The Illustration Friday word of the week is swarm.
It was the summer of my twenty-eighth year, and the first time that I had ever seen a bee swarm. It hung like a slowly spinning galaxy in the apple orchard beyond our cabin, and stopped my breathing with its surreal beauty. With calmly donned, netted hat and long gloves atop shorts, tan legs and biblical sandals, my then-boyfriend deftly dropped the humming mass into a new hive box. He was fearless. From a safer distance, I watched the bees settle gracefully into their new home.
Like those bees, I am well-practiced in the art of changing residence. Thirteen address changes before my fifteenth year, and twice as many since then, have made me an expert in the art of moving. I have an unreasonable passion for boxes, and am overcome with nostalgic longing whenever an Allied Van or U-Haul truck passes me on the freeway. Adept at making any house a home, I know how to organize, pack, orchestrate, load, unpack, and redecorate with the best of them. Perhaps it is attributable to a female nesting gene, but I have always been confidant that I could make the best out of any inside environment, regardless of location. Moving is in my blood.
But now I have lived in this same less-than-ideal house for more than eleven years. By circumstance and maybe by Soul’s design, I have been unable to indulge my life-long, moving tendencies in search of the new-improved lease on life. It has been frustrating, and, as they say with tongue in cheek, Character Building. A psychologist might wisely say that this stuck-ness has forced me to change in other, unseen ways, and she would be right. Being unable to move body and furniture, I have been forced to move mind and soul…and like a bird with clipped wings, my heart has been forced to make peace with the Now. I can’t say that I am as accomplished at the staying as I am at the moving, but I am working on it. Maybe I’ll even do it gracefully someday…
(detail) “Bee, in three versions” (watercolor, pencil, pen & ink)