In May 2011, after four years of life on McNutt's Island, we moved to Montreal. This blog remains, though, as a (sort of) daily record of our time on the island, and a winding path for anyone who would like to meander about among its magical places. For additional perspectives and insights I recommend Greg's book, Island Year: Finding Nova Scotia (2010), and my Bowl of Light (2012). I'll continue to post once in a while. If you do want to read this blog, one option would be to begin at the beginning of it (which is, as we all know, in blog-world, at the end), and read forward, concluding with the most recent entry. It's a journal, really, so it does makes more sense if you read it that way. But, you know, read it any way you like.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

humming garden

There's not much reason to spend time in the garden these days but I do it anyway. Oh, I'm harvesting peas and bush beans and lettuce, collards and turnip greens and swiss chard and mustard greens. But mostly I'm just looking at things grow: squash, tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, cucumbers, pole beans. It gives me an excuse to wander around surrounded by the sound of a hundred bees humming away.
They've been hard at work in the garden all summer long. Just because the season is turning slowly toward fall is no reason to change their ways as far as they are concerned. There's still lots for them to do.
When we first moved to the island we couldn't imagine how anything got pollinated, since there were no honey bees.
We've learned that's one thing we can cross off our worry list.
The wild bees take care of everything. They don't make honey so humans don't think they are just the end-all and be-all. But humans can be short-sighted that way.
There's a Grimms Brothers tale called The Queen Bee. The youngest of three brothers, who was dwarfish and insignificant, followed his two older brothers out into the world.
He may have been insignificant but he was kind. Maybe his own dwarfishness gave him empathy for other small creatures.
In three episodes of the story, he defended first ants, then ducks and finally bees against the cruelties of his brothers.
Then came the tests to break the spell on an enchanted castle and win the hand of the princess.
They were quite impossible tests.
But the grateful ants, ducks and bees came to the aid of the youngest brother and so he was able to accomplish them all, even though his older, stronger, and no doubt more handsome brothers failed.
I often think of this story.

3 comments:

Piecefulafternoon said...

I love the bees. My favorite place to sit is under a flowering tree when the bees are about. We used to have a bush called a beauty bush and it was the favorite of the bees. The humming was intense and so wonderful. I must get another beauty bush.

Your garden is fabulous!

Anonymous said...

What a beautiful fairy tale and gorgeous photos!

Sara said...

I love the sound of all the bees doing their thing. My granddaughter is very afraid of all flying creatures, and I try to hold my patience while helping her to learn that bugs can be good!