I got a bit of bee medicine a couple of days ago. Having started keeping bees last year, it certainly wasn’t my first sting. This girl stung me on my left eyebrow. A swollen finger, hand, or arm doesn’t slow me down much or make me think about why I got stung. But the eye is a different thing.
This bite occurred as a result of my own carelessness. I was checking on my bees who had just been moved from their home in a hollow tree branch to my hive. Though I know better, I hadn’t put on my bee bonnet. My only defense for such stupidity is that I’ve been moving at the speed of light these past few months. That speed has thrown me off center. Thus I opened the hive without my veil and one little bee stung me on my eyebrow.
The really weird thing is I’m sure the sting was right on an acupuncture point on the side of my face where I suffered from Bell’s Palsy (partial facial paralysis), about 15 years ago. Yesterday, the day after the bite, I woke up with a very swollen eye. It didn’t really hurt but it’s hard to see out of such a swollen eye which strangely enough looks kind of like a bee’s eye. After working in my studio, teaching and working in my studio some more, I felt really tired. Plus it was getting hard to keep my eyes focused with the one eye being contact-lenseless and swollen. So I took a nap! Being full of nervous energy with more ideas than time, I rarely allow myself such a luxury.
My little bee spoke to me with her sting. She cried out, “Slow Down. Take it easy. Pay attention to how you move through the world.” And who knows… maybe her medicine will help straighten out the last little bit of crookedness left on my face as a result of the Bell’s Palsy.
Another strange synchronicity is that I finished this painting, Brigid’s Garden, the day before the sting. Bees are sacred to Brigid, Celtic Goddess of Healing, Poetry, and Smithcraft. It was believed that her bees brought their magical nectar to earth from her apple orchard in the Otherworld. You can read more about Brigid on my blog post on the Feminism and Religion blog.