When my son was but a wee toddler we would venture outdoors everyday for a walk. Everyday, every season. Some days twice a day. We’d tread along the path by the brook in the woods or on the road to one of the three farms that were, by my standard, within walking distance. Jeff, still being a baby in the grand scheme of things, stopped frequently to closely inspect any small subject of curiosity along the way. I found his fascination with the tiniest of living creatures riveting. It refocused my attention to long forgotten things such as ants, bees, birds, earthworms, snakes, crawfish, toads, and bugs, bugs, bugs of every kind. There was much learning done on our walks together, Jeffrey and I. After all, “one does not teach without also learning”. He learned about all of those bugs, reptiles, birds, farm animals and every little thing we happened upon along our way. He learned about walking on the side of the street and how to cross it. He learned about holding hands and holding hearts.
I learned to slow down to a snails pace then stop and look then look again and to learn with him. I learned to pay more attention to minute details like the unique beauty of the single fluorescent yellow ring around a Ring Necked Snakes neck, how to step on one accidentally and hide my panicked fear of it from my precious, curious child who was holding my hand and my heart. I learned how to hold hearts.
Jeff was to be my only child and I knew it from the get go. I was ever aware of this and may have especially cherished our moments together, knowing there’d be only one chance for me to witness the witnessing of life through the eyes if a child. However, never aspiring to sainthood, I did at times become impatient with the length time we’d spend pondering an ant hill on the side of the road. There were things to be done after all, so we’d finish our walk, read about our findings, end the day and start again the day after. And, as you know, days turn into weeks, weeks into months, months to years and here I am writing this story.
No worries Dear Reader, I will make my point in due time. It’s about bees and birds and hurrying up, slowing down and everything in between. You see, I think I may have taken a step toward being beyond the everything in the betwixt and between. It was about a year ago that I started writing and coincidentally bought myself a new camera. That’s all good except that this new camera has, at times, slowed the lady who moves too fast down to a snails pace. The writing seems to have had the same effect. A year ago I had no plan when I began, as is frequently the case with me. It’s unfolding as I go and I’m allowing it to. Through the lens of my camera I’m once again witnessing the fascinating, exquisite detail as well as the magnificent grandeur of everyday life. It seems that now, in the moment and again when I view the cameras images on the screen that life is indeed given to me on a platter and I need only to partake. Case in point, I had little affection for flowers but to admire them in passing until my friend Charlie turned me on to their glory. Yesterday as I passed by The Bike Stop Café’s garden on my way home from the market I was compelled to stop and quickly photograph the lilies. To my utter delight, there were more than lilies in this garden. Upon closer inspection there were myriad flowers of names I do not know and of colors, hues and light bends made into miraculous, magical harmony. There were birds and there were buzzing bees. Bees, bees galore; bees cross pollinating, bringing new life right before my eyes. The rest of the world fell away, went silent, the edges blurred, with a surreal quality as I found myself focused on what may truly matter. There was unique, glorious beauty to be witnessed in that serendipitous moment. It was handed to me on a platter and I partook. I spent at least a full hour appreciating the luxury of that garden while the groceries melted in my car. Ironically, Jeff who is now all grown up, moving swiftly through life, would tell me to hurry up.
Funny thing about life, I thought, you start out slowly, you hurry up, go forever faster and if you’re really lucky, like me, some seemingly minuscule thing no bigger than the size of your thumbnail comes buzzing along and slows you down again long enough to fully savor of its splendor. It was in that moment that I realized I may have travelled past the there and then, forsaken anxiety about the what will be, arrived in the here and now, and stepped to the edge of the beyond everything in the betwixt and between.
Here are some of those photos, unedited except for the cropping one close up of the bees🐝