June 9, 2016

An ecstatic pollen bath

Walking by my flower beds yesterday evening, my ears filled with the buzz of flapping wings.  I looked down to see bees all over my lavender plants.  Each plant had easily 15 bees on it.  How exciting!  

You hear more and more about how bee populations are struggling with environmental factors and other predatory insects wiping out vast quantities of them.  We are fortunate to have a healthy and active set of hives across the street from us.  The man who owns them offered to set one up in our yard too as soon as he has enough bees to split off a new hive.   

As I watched the bees fluttering about, I followed one that flew up towards my taller hollyhocks.  It landed smack in the middle of one of the big black flowers and commenced an ecstatic pollen bath.  It rolled and crawled and covered its whole body in pollen.  The black petals, too, were smudged with it.  The bee seemed oblivious to everything except for gorging itself on Mother Nature's sweet gift.  

Watching this whole scene reminded me of a poem I had once read, which I went back and looked up again.  Enjoy!

Extract from Kahlil Gibran’s "The Prophet"

And now you ask in your heart, 
"How shall we distinguish that which is good in pleasure from that which is not good?" 
Go to your fields and your gardens, and you shall learn that it is the pleasure of the bee to gather honey of the flower, 
But it is also the pleasure of the flower to yield its honey to the bee. 
For to the bee a flower is a fountain of life, 
And to the flower a bee is a messenger of love, 
And to both, bee and flower, the giving and the receiving of pleasure is a need and an ecstasy. 

People of Orphalese, be in your pleasures like the flowers and the bees.

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