020 – Resilience

Worker bees arrange their bodies to partially block an entrance, constricting air flow on a cool morning.

We blamed it on COVID, because we could. But the issues were deeper than that. Turns out, we’re lonely. A lot of us don’t like our jobs, the people we work with, the people we go to church with, the people we sleep with and have breakfast separately. We don’t like them, and if an authority insists that we stop being together, we don’t fight back very hard. Some of us found lockdown and work-from-home, online school, Zoom meetings to be sweet release from the grind.

At once, many of us were using our participation in work and school and church and family to keep us going from one day to the next. When that participation was curtailed, we were faced with a vacancy of meaning and personal identity which was twice as terrifying as the threat of respiratory failure. We didn’t realize how much we were depending on the hugs, the smiles, the incidental touch in the grocery store to remind us of our personhood. Yes, I really am here, alive. For just this moment, until the next, I matter.

This freshly constructed comb holds some ripening nectar (the liquid) and pollen from multiple sources (different colored cake substance).

And I succumbed to it, in degree. I kept working, kept up my family and church roles, but I let my bees and my poultry down. I allowed the worry and the angst that was trying to corral us into consumer patterns to take away the personal energy which goes into animal husbandry. So I neglected the bees, and some of them died. I am sad for it.

But bees are resilient! And so am I resilient and so are you resilient! I did not lose them all, and this crop of spring honey represents a return from a winter of drear into a new summer of productivity and refreshed relationships and joy. Jab or no jab, mask or no mask, on a five-inch screen or in full and living color, Creator gives life so we must live. And the honey … is it not sweet?

They are faint, but in center of some of the cells you can see recently laid eggs; they look like tiny kernels of rice standing on end.