Life – a precious gift I so often take for granted. Events of the past week have turned that blatant disregard into profound gratitude.
I began keeping bees about three years ago. My first two years were unsuccessful. But last year, bees I obtained from my bee mentor, Mike, were strong and vibrant. They provided me with my first honey harvest, wintered well, and come spring were out and about pollinating the neighborhood.
Two Sundays ago I knew it was beyond time to open the hive to see what the bees needed. As Mike was very busy with other bee issues, his work and his life, I decided to go it alone even though I felt a bit of trepidation since I’d never performed this task before.
While working the hive one bee got up inside my veil. This is where my inexperience kicked in. Instead of simply killing that one bee, I ended up taking off the veil. The bees went at my head, getting into my hair and buzzing all around. Trying to remain calm I used my gloved hands to comb them out of my hair. By this point I was getting stung repeatedly. Finally I got them all off, went inside, showered and pulled out the stingers I could find.
Having been stung before I didn’t think I was in danger of anything besides a number of hurting, swollen spots. But my body responded differently to around 20 stings. Not long after my heart was racing, my face was beet red, my chest hurt and I felt my throat closing up.
I tend to think I’m invincible but at my son’s insistence I went to the ER. They fixed me up with their drugs.
Still I am dealing with the systemic problem of the toxins in my body and have felt quite strange since the event – coughing, weak, nauseous, tired and a seriously non-functioning brain.
Then on the following Friday I learned that my sister had a freak bicycle accident on Thursday. She ran into a garbage can, fell and broke her hip. She ended up in surgery with a total hip replacement. Needless to say I was very upset and worried by this. Life was seeming very precarious.
As it turns out recovery from hip replacement is very good and most people can return to a normal life maintaining activities such as low impact sports like hiking, biking and swimming.
Being to forced to slow down has made me reevaluate the way I live. My worry about money sets me on a course of constant doing – striving to create income from my art – creating a life seriously out of balance. The Celtic Dark Goddess, The Morrigan comes to mind. She is a complex and difficult goddess who reminds me that chaos and darkness are part of the flux and flow of life. For something to come together, something must fall apart. When facing overwhelming challenges The Morrigan with Her power of life and death guides us to our own inner strength. Another world, another way is possible
These experiences have given me new eyes with which to see the world. All seems to shimmer around me now – the beautiful turquoise sky, the crystal clear mountains, and the blossoming trees and flowers glow in sharp relief. Tears well up in my eyes for no real reason as I feel the sweetness of life. Any petty hurts or sadnesses I have nursed retreat to the realm of the absurd, chased away by love; by gratitude for my family and friends; by gratitude for the gift of life.