the local honeybee association had an exhibit. set up between the homemade pot holders and the wedding cake decorating contest, the latter of which was behind a glass cabinet, fruit flies trapped behind the pane.
we saw the queen bee, proudly marked with a crimson dot. a scarlet letter of a different sort, i suppose. we saw the not-so-ironically named female worker bees, and the drones. and the delicate, back-and-forth dance of intelligence they all did, working together more harmoniously than most adults with fully developed brains and college degrees tend to do.
and we stewed about it for years. thought about the possibility of setting up a hive of our own behind the little cottage, beside the blueberry bush where they could forage all day for nectar, traveling to the bespeckled shrub the same way we did every time we grilled out. we let two summers go by. we tended a garden. nanno passed away. we moved into his home and tore up the carpet to reveal the glorious hardwoods. i graduated and we put down pine needles.
then last friday, we finally installed a hive of our own. ten thousand new pets buzz about in the yard. and we're learning. robert situated the queen between the frames, pressing her between the wood for support, failing to create a platform made of nails as we learned in the documentary we watched one night as the snow fell. we fretted about her for a week until it was finally time to check on the hive yesterday and she was safe and sound, released from her candy cage and fluttering about near the honeycomb.
last night, at an hour more attuned to morning, we were beginning to drag ourselves to bed, when we remembered the storm about to barrel through. robert wanted to go strap down the hive to make sure it didn't fall down from the promised winds.
i sat on my knees in my nightgown, pressed against our headboard as i peered out our back bedroom window, watching as he finagled a flashlight with one hand and a tie with another, safeguarding the girls against mama nature.
we protect the things we love, and the people too. no matter how long it takes us to find and realize each other.