I love the teachings around each of our relations, the wind, crickets, salamanders, oak trees, brother sun, star nations…. each of them carrying their own special, unique medicine, or power. And of course, this includes the bees.
My wife, Mary, got into keeping bees last year. After a steep learning curve, she just extracted her first gallon and a half of wonderful, from this land honey. It is amazing for me to watch this woman, who for many years was deathly afraid of bees, climb into her suit and become centered while tending these tiny creatures of the air, sun and flowers. It’s almost a contradiction in terms of the medicine of bees: people see the business of bees, and it is an oft used saying in this part of the country: “busy as bees”. Though these tiny winged ones are out gathering, collecting, keeping the hive cool, protecting and doing all the many busy things that bees do, when Mary connects with them, it seems that both she and the bees move into a different energy.
Earlier this year, when Mary was performing some task or other on the hive, she tended to her business and then came up to me and asked me to see if there were bees on her back. Indeed, exactly in the center of Mary’s back was a cluster of about fifty bees in a perfect circle, slowly walking around, seemingly peaceful and somehow, at one with this human being. She asked me to gently brush them off, and I insistently reminded her that I had no bee suit on! We walked over near the hive and there I carefully brushed them off with a brush resembling a snow brush, but with softer bristles, that is made for that purpose. Not a sting, and not even a bee with ruffled feathers (if bees had feathers!).
I find myself at a stage of life where I have discovered the beauty of giving to others, but the balance is out of kilter. I find I have too little “un-booked” time, too many commitments. I love the medicine of the bee, but I think I need to investigate the medicine of the bear a bit more (introspection, slowing down, power). Or perhaps turtle medicine is what will bring me into that balance that I seek. For the moment, I will take the lessons of the bee and give thanksgiving for what it has brought into my life. After all, each relation has gifts to bring to the table.