Today, on 14th February, I thought I'd post about the type of love that is more than tokenism for a day. Please don't misunderstand - this is not a criticism of the celebration of Valentine's Day; it's more of a comment on how little acts of kindness we do every day have a lasting impact on our lives and those around us.
The photograph below is the WytchWood Bee Hotel, an amazing gift I received this week from a fertility client who has not long given birth to beautiful twins who I met this week and they are incredible bundles of light and wonder and have inherited their mother's resilience.
My client had meant to give this gift to me at Christmas but with the upcoming arrival of her babies, who made their entrance a little earlier than expected, she had two very importance wee gifts of life to receive. How apt this bee house is in its symbolism of productivity, community and family, so the timing of everything could not be better.
My client was committed to her process. She showed up for herself so many times during the course of her therapy. She trusted me and did the work I recommended. She faced many truths, some of them brutal. She put everything into her recoveries (more than one) and strengthened her already incredible resilience. She healed herself and, in doing so, sent love to her ancestors, who also supported the process. Those little gifts of life that have grown from her dedication and commitment are nothing short of miraculous and I will share her story, in a little more detail, with you soon and with her blessing.
Queen Medicine Not only is this little bee hotel an apt symbol of the fertility, family and community, it also means a great deal to me personally. It is personalised with the name of my home based practice in East Kilbride - WytchWood - and it will be the perfect addition to the WytchWood garden as, for the past few years, I have been fortunate enough to receive the wisdom of the Bee. A few years ago I placed a bee hotel on my allotment. Over the course of a few months, I saw those little holes filling up. Bees had laid their eggs inside and plugged the holes to protect them for when the time was right for them to emerge. As the seasons came and went and the years on the allotment rolled by, the bee numbers continued to rise. Every year there were more and more bees using the bee hotel until, on my last summer on the allotment, I discovered that not only were they continuing to use the hotel but they had also made their own, much larger nest under the soil of an untouched area of long grass on the plot.
I have always felt part of something bigger - my love of and my work in the physical, energetic and spiritual realms of the green world has always made me feel this way, that we are all part of something greater than ourselves. As I dug beds, sowed seeds, listened to the wren chicks nesting in the ivy, feeding the crows pistachio nuts (with the shells, they like cracking them open), every year I was surrounded by growing life and a greater number of bees, which also encouraged me to plant more flowers. One small act of installing a bee hotel had helped create a much bigger community that was now thriving in its own way. When I moved home I was saddened to give up my allotment and to leave the life there, including the bees. It was bitter sweet - as much as I loved the allotment and my times there, for the first time in my life I had my own garden. When I moved in, I discovered that the previous residents had left an outdoor storage area behind. I had intended to dismantle it not long after moving in but when I opened the door, I found an active bee nest in amongst an open bag of old compost. I let them be(e) and have worked around the nest, building the bones of the garden, ready to flesh it out with plants and where Wytchwood Bee Hotel will be installed as its beating heart, ready for life to begin again. While we may not know the impact that our loving kindness - the sharing of our hearts - has on others, it is like ripples in a pond. The kindness goes on and on, and even when we can no longer see those ripples, they continue to spread ever onward building more communities of kindness. When we open our hearts to life - to giving and receiving love - we all flourish.
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Come Hither Queen Bee is by Lea Bradovich, whose artworks are heavily influenced by bees and the amazing geometry of their hives and honeycomb - please do check out her site