Whoa! Wake up! It's a beautiful, sunny day! The sun is shining, the ground, tired from its long snowload, greener every day.
Today's prompt: write about a memory from the third person perspective. Don't use "I" unless you include dialogue.
Ela got back to the farm community late Sunday afternoon, after visiting with friends, helping out on their farm. The "lead woman" on the farm, with whom she had an uneasy relationship, came to meet her, somewhat friendly, and told her there had been a lot of bees around that day.
Next morning after the rain, she was out on her walk around the farm with wheelbarrow and fruit-picking equipment, harvesting fruit, seeing which trees' crops were maturing, checking up on that ripening jackfruit. When she came back to the homestead area, barrow loaded with avocados and two racks of bananas, the woman ran to meet her. Many bees were buzzing around, heading toward the office and packing shed which doubled as her bedroom.
The two women stood, looking up into the air, gradually joined by several other community members. There was a throaty hum, like voices in an auditorium before a grand entrance. The whole sky darkened briefly--an airborne life form composed of thousands of four-winged beings, one mind, one intention. The colony landed on the wall of the office, her bedroom, and milled around, quieting, gentle.
She ran over to the next-door farm, where a self-styled "bee rustler" and carpenter was staying, and invited him to join the party. A small crowd had gathered at a respectful distance from the colony on the wall. There were "wows," oohs and aahs. One skeptical voice worrying about stings and allergic reactions. One puzzled voice, obstreperous from the break in routine, "Why are they here?" A confident response, "I guess Ela called them in." Ela and the bee rustler showed the crowd how calm and docile the colony was, how you could put your hand into their midst and have their velvet legs crawl over you. Some community members hung back, others were delighted to join in. The property owner noticed scout bees checking out some cracked timbers, working their way into the building; expressed concern. Bee rustler got up on the ladder with a Sawzall--a surprisingly common beekeeping tool--and opened up the timbers so that there was no hidden spot for them to build into.
Ela brought a hive box and set it beside the colony, filled with frames redolent of old honey. After clearing a spot for the hive to rest, out by the farm pond, she spent most of the day hanging out with the colony, singing to them, playing her flute to them.
|this was in AZ, but a similar image|
Over the months that followed, Ela visited with her bees often, but didn't make huge efforts to increase their colony, although theirs was a small group and she had heard that despite the area being full of fruit farms, there wasn't enough nectar and pollen at any given time to sustain a large colony. She felt some guilt. Just as people suffered from deficiencies in this hugely abundant climate and didn't address them because of their dogma about eating only from the land, so she was hesitant to interfere with the bees' needs. It was "natural" to them to forage from the surrounding trees and vines, not to be fed white sugar. She never took any of their honey. Still, the guilt persisted. But were they really "her" bees? She hadn't even been home when they first scouted the place out. Yes, they came to her bedroom in swarm, but again, she was out harvesting fruit when they first started to arrive. And of course, it wasn't "her" bedroom at all--just a bed in the corner of an office where she shook down at nights, a person with very few needs or demands. Was "letting nature take its course" a form of cruelty, both to the bees and to her own body?