by Debra Roberts on December 16, 2020

My heart is spilling over with tenderness as I stand amongst the hives in the bee sanctuary. It is cold now. Some hives are strong and clustered, singing their winter songs. But Mishti Mishti colony just took her last breath, this name meaning sweet sweet in Bengali. They had a soft crossing, as Grandmother Red Leaf used to say. Strong in the honey times and now dwindled back to source with the turning of this season. May peace be upon her soul. It is harder to be a bee in the world in these times. Life and death seem to have a way of courting us at the same time.

How much have we impoverished ourselves and our relationship with all of life by the many ways we imagine those we share this earth with need to serve us? Our honey, our crops being pollinated, and even this thought, our saving them? What if the awe and reverence we feel in their presence, in this chapel of devotion that naturally arises in proximity with them, is the thing? What if that is the nectar that goes ignored as we stumble around the table looking for something else we are sure we must have?

I am not afraid of my death or of theirs. And always, when death visits them I am utterly bereft. I will not turn from that feeling for it is part of the wild loving pulse of this precious and mysterious life. It seems that love requires no less from me than fully inhabiting the fragile territory of the robustly broken-open heart.

Honeybees come and go, to and from the fields, to and from their hives … and to and from this life. I am bathed (and bathed again) by their grace, their light, and their benevolence. Wing-ed miracles I kneel before you. There is beauty in both living and dying. My love of bees uplifts and annihilates me daily these small, small deaths that mark the fullness of a very blessed life, this mishti mishti life.

Blessed be. Blessed bees. Blessed Mishti Mishti.



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