My thoughts have been all over the road map recently. Miss Polly, my 14-year-old cat, woke me as usual the other morning, and I got to thinking about mortality—hers and my own.
People, and cats too, live as individuals. When we see a friend walking down the street, we don’t say, “Oh, there goes another member of my part of the human race.” No, we call that person by name and recognize her individuality. Ditto with cats, friendly dogs, even the possum who cleans up around the bottom of my bird feeder and turns on my motion-sensor light each night.
Honeybees, on the other hand, live their short lives (six weeks for a worker bee) as simply a part of a larger unit, the hive – the way individual cells in our body do their work for a short time and then die off, to be replaced by new ones.
Eventually, our human cells—all of them—run out of gas, and we die. But think about a hive. There could conceivably be a hive somewhere in the world that is still making honey after, say, a thousand years of being in that same place. Or maybe a million or two. As the hive population grows, half the bees take off somewhere else (that’s called “swarming”), but the other half stays behind and builds up their numbers and their honey and pollen stores all over again.
Isn’t this a kind of immortality? I’d like to think it is. You see, when I’m no longer around, my bees will be able to keep going without me. They may move to a new location, but they’ll still be the hive that grew and flourished on my back deck.
Come to think of it, as long as my books last, my first cat is immortalized, because she served as the model for "Marmalade."
BEEattitude for Day # 146:
Blessed are those who take good care of themselves, for they shall live long and prosper.
One thing Fran is grateful for right now:
Romeo and Juliet, which I saw last night at the Shakespeare Tavern in Atlanta with my granddaughter. Four hundred years, and the story is still fresh. Hey! That’s immortality, too, isn’t it?
p.s. It’s official: this is “National Read an eBook Week.”
You can find my Biscuit McKee Mysteries on Amazon or Smashwords for only $3.99. These links will take you straight to my eBook pages.