evening in a darkened church, lit only by the many flickering candles everyone was holding, lit from the one flame of the Easter Candle, as Father chanted praise of God and of bees:
"On this, your night of grace, O holy Father,
accept this candle, a solemn offering,
the work of bees and of your servants’ hands,
an evening sacrifice of praise, this gift from your most holy Church.
But now we know the praises of this pillar,
which glowing fire ignites for God’s honour,
a fire into many flames divided,
yet never dimmed by sharing of its light,
for it is fed by melting wax,
drawn out by mother bees to build a torch so precious."
Bees bring with them the good example of what small tidbits of good industry can do, when in cooperation with others, and when sustained, to make for a heavy harvest of sweetness.
Little actions of interconnectedness, true love, small partakings of reality, small abandoments of virtual reality, and before you know it the world has bloomed:
examining the fuzzy body of a bee
Learning to sing a song
saying to an elderly person "I am here" rather than "I'm sure she/he will come"
making a friend by eye contact and vocal introduction rather than a click of button
Taking a walk in the rain.
Listening to your kid.
Listening to everyone.