April 25, 2013

The Zen and Now of Beekeeping

When I was started this episode of MdDS, I knew it was triggered by flying and I made the decision to stop traveling (something BB and I love, BTW). But when symptoms persisted and persisted, I realized I had better make home a lot more interesting, because I was going to spend a LOT more time here. And so I began my journey as a beekeeper.
Look hard. In the vast expanses of prairie grass and pine trees, there are beehives in Colorado.
When I'm with my bees, especially just watching them fly in and out of their hive, I forget about all my cares. All of them. My symptoms are generally manageable, and in the past 5 years I've learned to dismiss my MdDS quite a bit. It's a Buddhist practice, I think. Yes, the ground just dropped out from under me. No, I'm not crazy. Move on. But when I'm focused on my bees, I don't even have to acknowledge/dismiss. When I'm with them, I'm symptom-free. This journey with the bees was the perfect thing, and the Backyard became a place where I could go to escape the day-in day-outness of having a brain disorder with no cure.

So it seemed a cruel twist of fate, being stung and having an allergic reaction. And if that weren't enough, fate thought it would be funny to kick me while I was down, and one of the colonies is already dead. I don't know what I did to deserve this.

I gave my beehives to people I knew would care for them, but should I have told them that the hives were not just bees for me. Should I have let them know that they were my only respite from the constancy of an invisible illness, that they had in their possession my panacea?

I tossed and turned all night, worrying about the poor bees, questioning my choices. It's harder now not being a beekeeper than actually being one. I want to just run out and grab the hives back, somehow undoing the whole giving away part of the story, and resume from the Oh-Crap-I'm-Having-an-Allergic-Reaction point. My bees need me, and I need them.

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