|Southern Yellowjacket, Vespula squamosa, on Camellia sasanqua "Yuletide," December 31, 2010, Santa Rosa County, Florida|
|Honeybee on Camellia sasanqua "Yuletide," Santa Rosa County, Florida, December 31, 2010|
At the time, I thought I was being foolish, adding plants to a home we might have to sell or possibly lose to the bank. SAM probably thought so too, but he didn't discourage me. He knew that I was cultivating hope, something for the future. The honeybees evidently think the future is important too. They're busy even at this time of year in Northwest Florida. You would think they'd stay cozy in their hive, keeping each other warm, and letting the world go to hell in a hand basket. No, some of them are out trying to find fresh supplies of nectar and pollen so the rest of the hive can survive the winter. They just don't know any better, I guess. Unemployment is never an issue for them or the rest of their family. They're insulated from that kind of disaster at least, and they stick together for the ones that do strike. The honey helps with the sticking together, of course, but it's really that prime directive planted in their little brains that keeps them going: Keep the hive alive, whatever the cost!
old house I showed you in late 2009 when the wind was scheduled to break. It's still falling down. What a disappointment that must be to the people directly across the street who have recently listed their home for sale. Too bad for them that the late-season tropical storm didn't go far enough and bring the whole thing crashing down. It appears as if its last inhabitants' fortune endured death by a thousand cuts, a slow decline that, unfortunately, left a telltale, if bloodless, sign of things to come for homeowners all over the United States.
After great pain, a formal feeling comes--
The Nerves sit ceremonious, like Tombs--
The stiff Heart questions was it He, that bore,
And Yesterday, or Centuries before?
The Feet, mechanical, go round--
Of Ground, or Air or Ought--
A Wooden way
A Quartz contentment, like a stone--
This is the Hour of Lead--
Remembered, if outlived,
As Freezing persons, recollect the Snow--
First--Chill--then Stupor--then the letting go--
(Emily Dickinson, c. 1862)
It seems that Miss Emily had considered that famous biblical prophecy a time or two: "Because of the increase of lawlessness, the love of most will grow cold..." The inevitability of life's struggles, the weight of the world's troubles, not to mention personal trials--all of it seems too much to bear, alone at least. That must be how love grows cold, in individual souls, one at a time, cultivated over time, nurtured by anger or fear and then eventually paralyzed into inaction.
It's an interesting thing, this idea of growing cold. C. S. Lewis in his story of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe used eternal Winter as a trope to describe the expansion of coldheartedness, something that grows as faith contracts.
we first planted those suckers from the original blueberry plants almost two years ago. It looks like our garden will need to be even more fruitful in the near future.
There may be more mouths to feed from this garden. Let's hope it and we are up to the task. The soil, at least, is getting better all the time. Someone we know who raises chickens has promised me something to make it even richer. Hey, we take what we can get!