• Jenny Dunaway

Honeybees



I've always been afraid of bees, always. The memory of being stung multiple times as a child causes my heart to beat faster and my body goes into fight or flight mode. I confess to overreacting numerous times throughout my life. This fearless, strong woman immediately became a wuss. Except this year...Our garden has really flourished beyond what we ever imagined when we first planted the flowers over the past couple of years. Around the birdbath there are columbine, foxglove, and butterfly weed. The columbine and foxglove are waning but the butterfly weed has taken off. We went through a dry spell a few weeks ago so I had to water the garden everyday. I noticed a couple of honeybees resting on the stones in the birdbath and a couple on the frog candle holder. That old familar sensation of fear seized my body but I had to put water in the birdbath. So, I took a deep breath, put the hose on the gentlest setting, and slowly began to fill the basin of the birdbath. The bees didn't leave, instead they were joined by dozens more, all settling on the stones in the birdbath. Not one attacked me. Not one even attempted to harm me. I was amazed. There were scores of bees on the flowers, in the air, and hovering above the birdbath. It was almost magical. I watched the bees do a dance, fly off, and then more of their friends came to check out the birdbath. Every afternoon when I water, the ritual is the same. After a few times, I no longer felt afraid. I welcomed our time together.

The flower doesn't dream of the bee. It blossoms and the bee comes. For most of my life, I dreamed of Mr. Right. Clearly, that strategy was flawed. When I finally decided to focus on me, Michael came into my life. Like the flower, I had to blossom before the bee found me. Our garden has become my haven. With the bees, butterflies, dragonflies, frogs, and birds, I am never alone. I feel closer to God and more like me, there, than just about anywhere. I just had to be still to get past my fear. Bees are pretty cool critters, after all!