The bees have lived in this old farmhouse for going on fifty years. They occupy the inside wall behind the upstairs toilet. Before plumbing and electricity was added to our home this bathroom was a linen closet. There were times in the past when I found it a bit disquieting to hear the buzzing of hundreds of bees while sitting with my back to them...with my pants down!
I see the bees differently now; now we share the house. I've held a glass against the wall and listened to the goings on in there. I think that's when I decided they could stay. They sounded at home. The buzzing has become like the other house sounds ...creaking floors and stairs, the scratching of mice feet scurrying between a wall (I've followed their paths as though I had x-ray vision) and when a west wind in winter has grown to thirty to forty or even fifty knots the house has shuddered on it's pilling and cement foundation.
Back to the bees; there's been the odd bee now and then that has inadvertently found itself in the bathroom or hallway. I've become quite adept at getting bees into drinking glasses and slipping a piece of paper over the top and returning them outside.
I had an emergency situtation on my hands once; a bee was caught in a spider web that had been strategically set up next to the bee's enterence into their hive. The bee was struggling to get free and at a glance I saw the spider dashing toward the bee; I whipped the screen off the window (above the toilet) and stuck my hairbrush into the web, destroying it and sending the frustrated spider back to it's shadowy place. I watched the bee work at pulling the sticky web from it's wings. After a long minute, it flew away. To carry on with it's day, I thought. It might tell others in the hive about it's closecall and the mystery that saved it. Or so I imagine.
Last night was clear and the moon shone into my bedroom like a veiled sun and as I layed on my side facing the window I saw a star shinning through the bare branched locust tree. The star gave me the feeling that I was in place, perhaps in the same way the star was in place. I half turned and gazed over my left shoulder at a shadow of a dragonfly on the wall. It is a reflection from a candle buring beneath a glazed clay dome with a dragonfly pattern cut from it. So there I laid between a star and dragonfly and felt like a hum in the lyrical narrative of life.
I hear a great horned owl calling. The soft voice is round and it rolls out into the night and is answered by another. Oh, the marvel of mysteries.