I was visiting Alden Lane Nursery, wandering around outside admiring the plants and statuary when I saw a few honey bees gathered around a fountain. The longer I looked, the more bees I saw.
Many were on a fountain with a lily pad shaped platform. The lily pad was curved, with water running over the lower sections. Bees were on the edges of where the water flows, drinking; many of them.
The immediate response: Nourish yourself.
It is hot and dry here in the East Bay Area of California. The bees are busy – many flowering plants are available here in this small, well-tended haven. But each bee must care for itself first in order to contribute – in this instance, by staying hydrated.
I see individuals on other fountains – one hovers and drinks water cascading over the edge of a fountain, one is using the top of a spider’s web for balance as it drinks water cascading down the side of a large, blue jug-shaped fountain.
Another favorite gathering place: a more classic fountain with a central pedestal where the water cascades down to drip into a basin below. Again, the bees congregate either where the water is very shallow or at the edge of the water’s flow. Each knowing care for self allows the hive to thrive.
Creating honey reserves for the winter together, but utilizing the energy of the sun for as long as it lasts; soaking up the rays, living fully in community.
At the lily pad fountain, they are well shaded. A lone yellow jacket joins in to take a drink as well.
The message persists : Nourish yourself.
This is not exactly my strong suit – not something I learned as a child. My parents did not model self-care, and I was told what to do, not asked; presented with decisions made without my input. My opinion was rarely sought, and the question of what I might desire was seldom asked.
So as an adult, I have, like my parents, focused outside myself, concentrating on what others want. But the signs point increasingly to the need to focus within; to be fully in my own body, in my own heart, and asking myself what it is that I really want, in every facet of my life.
That is nourishing myself: investing in my own happiness; beautifying my own surroundings; going into my own heart and providing the love, encouragement , patience and compassion that I need to come home to myself and find my source of joy, my source of power and my path to a fulfilled life.
It’s time to find my own answers.
And all of this just from asking a simple question of the bees, “Do you have a message for me?”
And listening for – expecting – an answer.
Doing this is not rocket science; it is Heart Science, and anyone can do it. It is in honoring the Honey Bee as teacher that this is possible, and in asking for and receiving the answer from the heart, not the head. The rest flows in as well – how does it apply to my life? Perhaps I can go deeper and ask more questions – today there was no need.
Much gratitude to my wise teachers, the Honey Bees. I have my work cut out for me.