For the last three years, I’ve played host to tiny bees and flies in my home. I enjoy having these little angelic creatures around from time to time. I know, I’m a little nutty about nature like that. I never could figure out where the flies came from. They would appear randomly, year round, even in the winter. I would find them at my large kitchen window that opens to the garden. I had a method of opening the window so that it would guide the little creature out. In a few days, another would come and find the same escape route. How they know that I’ll see them there is a mystery. They are smart little guys. I like to think they will know I’ll open the window for them.
Bees tend to like me, so it is no surprise that they would find my home a comfortable place to build their hive. The really teeny ones particularly like my terra cotta planter. But I always felt particularly blessed to have honey bees visit, too. They would come by occasionally, sometimes making themselves at home inside. Eventually they would find the escape route through the kitchen window, and off they flew. I particularly enjoyed these honey bees. They seem to be relaxed, sometimes curious, always busy. They were tiny yellow fuzzy creatures who were as gentle, friendly and non-aggressive as their name implied. I would go to see them crawl through the crack in the brick of my house and watch, not 5 feet from their front porch. I would have hundreds of bees just flying around me to get to wherever the next pollen pick-up was. They felt at peace with me, and I with them.
When some friends found out about a 3 years old wall-hive, they warned me that they could be destructive to my house, and would certainly attract flies, bugs and rats. Since my daughters also live here, I decided it was time to find them a new home. Thus began the Bee Quest: how to remove the bees and hive, gently, without killing or traumatizing them.
The following few weeks was a busy time of collecting information and ideas, opinions and statistics from friends and professionals alike. Finally, I chose someone to do the job who lived 2 hours away. It was a big commitment for both of us, but I was certain this Bee Man would respect the hive and carry out my wishes.
The day prior to the Bee Man arriving, a worker on a crew working nearby had seen the hive and asked about harvesting the honey. I suggested he talk to the Bee Man the next day.
I came home from work at dusk to find a wild, angry cloud of bees so loud I could hear them when I got out of my car. I ran to see the reason: the wall of my house was torn, some bricks missing. There was an amber colored substance oozing from the hole. The hive was destroyed, the honey stolen, the queen was gone and the bees traumatized. Since the queen was gone, the colony was destined to die. And worse, no one wanted to come remove a swarm of angry bees. The young couple across the street were watching this, concerned for their younger children. The older woman who lives next door was now at risk of being attacked in her yard. Dozens of bees found their way inside my home and were frantic. The decision was made to terminate the remaining bees and remove the 75 pounds of hive that still remained inside my wall.
I was at the kitchen table doing paperwork when I heard the loud suction of the commercial bee-vacuum. It was like witnessing an abortion. I could not block out the thoughts of the terror that those gentle little bees were going through as they were violently sucked out of their home and nest, being ripped in pieces and crowded into a sack with others, both alive and dead. I can’t imagine, nor do I want to, what that was like for them. It was a holocaust of this friendly commune of honey-makers.
Sometimes we inflict harm when we don’t mean to. Sometimes things just happen. Sometimes we just have to go with what we think is the next best thing to do in a given situation, even though our hearts are screaming to do otherwise. This situation could have been anyone’s.
My grief and sorrow will carry on for a few days or so. And then one day I’ll realize that it was something that needed to be done, it was in everyone’s best interest. I will forgive myself, let it go, and move on.
In divorce, our happy, harmonious little nest that we have built in the most safe and stable way we know, is one day cruelly invaded: by an addiction, a mistress, a choice, a need, an attitude, a scream. Chances are that, in the end, there was no choice. Sometimes we just have to go.
Whether we were the one who left or the one who was left doesn’t matter anymore. The choices were already made, the years lived, the chances are gone, the papers are signed. We did all we could, have NO regrets! We lived in a union that had great value and merit. It contributed heavily to who we are today. It was a time we learned about the depths and joys of love and what it feels like to lose it. These are hard-earned experiences of extreme emotion that stretch our limits further as compassionate, experienced and wise human beings. This is very valuable, something to be honored. More often than not, we leave the union having gained a lot more than we lost. It will not take long to recognize, once we pause to recall.
Life changes, we move on, we redefine ourselves and find new nests. One way or another, we survive. The question is: how well? Is divorce the end of our happiness, our livelihood, our security? Or is divorce a break from dysfunctional behaviors that weren’t working, and now we have the chance of a lifetime…rebirth! Let’s reweave those hives, and bring into it all the sweet stuff, all the honey!