After buzzing around on errands all day, I pause for a moment to watch the honeybees at the hive. Bees in autumn are a nervous bunch. Do they know the snow will fly soon? Summer’s floral bounty long past, there is little left for them outside the hive. They grasp any remaining blossom they can find. The feast narrows to a neglected lettuce plant. It offers an abundant spread of thimble-sized butter yellow blossoms. The bees fly in, grab on, their heads burrow deep. They curl their tiny bottoms in. Grasping, ravenous, all in the suckling as an infant, feeding not on mother’s milk but nature’s nectar.
In autumn, we harvest all we can, savor each drop of summer’s warmth and beauty like honey. Thick. Sticking to itself with a force of nature. As honey coats the spoon, drips slow, we hang on and hope for no release or at least slow release. The last leaves on the maple, the last color in distant hills, the last warmth we so craved in spring, we suck like honey from the comb. Did we not savor each summer day? Was there too much beauty? If there were fewer, we could take the time, make the time, eke the joy of each gem.
Soon the bees will return to the hive for the winter. We will gather the fruits of their labor. They transformed sunshine, rain, and flowers into honey. Eternal gold. Yes, something gold can stay. Easy seasons will fade, but as I observe the busy bees I wonder. Can we, too, refine our shining summers into eternal sunshine? Contain it in jars we can give to others so when winter winds blow fierce at their door, they can turn to the amber jar on their window sill, catch a gleam of light, smile, and be warmed by the memory, Yes! That was beautiful.