Sound of Wind
I walk down to the hive with my smoker and hood, a box of matches to light the pine needles. I’m listening for my usual optimism, borne of that light notion–if I get stung, I’ll get over it, they’re just doing their job, my bees, defending the hive, so they can make more honey—for me! As I arrive at the hive, a vague feeling that I’ve neglected my bees for the past month mutes my optimism. It’s the first week of October, and when it gets cool, there’s a responsibility to feed a first year hive with sugar water, to tide them over, to respect their callow vulnerability.
The porch is empty. There’s a silence surrounding the hive, and as I dis-assemble the boxes, it’s silent within. My eye wants to see them, crawling atop the frames, maintaining city. But it’s a ghost town, the cells are empty of all that sweetness. They’ve gone. Took their stuff straight up and out of here, levitated by salvational groupthink.
I look up and through the air they’ve flown, site of the rescue of their prize, their queen. Whether I’m annoyed at the silence, or I just miss their company, I can’t tell. My son is looking down at me from the barn foundation wall. “They doing okay in there?” “They’re gone … hopefully they’ve got another story.”
At night, the un-expected stillness of the empty bee frames comes back to me. They passed through this place like wind, rippling across the floor of the atmosphere. The wind makes no sound on a stoney island shore, where the rocks don’t move, or vibrate with the waves, unless I’m there for it to clatter across the porches of my ears.
I like the sound of wind rolling over grass-blades, those green throngs holding on to this sea-floor, our stage. By now the sound of the wind has gone some place with those bees. Waves of air ruffle their diaphanous wings, and bring green plaits to song.