The planet is our home; we need to be more responsible. Here's what I do.
I’m sitting on the allotment listening to the overhead power lines make that funny vibration noise. Over head a clear blue sky boasts one strong jet plane trail and the whispiest of clouds.
A fly is harassing me, the way only flies do, flitting from my leg to my arm and back again. Meanwhile there’s the vague drift of allotment voices, nodding and agreeing with each other as we all value the unusual May warmth.
In between the rumble of an occasional train passing the only other important noise is the steady droning of the bees. Constant motion.
Oh and a bumble bee approaching her nest behind a dandelion under the storage box.
The bees are busy. This morning we took eight beautiful honey combs from their hive. The combs went straight back to our kitchen where we stripped their precious cargo away. Then we returned with the battered waxen shells. They are back inside the hive now and the industrious girls have already set about repairing the damage.
There has been no enquiry and no protest. The loss of honey hasn’t led to claims for compensation, revenge or retribution.
The girls didn’t flee our into the world looking for the culprits waving their stings in the air.
Instead they will clean the empty cells and straighten them out. They will begin filling them with nectar once again.
As I sit here wondering about my own labours and contemplating the other things I could be doing, I could bemoan the gherkins that have already withered and the broad bean gaps where plants no longer grow. I could be disappointed about the nasturtiums that didn’t flourish or the good ole one plum tree.
Or maybe I can learn something from the bees and just appreciate the tomatoes that are getting taller and the indigo anemone that just opened up. I could enjoy the borage that returned successfully this year and marvel at the honeysuckle preparing to bloom. Then there’s the new experimental achocha starting to spindle toward the waiting arch that will support it’s fruit.
Bees are remarkable. Unwaged workers committed to the colony. Their positive attitude is ceaseless. Their work load unlimited yet they are loyal and courageous.
When they swarm, they will participate as a group and stick together. They spread the smell if the queen so no-one gets lost. If there is a threat to their giant family they take action.
Maybe it’s the warm weather, the bright sunshine or the green location, but I’m in a contemplative mood!
a blog by a multilingual expat-since-birth, linguist, researcher, mum of three, living in the Netherlands and writing about bilingualism, multiculturalism, parenting abroad, international life...