They came by the thousands today, their golden-brown bodies undulating in soft, translucent honey-colored veils above the fruit trees. They were not here yesterday or the day before, or any day since I first began watching for them this spring. But they came today in numbers that are making my yard thrum with the sound of an ancient, hopeful heartbeat.
I noticed them at first thumping softly against my bedroom window this afternoon when the sun unexpectedly arrived. First one, then five. Curious, I walked very slowly to the part of the yard where the old pear, apple, and plum trees grow. My heart stood still at the sight of them. I haven’t seen so many honeybees gathered anywhere in years. Certainly not in any yard of mine.
Trying to be as quiet and as welcoming as I could, I moved from one tree to the other, head tilted up, tears on my face. Was I walking in a pageant? In a parade? In a shamanic dream? As I write this, they are moving back and forth in golden waves past my window, resting now and then on the glass panes and the window sills. The trees are rejoicing. I am rejoicing. They skim across the green lawn, kissing the dandelion blossoms, the violet blossoms. They kiss each dreaming pear and plum and cherry flower and they sing and sing and sing. I look inside my heart for the words to describe this feeling, and the feeling is wanting. I just want them. I want them to stay and to make hives in all my walls so I can be in the middle of them day and night, and my walls can drip honey until my dying day…
Earlier this day, before the pageant of the bees, Carter and I went walking by the river and found our favorite path under water. Part of the riverwalk is through a “transitional zone,” which sometimes floods and acts like a marsh, and sometimes acts like a dry meadow. There were wrens last week where today there are great blue herons and signs of beaver.
Of course, Carter and I are in an acute transition ourselves: We close escrow on our new home next Wednesday! Only a couple weeks ago, I was planting my container pots with new seeds and sprouts. Next week, I’ll be emptying those containers into the many garden beds around our new home! How quickly the process is moving along, after a full year of searching for the right place. I have no doubt, not one scrap of a doubt, that all your prayers and good wishes for us helped the perfect place to find us at last.
Since the God Plop of my last blog post, the spirits have been generous in showing themselves to me and reassuring me that they are, indeed, there. Walking by Coyote Woods last week, we were surprised to find a lovely coyote hunting in the field mid-day. She faced us when she saw us and stood quietly for many moments, allowing us the privilege of seeing her, before turning away and jogging slowly back toward her tunnels in the berry bushes. We have heard these coyotes since the first night we moved here a full year ago. This was the first time we were ever blessed to see one. Was she telling us goodbye?
A few scant days later, heading out to the pasture with Mazel for our morning stroll, I saw something spinning in the wind, suspended right by the place where I’ve cut a path through the bushes to the pasture. Looking closer, I saw it was two barn owl feathers, joined by down fluff, and wrapped around a low-hanging cedar branch. Years ago, in my early days of cancer, my life was saved by a barn owl. I have no trouble instantly recognizing their distinct and beautiful feathers. I am one of the lucky ones who are easily awed, and the moment with the barn owl feathers brought me swiftly to my knees in gratitude. They hang now on the beaded shade of my small bedroom reading lamp.
Today, there are the bees. I feel as though grace herself has descended upon my home and family with the visitation of these mystical golden beings. Last summer, after attending a two-day workshop on the sacredness of bees, I came away knowing it is bee-mind that brings the essence of loving unity consciousness to the Earth.
This past winter, as I wrote to you all, I’ve been feeling alone and faithless far to often. On this sunny day, the bees hover over our rental home in a golden cloud, humming the energy of unity to me. My heart breaks open in thankfulness, and the sound rushes in and vibrates each of my wanting, longing, oft-hopeless cells into a swift, brief symphony of oneness and compassion. God bless these bees, and all bees. May they thrive, so that we can all find a felt-knowing of what loving unity can be. May the spring bees find you and sing to you, and bring you the hope, peace, and oneness that is their birthright and—hopefully someday—ours.
Congratulations Susan and Carter!!! Nothing like owning our own place. What a quaint and lovely little house. It looks so cozy. I’m very happy for you and you have an outbuilding which is great to have for gardening stuff, or workshop or whatever, a white picket fence, rose bushes, covered little porch…nice! I’m excited for you because you’ll be moving this summer and it makes it easier.
That was a beautiful post honoring the bees….
Thanks, Marie: We are excited and eager!
I didn’t know much about bees when I had my close encounter. A friend had come over to my home in Tustin CA those many years ago. Early in the day an opossum paid a visit to our yard with her back covered with babies.
My friend and I decided on that bright sunny summer day to sit outside and play speed chess.
After a while the sky turned dark. Was rain coming we wondered. Then we heard the buzzing, louder and louder until we had a swarm of bees all around us. Jon and I got up from our table and very slowly moved the 20 yards back to the house.
The bees didn’t seem to notice us. Apparently they found the huge Avocado tree much more alluring. The swarm balled up under a large branch about 8′ off the ground. One of the neighbors came running into the back yard and asked if we had seen a swarm of bees. When I showed him the ball in the tree he was very excited and asked if we’d like tom get rid of them. With two small children the answer seemed simple. A bee keeper came later that day and placed a hive on a ladder under the ball and said: I’ll be back tonight.
Bees settle down at night, I was told. When the keeper returned he went to the tree and gave the branch a sharp shake. The ball fell on top of the hive and the bees hustled right inside. The keeper closed the hive and the bees were buzzing a very angry song. The most surprising thing to me was that he put the hive in his back seat and drove off. I’m not brave enough to put a hive of angry bees in my car and drive away with it. That’s inexperience for you.
I was hoping all the many bees in our yard were looking for a new place to set up housekeeping, but it seems as though they are coming here from many directions. Again today, once the sun arrived, the many bees returned. Downtown in Vancouver today, I didn’t see a one, although so many trees were in bloom. I think we’re just lucky!