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xiii. Signs and Wonders - Honey


Old English hunig, from West Germanic khunaga, Old Norse hunang, Swedish honung, German Honig, Welsh canecon ‘gold’.

Living in the Shade of Nothing Solid

To the old house at the end of the street

with more history in its walls than bricks:

not every year, but most, the bees would come back.

Only a few at first, to the small study-room

at the end of the long passage

and bump against the glass.

It was always at the same time; probably same day

although we never checked.

And occasionally if the window was left ajar-

before the late spring swung to summer

they would come in, and swarm on walls; furniture;

anything - looking for a hive.

And each time someone would come with boxes,

gadgets and gear and take them away.

But this year it was an old man

who walked with two sticks and didn't speak much

who brought nothing.

Asked to be shut in with them alone,

and listen to their song. Half an hour later,

he told us if we didn't want them back,

they'd have to be destroyed.

'Bees have the longest recall - and the best,

they keep coming back here - looking for their tree.'

Cut down probably a hundred years ago, but

roots still deep in their collective conscious dance;

buzzed messages of shape, type and height;

the inherited mind-maps of memory.

He poisoned the swarm and they have not returned.

And with them, the tree we never knew was there-

that died the same day,

we stopped the bees believing in it.

Jeff Guess


Life is a mosaic of pleasure and pain - grief is an interval between two moments of joy. Peace is the interlude between two wars. You have no rose without a thorn; the diligent picker will avoid the pricks and gather the flower. There is no bee without the sting; cleverness consists in gathering the honey nevertheless.

Sri Sathya Sai Baba

Reading: Ezekiel 20: 6

On that day I swore to them that I would bring them out of Egypt into a land I had searched out for them, a land flowing with milk and honey, the most beautiful of all lands. NIV

St. Luke 24:41-43

And while they yet believed not for joy, and wondered, he said unto them, Have ye here any meat? And they gave him a piece of a broiled fish, and of an honeycomb. And he took it, and did eat before them. KJV


'Apples and Honey

During Rosh Hashanah, it is traditional to eat apples dipped in honey, to symbolize our hopes for a "sweet" new year. The apple is dipped in honey, the blessing for eating tree fruits is recited, the apple is tasted, and then the apples and honey prayer is recited.

Blessed are you, Lord, our God, king of the universe

who creates the fruit of the tree. (Amen)

Take a bite from the apple dipped in honey, then continue with the following:

May it be Your will, Lord our God and God of our ancestors

that you renew for us a good and sweet year.'

©Jeff Guess 2017

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