Bee orchestra in the cherry tree.
There's a bee orchestra in the cherry tree. Bees descend in a buzzing cloud in the earliest morning, when the sky is still gray pearl and the nectar has risen to a peak in the Surinam cherry blossoms on the tree in our backyard. The tree is graceful as a twisted silvery candelabra holding aloft arms swathed in tiny, pure white flowers. Petals spiral down onto me occasionally as I sit, enveloped in intense fragrance, sweet and thick as olfactory honey.
The sound of the bees is a sort of tuning fork, a vibration that my ears translate to humming song. As I look up into the branches, black against the morning-bloomed sky, I can see the individual bees, speedy and intent, silhouettes of industry.
I’m sitting in the Reject Rocker, one of Mike’s discarded projects—a Windsor style in curly mango that refused to cooperate and ended up listing ever so slightly in various directions. It’s unbelievably comfortable, though, and holds me in supportive arms as I soak in the surfeit of sensory input—scent, sound, sight, and now feeling, as a drift of petals and pistils land across my writing hands on my lap, magical filaments shaken loose by the movement of a million beating wings and tiny busy gathering legs.
You’d think all these were signs of spring—but this is Hawaii, and every year this tree gives up its leaves and bursts into a flagrant crescendo of blossoms in December. It’s an amazing experience, and it happens every year in my very own disheveled and cozy back yard.
This is the first time in twelve years of living here I’ve really taken time to experience the bee orchestra in the cherry tree. I’m entering a minimalistic phase in my life. All I want to do is write, work, and be in positive relationship with others and nature, at peace with God in the midst of a simple life—yet it comes at a time when the world has become ever more complex and connected.
Are these things incompatible? I wonder, and experiment with slowing down and experiencing a bee orchestra–even as we ramp up for the chaos that has become Christmas.
What about you? What phase are you in?
We get them around the blossom on the palm trees. A helluva (lovely) din. But you know what? I’ve just discovered we have a hive of native stingless bees in an old tree stump and that gave me the biggest buzz ever. I was going to build a hive for them – and now I don’t have to.
So glad to hear that, how wonderful nature provided what was needed.
I have been trying hard to focus on mindfulness. I have a very hard time staying in the moment, and that leads to a lot of problems with my ever-spinning brain. I think I may bookmark this to keep as a tool for when I need to slow down and soak up the beauty (especially here in Oregon where December is dark and rainy and NOTHING is blooming, lol).
Try to notice all your senses when you are practicing mindfulness. It may help you stay in the moment.
This is SO well done.
Thank you Tim, for taking the time to comment and to be a friend online! Aloha and happy holidays!
I do love honey bees and cherry trees. Looks and sounds like music to me.
Beautifully written…Hmm, I think I need to ask the carpenter man to make me a rocker for the porch but he hates doing furniture, prefers houses. I noticed in my 40s I’m much more reflective and observant of the every day. It brings a whole new appreciation to life, nature and mother earth.
He’ll get to it when he gets to it…that’s what my carpenter man says!
That writing is just why I love your books.
I have the same question you pose at the end “Are these things incompatible?” The connection saved me on my long move to Maui but so did my ability to observe and reflect. It is a balancing act or as I prefer to envision it harmonizing, making it all sing together.
Honey Bees are so precious and are in such danger of extinction that every time I see them flying from flower to flower in our own garden (yes… disheveled, too) I can’t help but stop and watch.
You have a lovely writing style. Love the description. It takes me right to the moment that you have captured so eloquently in words.
Thanks for popping by the blog, aloha!
Seriously, I have a bit of an infatuation with bees. Fresh, local honey sings an even sweeter song than the actual bees! Great post. Thanks!
Me too, I’m a bee-holic! Thanks for stopping in!
I want a mango Reject Rocker too. Sounds so comfy, and I can just smell the wood 🙂
It’s special that’s for sure.