The Way of the Bees

People sometimes ask me why I don’t write more about events in the big wide world. Why do I stop most of my commentary when I reach the garden gate?

While the tiny world of this garden is a place of much hope and beauty, I often find the world beyond here a painful and confusing place. To be honest, I don’t know what to say about most of it, except to growl and that would get quite tiresome for you.

I try in each moment of my day to be as loving as I can be. Out in the world this sometimes leads people to think a village idiot is on the loose. Back here, I can see it makes a difference. And I am truly content with the small scale of my efforts. In keeping with my general mood of subdued ambition, I just want get on with uncomplicated loving these days. Nothing too big or splashy. I am no longer looking for that headline “Molly Sheehan Ends Nuclear Arms Race.”

This spring, when I lost more overwintered honeybees than I expected, I sat with the remaining hives in a puddle of despair. The Angels and the bees told me that the losses were a problem of the macrocosm, not the microcosm. They told me that there was nothing I could have done. They asked me to let it go. There was no request to continue my handwringing, just a request to keep on being happy. I found this startling. All over the country honeybees are dying, but they want me to be of good cheer and carry on. They exhorted me to, “Just go out and plant your garden with your same joy as usual.”

There was no hiding from the stark realities of the world in this request. These bees talked to me while I took apart the hives of dead bees. It wasn’t called Green HOPE Farm by a bunch of Angels for nothing. With this crew, hope isn’t some passing fancy, but an eternal verity.

As I bottled “Don’t Worry-Bee Happy” this week, I discovered a honeybee was sitting on my head, helping me bottle. She only dropped to the counter to get released outside when the last bottle was capped. As I returned her to her hive, once again I felt a bit muddled about the honeybees’ exhortation to bee happy amidst the problems of the macrocosm.

I decided to stroll down to the eastern side of the property to check out the newly blossoming Plums and look how the bee population seemed to be doing, this being a good litmus test for local bee populations. I found the trees to be wildly abuzz. The Plums were awash in bees of all sorts, plum bees, honeybees, and more bumblebees than I had ever seen, all of them frollicking in the heavily Flowering branches. Their ecstasy joined the perfume of the blossoms to sweep me into a state of simple happiness. I lay in the grass and looked up.

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How simple. if not always easy is this way of the bees. Love the microcosm, joyfully get on with our small caretaking roles in our microcosms and the macrocosm will take care of itself. If each of us does this, how swiftly we could right this tilting planet.

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May Day Blessings!

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While we watched it rain from inside our toasty warm office this week, Jim was off in the White Mountains for a camping trip with his sixth grade students. As downpour turned to snow flurries yesterday afternoon, we could only wonder what it was like at the base of Mt Washington…..

But they returned last night, cheery if wet, having survived stiff winds from the North, deep snow on the trails and three soggy days spent in the woods.

Today is May Day, so I have been out in the frosty garden picking bouquets to greet everyone when they come in this morning.
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May Day greetings to you too!

Jane Shares the Deep Connection Between Astrology and Flower Essences

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This gorgeous Pasque Flower offers a dramatic note of renewal in the garden right now.

Spring is a time of new beginnings and not just for Flowers. For staff goddess, Jane Taupier, this new beginning has taken the form of a new enterprise that will deepen our understanding of ourselves as well as help us use Flower Essences in a particularly beautiful way.

Jane is both a Buddhist and an astrologer. She tells me both paths began when Pluto was conjunct with her sun in 1996. Jane is also a brilliant gardener and great Flower lover. She has spent the last year studying the way “Flower Essences seem to be perfectly attuned to providing support to people who are experiencing difficult transits, or who have challenging aspects between planets in their natal chart.” Jane continues, “…Essences can be helpful in supporting and strengthening the positive attributes of moon and sun signs, and in balancing any lack or overabundance of elements- air, fire, water, earth- in the natal chart.”

Jane has studied each Green Hope Farm Flower Essence in relationship to these issues. She is now ready to look at your astrological chart for you and make suggestions for Flower Essences that would support you in this astrological balancing process.

You can ask for support on just one specific issue in your chart such as balancing your moon sign, sun sign or elements or you can ask Jane to study your chart and current transits to come up with Flower Essence suggestions or a mix for the whole enchilada. She has taken particular interest in which Flower Essences will enhance and strengthen each moon sign, as she feels Essences are particularly attuned to lunar energy.

If you give Jane your date and time of birth and location, she will look at your chart for the information you desire. Prices for these readings will vary according to individual requests, but having availed myself to her wisdom, I can promise you that you’ll get your money’s worth.

To get the ball rolling, you’ll need to contact Jane on email and chat about what you would like. After you have worked out the practical details, Jane will do a reading for you and make her suggestions. Then you can decide if you want to get back to us at Green Hope Farm to get any of the Essences Jane has suggested.

Jane can be contacted at jtaupier@kua.org

Here is my photograph of her beautiful logo.

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It has been a joy to experience the way Jane connects astrology to Flower Essences. I am so delighted that she will now be sharing this gift with all of you.

We Come Full Circle with Stalking

Here’s a visual for you. Me running around the forest with bowls of water, sprinting from tree to tree seeking swift blooming, swift fading elusive tree blossoms.

My children firmly believe, and with some evidence, that when I am immersed in a good book, they could detonate a nuclear weapon in the room with me AND I WOULD NOT NOTICE. But when it comes to things like blossoming trees or the Flowers of tiny weeds, I am all over the noticing thing. And this is a good thing, because with the fast action photography growth brought on by our recent extended spate of hot weather, I need to find the blossoms and make the Flower Essences pronto. It is an serious understatement to say the Flowers are coming and going very very fast this spring summer.

My children have always considered my penchant for yelling, “Stop the car, I see a weed.” rather harmless. Strange, but harmless. However, some of my noticing skills have brought censure from them, especially when they were teenagers. Take for example what I call paying attention to other people and what they call “stalking.”

For a long time, my children did not appreciate this skill set . So what if I could sit next to a table of strangers in a restaurant and know nothing about them when we got our breakfast menus, yet know their names, life histories, and dietary restrictions before our pancakes were served.

For a long time, my children felt this interest in other people was just plain wrong and of course, embarrassing. They could burn the midnight oil with entertainment TV’s coverage of K-fed, Brittany, and Brangelina, but I was not supposed to be interested in the flesh and blood people sharing their life stories only inches from my head. If I reported any details of data I had garnered, even in the benign circumstance of someone actually telling me said data, there was eye rolling and cries of, “Muuuuuther.”

It was sort of like my laugh. I have a distinctive laugh. Now don’t go thinking it’s piercing or a horse’s whinny. It’s a nice laugh. I don’t cringe when I hear it on tape or anything, but it is, as I said, distinctive and I do like to use it. This meant that during their teenage years, my three elder children found my laugh a problem. If we had to share a space for some event, say an auditorium for example, they wanted me to take a vow of silence.

So too with the stalking. If someone they knew walked into a restaurant where we were eating, let’s say a former romantic interest I had never meet, I was forbidden to turn around and look at said ex. I was not even allowed to go to the bathroom so as to take a look. Checking the ex out in any restaurant mirror was also a no go.

Things have changed. Things have changed. And frankly, I love it.

In part, I credit this lovely sea change to the fact their lives have cut them off from excessive doses of entertainment TV. Steady employment will do that too you. Plus two of them don’t even have TVs. Suffering from this dearth of entertainment news has left them a bit more interested in actual people. It has made my curiosity in the human race seems a little bit more legit. I even am getting street credit for my data gathering skills. Suddenly, they want to study at the feet of the master. And yes, that would be me.

I am quick to tell them it is not all a bowl of cherries, but sometimes the stalking really is better than Perez Hilton. For example, the other day I was in line for a table at our favorite breakfast joint. The woman in front of me sported a grape sized diamond and spoke to her attentive friend about her recent trip to visit her in laws to be at their country estate in England. Think castle. I certainly did.

The woman with the rock hardly came up for air and neither did I as she shared the dish about her country weekend. In a flood of detail, unequaled by even a Jane Austen novel, I got the serious scoop on Gosford Park 2008. Sadly, Jim, Will, and I were seated just out of earshot of her lovely BBC vowels. I could only wonder what further raucous details I was missing as she kept up a steady stream to her friend from the beginning of our pancake breakfast to the end.

While this was a peak moment, I suffered one of the typical casualties of stalking only this Saturday. I was in the check out line at an enormous used book sale with about thirty people ahead of me. I settled in for some quality stalking and was rewarded by a conversation in front of me between two old friends. However, when the talk turned to why one of the women’s husbands had given the book sale a miss, I was miffed by what she said.

She explained that her husband was off giving a workshop on blogging. She noted with a laugh that he did not believe in blogging, did not read blogs, and had nothing positive to say about them. This is when it gets as tough to be a stalker as to stop laughing at a teenager’s command. I wanted to poke my head between the two women and say, “Then WHY on earth is he giving a workshop about blogs?”

This is the heartbreak of stalking. Since I wasn’t an official part of the conversation, I had to stifle said comment and instead keep my best blank and disinterested face on.

I felt badly for the people who were attending this man’s workshop hoping just to get information about what a blog is, not somebody’s pretentious, editorial comments. This overheard conversation made me glad, very, very glad that when I first heard the word blog it was because my stalking skills had begun to have some appeal to my children.

I first heard about blogs from Ben who heard about them at a meeting with his former job, the ceramics sculptor. One of the axioms of stalking is that even at a meeting, even at a meeting that you are attending by default, why, even at a meeting that defines the word boredom, you may learn some interesting stuff if you just hang in there and pay attention.

This particular meeting was with a big time internet guru, somebody who invented something to do with email while at MIT, somebody who when he invented this thing had professors invest on the spot and then take the student out to copyright the thing right then and there. Ben had been dragged along to the meeting and could easily have nodded off in the background. But no, he had begun the long rewarding journey towards master stalkerhood and he paid attention at the meeting.

And what happened was the internet guru told Ben’s boss that blogs were where everything was going. While Ben’s boss did not seem to find this of any interest, Ben had year’s of my example of listening for juicy nuggets, even at things like business meetings and lines at book sales. Ben knew he had stalker gold and because he is nothing if not a generous soul, he shared this gold with his muuuuuther.

“Mom, it’s time to blog.”

I had seen the word maybe once or twice in a knitting magazine, but wasn’t at all sure what it was. A social faux pas?

“No really Mom. It is something you should try. I can set you up. You should do it.”

Ben kept at me. For weeks he blog bugged me. I am nothing if not initially very resistant to new technologies while later finding myself to be a total convert. Think email. Think ipod.

I started reading blogs. I fell in love with a lot of them. They were a natural for a person who loved knowing about other people’s lives, but who didn’t get out much. Running the farm and all doesn’t always leave as much room for stalking as I would like which is probably why I am so FOCUSED when I do get a chance. Blogs fill in the gaps. They are not bad news like most media or at least the blogs I like aren’t bad news, unless you consider knitting goofs or culinary disaster bad news. Plus, they are always there. No ear strain and such good juice. I love blogs!

And I love blogging.

So if you are out there blog stalking Ben, consider this my heartfelt thanks for getting me rolling. You may have studied at the feet of the master, but like any good student, your skills have surpassed the teacher’s.

New Arrivals

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The Magnolia has burst into blossom with its pool of Bloodroot Flowers beneath.

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Looking across the Arbor Garden into the greenhouse, you can see that I am doing what I do best-

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overstuffing my tiny greenhouse with baby plants.

As a community of Flowers, Angels, Nature Spirits, Dogs, Cats and even some People, Green Hope Farm can be a funny place……and I love telling you all about it!