Be God, Bee God

If God is only in a few of us, God is in none of us.
If God is in some of us, God is in all of us.

Honey bee on our rosemary plant in late January 2020.

I saw a couple of honey bees in the rosemary yesterday. I heard them before I saw them.

It had rained hard just an hour earlier, and the rosemary flowers were soaked, making it difficult for the bees to gather much nectar. One looked particularly frustrated.

Their bee bodies were sleek, not covered with the pollen found on them in the summer. Not much blooming in January–rosemary, a few dandelions, not much else.

Still, the bees were out, and I was out, and I was curious about them, and one was (mildly) curious about me until she realized I was not a threat. Then she went back to work.

If God is in some of us, God is in all of us.
And if God is in all of us, God is in the bees as well.

This is only sacrilegious if you anthropomorphize God. (It may be sacrilegious to anthropomorphize bees, too, but I do not know enough about religion, or God, or bees to say with much authority.)

If you go outside, even in January, you will be surprised.

The shells of clams I have raked, cooked, and eaten. December 2019

On the way home from school on Friday, I saw a woman about my age look a little hesitant as I passed her. I said hello and walked on, but got stopped by a couple of my former students, and we chatted about robots (an upcoming robot competition), music (one had a gig that night at a local fund raiser), and whatever else was going on in their lives at the moment. Kids lead a lot more interesting lives than many adults I know.

The woman watched me chat, then, figuring I was safe, asked me if I knew where the Church on the Green was. I pointed it out–it was right across he street–then we got to chatting. Strangers on the street lead a lot more interesting lives than we know unless we ask.

She was looking for a food pantry that had Alimentum, a special formula for babies that are allergic to milk. It’s hard to find Alimentum in food pantries, and even harder at stores if you lack cash. She had just gotten custody of her great grand-daughter, had an appointment for WIC in three weeks, but in the meantime she needed to find Alimentum.

I embarrassed her by offering what little cash I was carrying, but after some back and forth I convinced her take it. She made it clear to me that she was not homeless and was not looking for anything from me.

I knew as much. I know a little bit about Alimentum from my years as a pediatrician, and a lot more about how we care for children in this land, a lesson I learned well practicing medicine.

A rosemary in January will share nectar with another species, but if you lack cash or credit, your human baby may well go hungry until she is “in the system.”

Granny’s crucifix made of Irish bogwood, now mine. She saw Saints, I once did, too.

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