Thursday, March 28, 2013

Losing Bees

When winter comes I feel a sadness, because I miss the birds that fly south. And I miss my Bees. I get so used to sitting with them and watching their hustling and bustling. I remember when I heated my log cabin with a wood stove. Every spring when the fire went out it was like a Spirit left my home. It is kind of like that for me in the winter. The Spirit of the Bees and the Birds is missing.  So I am anxious when spring comes to see my old Friends again. But I also hold my breath. Winter is not always gentle with the Bees.

It is never easy when a hive doesn't make it until spring. You pray for them, you go out and talk to them through the wooden sides of their hive, you sing to them, you do everything but jump inside with them.

It doesn't matter.

All four of my Bee hives are dead. I am in that stunned stage of grief. Not quite understanding that they are gone. But seeing the thousands of bodies laying on the bottom of the hives verifies it. I know that two hives had too much moisture and the condensation likely killed them I don't know about the other two. I just don't have it in me to look closely yet. I have to focus on processing the honey that I removed from one of them, take care of the wax. All the work they did over the summer, collecting nectar, making comb, flying in and out with their pollen sacs full of sunny yellow and bright orange pollen. All that effort to prepare for the long winter. And they didn't make it.

It was the first real taste of spring today. I was watching for them to be flying about with the warm sunshine heating up their hives. I could tell something wasn't right. It was too silent.

I gaze into the pile of Bee bodies with a tear in my eye. "Thank you girls", I whisper. It will be a lonely spring in our backyard.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Why Are You Silent With Me?

There is something very curious I have been observing lately. No blame here, just observation, OK?

Anyone who knows me can tell you I am pretty sensitive to others. I want everyone who interacts with me to know I see them. I notice when they are happy or down, sick or distracted. I care and and I ask what is wrong, are they OK?

I never came out as a lesbian. I just always was, ever since I was born. Never a doubt in my mind. I didn't think there was anything wrong with me, no more than the fact I had two legs and two arms. It was just who I was. But everyone else seemed to have a problem with it. I am not sure why. But they did. I figured it was their problem. In my eyes I was just fine.

So here is the curious thing I have been observing lately. Everyone in my life, whether it be friends, coworkers, acquaintances, family members (except for my sister Diann), has remained silent on the fact that I legally cannot get married. The Supreme Court is hearing two cases that may have one of the biggest impacts on my life, something I never dreamed would happen, and no one has said a word to me. Most all of the people in my life are straight. Perhaps they can't even imagine what it would be like to be denied the basic right to get married, have a wedding, know that your beloved will be taken care of when you die, or to be able to adopt children. Perhaps they take it for granted.

My sister Diann supports me 100%. But no one else has called or written and said, "God I can't imagine what it must feel like to have society so blatantly discriminate against you". Or, "Barb, I want you to know I am thinking of you and am praying that the Supreme Court will make the right decision so you can enjoy the same rights as me".

Why is that?

Only a few people know what I have gone through in my life because of my orientation. I am glad that times are changing and that today many gay and lesbian youth have support groups to help them grow up in a healthier environment. I know that my courage to always be myself, along with thousands of others, has helped bring us to this day. Even though life has been hard at times, I wouldn't change a thing.

I wonder if they know that I sit in front of the TV and cry as I hear the President of the United States say he supports me. I hear many people on TV say they support me. I never had support from anyone. Ever. And today, the President stands with me. Isn't that something?

So I watch the TV all the time, I want to hear those words over and over and over. "In support of gay, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness...". I can't hear it enough. It is beginning to heal all those deep wounds inflicted by insensitive bigots over the years.  But why do I only hear it from the TV? What about the people in my life? Do I dare think that they don't support my right to happiness? I know that is the case for some. How do I deal with that? How can you accept someone into your heart who thinks of you as less than?

I know when I am with people who are oppressed, I see them and I let them know I won't stand for it in anyway shape or form. And I have dedicated my life to creating change and equality for all people and beings. It is not an abstract concept. It is right there in front of me. I cannot ignore it. I can't do anything but try to change it because it is the fair and right thing to do.

I am oppressed and discriminated against by the laws of the State of Michigan and the US Government. Did you ever notice?

Thursday, March 21, 2013


Awhile back I wrote about my Spider friend Charlotte. Apparently she has moved out, perished, or simply vanished. I haven't seen her in weeks. At first I felt sad, I had grown quite attached. But then, one day while taking a shower, a new Spider was hanging out on the curtain that covers the window out into my backyard.  I could not sense whether this new friend was female or male, so I named it Thursday, the day I first met the Spider.

Thursday has an ability that Charlotte did not - she/he can climb out of the bathtub. Thursday is a different species than Charlotte, and seems to be more adventuresome. I have seen Thursday many times, mostly at night when my aging causes me to visit the bathroom more than I used to. Thursday may be on the wall, just sitting there. Or, perhaps working on a new web. I never know. We visit for a bit and I go back to bed.  It is a relief to know that Thursday can climb out of the tub, significantly reducing the odds of getting washed down the drain.

There is something comforting about knowing the Beings that share a home with me. It helps me not feel so alone.