Sunday, May 22, 2011

Day #222 Of Two Minds

I grew up in an Air Force family. We moved so often, that my sister and I can remember what grade we were in when specific events happened, simply by recalling the place we were at. Fell down the long staircase – I must have been three because we were living in Tennessee; climbed trees with Phillip Van Stavern and he fell out of a pine and broke his arm – I was five, because we were at Shaw Field in South Carolina; Brownie Scouts with Diane Marie Hart and Ivy McKee – 3rd grade, Sembach Air Base in Germany; learned to hula hoop – must have been 5th grade because we were living on Holmes Drive in Colorado Springs.

People who grew up in one place (like my brother-in-law) often aren’t sure what grade they were in when specific events happened. It all runs together smoothly with a common background. They’ll remember elementary school times from high school times, of course, but those lazy summers in between school years have a timeless quality for them that military brats almost never had.

I think my bees are like that. They’re born, grow up, work, and die in one hive for the six weeks they live. In the winter, worker bees live longer because they’re not out wearing their wings off with all the foraging. But still – their entire life is bounded within a five-mile radius of the hive.

Bees that are born into a commercial hive, however, must have a military-brat existence, being hauled from one end of the country to another, following the crops as they blossom at different times in a wave from south to north or from east to west. One week they’ll be in the almond groves of California, and the next week in the Midwest for the alfalfa or clover. Avocados here, peach trees there. They cope, of course, but I wonder if they ever wonder what happened to some of their hive-mates that didn’t make it back to the hive before the forklift came to load them back on the truck.

I still wonder about Phillip and Ivy and Diane Marie.

BEEattitude for Day # 222:
       Blessed are those who keep in touch with friends from childhood, for they shall see the sweep of changes as the people they know mature.

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nortone said...

I think one of the things we learned well as military brats was how to cope with changes - both those we looked forward to and those we didn't. In that way we are like those commercial bees. We also learned the value of friendships that have lasted for many years.

Fran Stewart said...

How right you are, Ellen. Old friends are good friends!