I saw a honeybee yesterday, she assured me that everything would be okay and encouraged me to carry on and bee the change we want to see in the world. We beelong together - Together like the hard-working and loving community of a beehive coming together for a higher purpose. The honeycomb reminds us that nothing is impossible when we stick together.
At the time of our last visit with Michèle and Jeff, we had a few minutes “just us girls”, precious minutes that I will cherish forever. The words she spoke seemed insignificant at the time, merely more words about the beauty of nature, the differences between species and a great analogy for community and sisterhood. Upon further reflection, I began to truly reconcile, the power of such imagery – the glory of God’s creation and how Michèle, despite her buzzyness, knew and enjoyed the desires of her heart!
The bible tells us that “gracious words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body.” Proverbs 16:24 (ESV). From the first time I met Michèle she had only gracious words for me. She adopted me as her sister in love and affirmed how beautiful I was (something I struggle with accepting for myself to this day) by calling me Bella. She was a fountain a joy, a blessing to us during Sean’s cancer journey, and loved us even though our goals and dreams were not her own. You could say that we were a different species working toward the same goal of helping others but in different ways.
As we spoke, I identified with her description of the bumblebee’s daily journey - traveling from flower to flower – up to 100 kms a day to collect pollen. While bumblebees also produce honey, they do so in small quantities because come winter they each go their separate way and fend for themselves as a lone ranger who finds some real estate and settles – I identify with this behavior because as an introvert, I often need to go off by myself to recharge and Michèle respected that.
Michèle was more like a honeybee; living it up, making her home above ground allowing others to experience her joy as she deployed her sting to rally her 50,000 sisters to hit their mark and come together fashioning a honeycomb filled beehive that has certainly changed the lives of many.
The life of a queen honeybee is truly one of community. She doesn’t travel without an entourage. She isn’t left alone. She has enough help to take care of her and her young. The sole responsibility of the queen bee is to lay eggs – she is a life-giver. She does not hibernate, buzzing in the hive until the weather allows her to go out again. In the meantime, her daughters cluster around her to keep each other warm. A strong hive like Michèle’s has community that numbers in the tens of thousands.
Yet, now she rests in the Promised Land – a land flowing with milk and honey. And her legacy lives on through her daughters.