Lest They Sicken

Tell the bees. They require news of the house;
they must know, lest they sicken
from the gap between their ignorance and our grief.
Speak in a whisper. Tie a black swatch
to a stick and attach the stick to their hive.
From the fortress of casseroles and desserts
built in the kitchen these past few weeks
as though hunger were the enemy, remove
a slice of cake and lay it where they can
slowly draw it in, making a mournful sound.

And tell the fly that has knocked on the window all day.
Tell the redbird that rammed the glass from outside
and stands too dazed to go. Tell the grass,
though it’s already guessed, and the ground clenched in furrows;
tell the water you spill on the ground,
then all the water will know.
And the last shrunken pearl of snow in its hiding place.

Tell the blighted elms, and the young oaks we plant instead.
The water bug, while it scribbles
a hundred lines that dissolve behind it.
The lichen, while it etches deeper
its single rune. The boulders, letting their fissures widen,
the pebbles, which have no more to lose,
the hills—they will be slightly smaller, as always,

when the bees fly out tomorrow to look for sweetness
and find their way
because nothing else has changed.
~Sarah Lindsay “Tell the Bees”

So many around the globe are grieving their losses, their reality forever changed by a virus. Yet the world churns on, oblivious to the sorrows of individuals.

The tradition of telling the bees is that it matters to the community of hives how people who care for them are faring: is there a wedding coming up? a baby due? an overwhelming illness? a death of a loved one? If a hive is kept in ignorance, the cloud of grief will sicken them or drive them away. Shared grief is a nurturing spirit that allows the community to thrive and move on in sweetness.

Nothing happens without an impact down the line; the butterfly effect is also the bee effect. We speak softly of our desolation and suffering so our tears water thirsty ground.

Let the bees know, let them hear; the bees will go about their work and they will turn our sorrow to honey.

2 thoughts on “Lest They Sicken

  1. What a whimsical look at Bees.
    This little guy is lost in his daily responsibility hoping for a big ‘catch.’
    to bring home to the nest.
    It’s nice to see him ‘so clearly, ‘up close and
    personal’ (but not too close).

    The flowers that you have chosen to show here
    are realistic and stunning, making your comment germane
    (as you always do, Emily).

    Many sights move me to stop whatever I am doing so I try to shut out any interference to seek the beauty
    around me and to meditate upon the many God-given gifts of all that is before me. It is the Holy Spirit that opens
    my eyes and my soul to actually ‘SEE’ and understand through His eyes. I believe that is what you do, using your artistry as a photographer is to use your indwelling Spirit so that we can see what you see.

    Thank you for that gift, Emily.

    Liked by 1 person

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