Yesterday I moved about 5000 bees about 200 miles in the back of my car – a million bee-miles!
Though I’ve been keeping bees for a few years, I’ve never cared for them on my own before, and I have to say my heart was going pitter-pat on the Mass Pike. Partly I was worried about being a headline in the Darwin Contest if I hit a big bump in the road (“woman stung 5000 times in her own car”), but as the miles ticked away I realized it was also because of a great sense of responsibility.
Luckily, these bees have one of the best bee-homes in the world. Lots of flowers, no pesticides, and a neighbor bear to keep them on their toes. As I moved each frame into the hive I welcomed them to their new home, and my nervousness was replaced by a great sense of calm and joy.
Dear Honeybees, where is your homecoming today?
Whether it’s to a house or to another person or to a community or to your own body and soul,
Whether in investing or life, we like to pretend that risk comes with a choice. And it does, kind of. But it’s not a choice of whether, it’s a choice of type.
Brother David elaborates:
If we choose the “risk free” option, it just means we’re shifting from one risk to another. A money market fund has near-zero risk of loss, but it carries with it the risk of near-zero gains as well. A career spent in a risk free job carries the risk of boredom. A risk-free social life carries the risk of endless what-ifs.
Dear Honeybees, whatever we choose today, it will be a risk.
Let’s choose the risk that’s worth taking.
I’ve been unplugged this past week, which brought all sorts of attention and astonishment. There will be lots to tell in weeks and months and years ahead; for now, here is a tiny morning video meditation from the Andes for you.
Whatever you are doing, pause.
Take a deep breath.
(Here is the link if your device doesn’t show the preview: https://youtu.be/Ot2dSsrf6ss).
As you read this I am happily unplugged in Ecuador, looking forward to seeing what arises to fill that vast un-screened space — and to sharing it with you upon return in our regular posts, resuming next Sunday (June 10).
I’ve been spending time lately in some circles where it’s cool to be cynical, clever to be critical. If you dare to raise a note of optimism in this crowd, you risk being branded a simpleton.
Oblivious la-la-la fingers-in-my-ears optimism might well deserve this kind of dismissal. But informed hope and conscious joy are not simple endeavors at all.
It is courageous to be hopeful.
It is defiant to be joyful.
Dear Honeybees, whatever the facts might be today, let’s consider them carefully.
And then, fully aware, let’s go forth. With joy.
* This quote is from Wendell Berry’s Manifesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front – the full text is pasted below and is well worth savoring. You can learn more about the context for Wendell’s work and can support its ongoing influence at the Berry Center website.
Manifesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front
Love the quick profit, the annual raise,
vacation with pay. Want more
of everything ready-made. Be afraid
to know your neighbors and to die.
And you will have a window in your head.
Not even your future will be a mystery
any more. Your mind will be punched in a card
and shut away in a little drawer.
When they want you to buy something
they will call you. When they want you
to die for profit they will let you know.
So, friends, every day do something
that won’t compute. Love the Lord.
Love the world. Work for nothing.
Take all that you have and be poor.
Love someone who does not deserve it.
Denounce the government and embrace
the flag. Hope to live in that free
republic for which it stands.
Give your approval to all you cannot
understand. Praise ignorance, for what man
has not encountered he has not destroyed.
Ask the questions that have no answers.
Invest in the millenium. Plant sequoias.
Say that your main crop is the forest
that you did not plant,
that you will not live to harvest.
Say that the leaves are harvested
when they have rotted into the mold.
Call that profit. Prophesy such returns.
Put your faith in the two inches of humus
that will build under the trees
every thousand years.
Listen to carrion — put your ear
close, and hear the faint chattering
of the songs that are to come.
Expect the end of the world. Laugh.
Laughter is immeasurable. Be joyful
though you have considered all the facts.
So long as women do not go cheap
for power, please women more than men.
Ask yourself: Will this satisfy
a woman satisfied to bear a child?
Will this disturb the sleep
of a woman near to giving birth?
Go with your love to the fields.
Lie down in the shade. Rest your head
in her lap. Swear allegiance
to what is nighest your thoughts.
As soon as the generals and the politicos
can predict the motions of your mind,
lose it. Leave it as a sign
to mark the false trail, the way
you didn’t go.
Be like the fox
who makes more tracks than necessary,
some in the wrong direction.