Monday, July 18, 2011

Sweet as Honey

Honey and bees have long held a soft spot in my heart.  No, not going back to an early childhood when I was stung on the chin and thought I might collapse from the pain.  But from some point when my brother turned bee-keeper and my mother turned honey collector.  Since then, I've watched a hive spontanously create just feet from where we sat;  listened raptly to my big brother's tales of the lengths he has gone to for his live-hive rescue business; and I've sat and eaten fresh honey right through its chewy wax honeycomb direct from the outdoor hives of our good friend, mr. bees.

And, yes, as an adult that soft-spot was momentarily hardened when I was stung by grabbing a poor innocent bee .  My bad.  Not the bees fault, of course.  They are the providers, while we are the takers.

About four weeks ago, I was walking to my studio and came across this show in the windows of a local restaurant.  It was a beautiful tribute to bees and a reminder to the current state of bees in our lives:  They're dwindling, to say the least, and, yeah, it's not good.  In any way.

{more photos, all lit by the sf sky}

So, in the serendipitous way that life works, two weeks ago, my sister, mom and I were flying down the french country roads, in search of a bread factory, when I saw this gorgeous sign and called out, 
did either of you see that big sign for honey?
Squeal to a stop, reverse and suddenly we're in the driveway of two old school beekeepers, husband and wife team, just home for lunch between markets.  Car full of honey jars.

With sheer luck and a keen interest in anything off the beaten path, we recognize this privilege:  getting to glimpse the past, while feeling a hope for the future.

What is a way of life, passed down to those in the next generation on those country roads is, in city-living,  beloved by only some.
I'm happy to count myself as one of them.

     ~ our own mr. bees, jon rolston, 
        shows us how it's done ~

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