If you reach your hand back into the mythscapes of history, you will find, over and over, the story of the sacred other. The lover. The Twin. The Sister. The Brother. The Sacred Adversary. The Mirror. The Queen and her King.
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I’m about to board another flight to London. I seriously can not wait for scones and tea at No. 9 on the Green in Wimborne. I am visualizing pouring cream into a saucer as I write. Heaven.
I’d like to take a moment to talk about why Feminist Beekeeping is a thing at all.
First, let’s understand a few things.
1. We are all struggling with language and the meaning behind words.
California is burning. Greece is burning. Norway is burning. England is burning. The land is hot, cracked, brittle. The veins feel feeble, dry. As a child of California, I know fire season, but not like this.
I woke up Monday morning to sirens, smoke and a litany of texts from concerned family and friends. The first text I read was from my housemate telling me Santa Rosa, the city where I live, was on fire. The city itself. Within minutes I was dressed and throwing belonging into my car, searching the blackened skyline for flames, and trying to find out if I was in immediate danger.
The dreams were waking me up at night. Black widows inside my home. Black widows all over the ceiling. Black widows building webs closer and closer to me. No way out. I am not particularly afraid of spiders, although I am cautious of black widows, having grown up in an old 1930s home. I tried to reason out why I was having these nightmares. I read about black widow symbolism. I questioned my relationship to spider, web and venom. For two weeks my nights were filled with the dark ladies. Then, one morning, after other terrifying infestation dream, I opened my eyes and said aloud “It’s my bees. There is a black widow inside my hive.”
It’s going to be hot out there. No-option-but-naked kind of hot. Snake weather.
The bees will be gathering water from the banks of the Eel. The water ouzel will be dancing her grey-winged hop up and down the river. The bears wont come near. There are too many of us.
In Northern California there is still snow in the hills and rain on the weather forecast. However, despite the winter chill, it’s time to start thinking about getting bees. Regardless of where you live, late winter is the time most local bee breeders start selling bee packages and nuc. You wont receive your bees until the spring, but if you want to ensure you’re going to get bees this season, it’s best to buy them now.
Melissa bends low and plucks a small herb growing out of the cobble stones in front of her house. She holds it up to the light and shows me the tiny perforated holes in the leaves.
“That’s how you can tell it’s the medicinal St. John’s Wort.”
Angharad has just returned from a walk with a handful of blackberries, elderflowers, nettle and apple. She is going to make a fruit crisp and some tea. Three things about this:
1) Angharad wildcrafts like some people (me) frequent cafes; It’s a nonchalant, every-day sort of thing.
California is burning right now. When I left my home state the air quality of my town was registering at the most hazardous level it can go. Can’t even leave the house, they say. Strange then, to come to a place with so much water.
I’m 4,875 meters above England, moving at a ground speed of 463 km/h. To my left the sun is doing that peaches-on-a-bed-of-whipped-cream thing to the clouds. It’s obviously very beautiful. And I’m trying out this whole blogging thing because we can blog from the sky now. And also because of bees.