Friday, August 28, 2009


As a young girl, whenever I was stung by a bee, we began to notice that each time I was stung, my reaction became worse. At age twenty, I was a camp counselor and we were playing frisbee in a field. As I attempted to catch the frisbee, a bee stung me. I immediately began to go into shock and a red streak began to go up my arm. From that point on, I have been prepared for an emergency situation. Initially, I learned how to give myself an injection with a hypodermic. The next model resembled an ink pen. Now, I carry the new and improved version of the EpiPen, which is cased in a convenient plastic case.

Doug accuses me of trying to come on to him on our second date because I needed to educate him as to how to administer the injection before we went hiking together. (One needs to stab the needle into the fleshy part of the thigh.) It was not a come-on, it was a possible matter of life and death. Whenever I am out with anyone, I have to educate them in how to administer the injection as whenever I am stung, I "go" quickly.
Despite my allergy, I have long admired bees. Friends and family are aware of my affection for bees and often ask "why do you love something that could potentially kill you?" I am fascinated by them. The same friends and family buy me household items which are adorned with bees. I consume copious amounts of the product of the bees labor. I love honey and put it in my tea. I buy my honey at the farmers market by the half-gallon. Bees live in a colony lifestyle, and revere their queen, they possess a complex communication style with which they communicate to one another where to find the "good" flowers. Bees are extremely intelligent creatures. They work hard with purpose and intent. They care for their dead. They keep their living space clean. In many ways, in my opinion, they are superior to many people that I know. I first fell in love with bees while reading The Secret Life of Bees. The movie, too, was beautiful.
Some time back, I happened upon Beeing, by Rosanne Daryl Thomas.
She tells the tale of being a single mom, of her journey of self-discovery, of her daughter's faith in her (which is more than she has in herself). She tells the tale of going from being a woman who had never picked up or used a hammer to one who becomes quite adept at the skill of hammering and the pride she feels in her accomplishments.
I was a single mom. I remember buying a picnic table which came in a long flat box and pouring the contents out onto my back patio. I felt overwhelmed, but determined. It was with great pride that I sat upon the bench and dined from that table many a time. It was the same pride and sense of accomplishment that I felt when I would put my new license plate onto my car. I would step back and look at it and think "I did that!" Such is the case in the journey that Thomas takes with her bees.
Thomas cares for each of her 180,000 bees as if she were mother to each of them. She falls in love with them and assumes responsibility for each of her charges. She feels protective of the bees and hives and as a mother away from a child, her thoughts are never far from them. Like a mother tending a baby in a crib, she checks on them frequently in order to reassure herself that she is doing it right, that they are thriving.
One cannot read this book with learning a great deal about the art of bee keeping. Although beekeeping is not a possibility in my own life, I am fascinated by it. My "egg lady" a.k.a. new beekeeper is now reading Beeing. I can't wait to hear what she has to say about the book from the perspective of a real beekeeper. The "egg lady/beekeeper" recently sent this website to me. It reveals the beauty of these magnificent tiny, fastidious creatures.

1 comment:

Hope said...

Hi Cheryl~
It has been awhile since I visited. I almost came to Papertrix the other when I heard you were working there. Hope this finds you well....and your blog looks awesome.

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