by Debra Roberts on November 22, 2012

In this season of giving thanks, my heart is full of honeybee love, which makes my world go round. Love suffuses everything we do and guides us. It calls out reverence and devotion in us and shines a light on our essentially benevolent and generous nature. It is why we grieve any bee or dog or cat or horse or tree that ever dies in our care as we move from our first awkward years of stewardship, towards competence then grace. And it will bring us to our knees the first time this “sacred other” goes silent, when we simply can’t believe they died because we loved each other so profoundly.

One of my beloveds, Tusacarora elder Ted Williams, always reminded me of the importance of our good thoughts. He said we really only have four things in life: our good thoughts, good feelings, good words and good deeds (and that they are important in that order). Good deeds can be challenging enough but we all know what it is like to try and herd our cat-like thoughts on any given day. Whew.

Our thoughts have power. Remember that wonderful 100th monkey thing? That phenomenon in which one (usually very simple) thought or behavior passes from one individual to another and eventually suffuses a group, achieving critical mass and catalyzing a seemingly instantaneous change that is then available to the rest of the population? A new norm is born and takes up residence in our minds and lives, like it’s always had a room in our house.

It can be extremely humbling to live within the monkey-filled field of the small sacred things, because we don’t always see the change we are part of, manifested in our lifetime. My grandfather told me that he knew he wouldn’t live to experience equal and civil rights in our country. And he didn’t. But he believed in them and acted accordingly. I believe we all see some of the effects and fruits of our labor in our lives. And at other times, I think we are asked to faithfully offer our thoughts and actions up to the great great grandchildren we will never see the faces of. So much of this requires just simply doing the right thing (and especially what feels right to us). Many of our efforts will be un-thanked. But I don’t think we are ever confused about what matters if we are really paying attention. In our heart of hearts, the welfare of all life, bees and all, matters.

I believe love is the ultimate form of activism, the ultimate good thought, embodied through action. Because when we love someone (two-legged, four-legged, winged, rooted or finned), there will always be times when that love is challenged. We will disagree, misunderstand, insult, mistrust, irritate, betray, get bitten, hooked … and stung. And sometimes our beloveds will die. And then (big Medicine of all medicines) we can (and I believe have to) choose to love again … and again. And we do so because well, we love this other and like how that feels back. When I look back on years of talking about bees with children, I would say the single thing that most impressed them was my love for honeybees. That an adult could stand up in front of them and publicly and passionately love honeybees as much as they love their dogs, cats or grandparents, was a revelation (especially an adult bedecked with antennae and wings).

So love the bees or at least love who you love so passionately that it wells up and out of the cup of you like a great, warm, honey-ed libation, pouring over all of life (which happens to include the bees and everyone you care for). Prepare to fall in love more than ever you thought you could, for love will do its work and love will bring us home sweet home.

Blessed be. Blessed bees.



{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Linda Cammarata November 22, 2012 at 1:11 pm

Hi Debra,
Your energy and words are healing balm for the soul of the earth. We are so lucky to have you on the planet tending to all the beloveds that you the “Mother Bee” tends to. I feel blessed to know and love you. The connection you have with the bees, all things and that which is beyond is our blessing. Big hugs to the tiny striped bellies and you.


Debra Roberts November 22, 2012 at 3:09 pm

Linda, thank you so much for this lovely libation which pours all over me, the bees and all life on this Thanksgiving morning. Love you so ….


Raymond November 22, 2012 at 5:26 pm

Debra, This is beautiful and simple, as the great truths often are. These are things I need to be reminded of daily: everything starts with ‘good thoughts’; and ‘Love is the ultimate form of activism’.
Thank you.


Debra Roberts November 22, 2012 at 10:44 pm

Raymond, it is so good to hear from you. Always a lovely breeze that blows from your direction. Thank you for your beautiful words (oh man of words). blessings, Debra


Sara November 25, 2012 at 12:56 am

What thrilling and simple truths you’ve shared on a day that celebrates sharing a meal among strangers, when we know the relationships among “pilgrims” and “Indians” was not so simple or easy. I appreciate your message that love prevails.


Debra Roberts November 26, 2012 at 3:18 pm

Sara, so good to hear from you and thanks for your poignant and eloquent words. You are such a blessing in this life and in my life.


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