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Rekindling the Romance?

That which is in the process of becoming seems to me to be a different way of connecting with and communing with the bees and through them Nature, the soul of the earth, Anima Mundi.

Inspiration works in the strangest of ways. We can feel its effects, its repercussions, we may feel enlivened by it, and yet remain unknowing of its source. November’s blessings are many, the chief one, maybe, the thinning of the veils between the sense-perceptible and the unseen. It is the month that begins with Hallowed Eve, All Saints, Samhain. The beginning of the darker part of the year coincides with a growing awareness of the world of the dead. In earlier cultures people were more attuned to that, and it is to them we owe our festivals.

In Nature, a mood of leave-taking, of dying away, of shedding the summer. The bees are quiet, mostly. As our thoughts turn to the bee-silent time ahead we can share in the spirit of thankfulness that connects us to all others in the world whom we have met in our beekeeping life, thankfulness for our bee-inspired lives’ true harvest that is not honey. Thinking about harvest, many things come to mind when we really start thinking.

“We know that the Bee is a wonderful way of introducing the concept of the Oneness that encompasses the whole world, indeed the whole cosmos, and my own inner work has recently been in this direction”

This message I received – a while ago – from one with whom I am connected in bee love and work. Part of a call to action, of sorts. Outwardly, there has been no action. However, some words I saw posted on facebook this morning brought it all back. Rekindling the Romance, was a bee friend’s comment on a photograph I had posted, of an exquisite honeybee nest. (You know what a bee nest can look like when the bees can build it free from man-made constraints, such as box-shaped hives and so-called foundation, preformed sheets of wax impregnated with all the chemicals some benighted beekeepers still insist on bestowing on their bees). And whilst the body of the Bien, that beautiful structure of snow white combs, has nothing to do with romance in the usual sense, I understood the comment perfectly. The sight of such a marvel kindles something in us, it speaks to what Rudolf Steiner called the hidden language of the soul, our feeling for truth.

Has the Bee, that mysterious oneness of love and purpose embodied in the hive, power to help us? To really help us beekeepers to “do right” by the bees, perhaps by subtly leading us us ever more towards a deep appreciation of Nature, of the creative forces of the world? If that was so, what would follow from that for our work with the bees?

Regarding the unseen, the supersensible, we are all familiar with it. Whenever we fondly recall something beautiful we experienced with our grandfather or mother or father who is no longer with us on earth, we connect to that world. We know then that the dead are with us, always. When we cherish their memory their inspiring power can come alive. They can kindle many a small flame deep in our souls. Through them we may feel connected to a world of spirit that we deny at our peril. And when we appreciate with all our senses any living thing, we affirm that world.

At this time of post-harvest thankfulness, November, we can feel connected to each another in our inner work, and also in our shared gratitude for what they have brought us – the bees. Connected, too, in soul and spirit to the vast community of people inspired by bees. Some in this world, some in the other. One can take heart in that and feel encouraged in the true sense of that word which has coeur at its root.

Working together like bees we may hope to find “that which is in the process of becoming ….. a different way of connecting with and communing with the bees and through them Nature, the soul of the earth, Anima Mundi.

I thank the Turkish artist Arif Turan for his work – such beautiful testimony to the bees’ sublime nature, and my colleagues at the Natural Beekeeping Trust for enduring inspiration:)

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