Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Day #148 Honey from Hawaii

A few days ago I received a package of pure gold. Golden honey, that is, from Hawaii. And there’s a story behind it.

When I was in 11th grade, my dad was stationed at Wright-Patterson Field, and I attended Fairborn High School. I was the only junior in a senior English class, and was befriended by two girls. Over the years I’ve lost contact with one of them, but Ellen and I have written occasionally. When my books were published, Ellen was quite encouraging, and when I started this blog, she signed up as a follower right away.

She gardens, although—when we were both in high school—I would have been surprised to think of her in a garden. Ellen, you see, had allergies back then. One day she shuffled into English class, thoroughly miserable, with her eyes puffy and her nose sniffly. Just as class was starting she slipped me a note, a poem she’d written. Even after all these years, I recall her momentous verse:

     As far as springtime flowers go,
     They are quite beautiful, I know,
     But since I have to sneeze and sniff
     Every time I take a whiff,
     Somehow their beauty doth decrease
     With each and every little SNEECE!

Anyway, she must have recovered from her allergies. Or maybe living in Arizona makes her less susceptible. At any rate, she tasted macadamia nut honey when she and her husband visited his sister on her macadamia plantation in Hawaii four years ago. Ellen decided I hadn’t lived until I’d tasted honey from macadamia trees, and she ordered a sample set from Big Island Honey.

Three honeys, packaged in pretty jars, now grace my table. It’s amazing how different they taste. Wilelaiki Honey (from the Wilelaiki tree, of course) is more spicy than sweet. The dark, rich honey from the macadamia nut blossoms tastes sort of, well, nutty. And the honey from Ohi’a Lehua blossoms isn’t golden; it’s a creamy white, for the honey begins to crystallize almost immediately after it is gathered. Maybe that’s because the Ohi’a tree is the first to grow out of a lava flow.

As I taste-tested these delightful gifts, I couldn’t help but think about how people are a lot like honey – some are spicy, some are frankly nutty, and some go through hard times and bounce right back.

BEEattitude for Day # 148:
       Blessed are those who leave us enough honey when they take some of our stores, for then we bees shall thrive to make more honey.

What Fran is grateful for right now:
       Friendships that last through the years    

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