As the seasons change they remind me that time does undeniably pass us by. In the past few weeks I’ve seen the tiny seedlings that I started indoors grow leaps and bounds. I’ve seen the parsnip poke its miniature shoots out of the soil covered in dead leaves and compost that itself has stood the test of time. I see the kale and the carrots beginning to show out of the earth itself. The weather is getting warmer and as it does our new bees begin to become more and more active. We did our first hive check this weekend, and “my girls” are doing fine.
“My girls” indeed! As I watch them busily about their business it dawns on me that these “girls” will not be the girls that my family meets when they come to visit later this summer; these “girls” will not be the ones that I take honey from (if at all) later this summer. This hive will not be the same hive at all. They will all have passed their jobs on to their sisters that they so diligently raise as I watch them fly in and out of their new home. It saddens me…at first. I realize, once again, that this is the nature of the seasons, is the nature of the years that have passed me by and continue to do so. Change is the nature of life itself.
I watch as my parents get older and my nephews and nieces begin anew, with wonder in their eye: young and not thinking about time at all. Like the hive I call my own we are not the same people we were a mere seven or eight years ago, literally or figuratively. The cities we live in change; the landscape, the people, our friends, our jobs, our plans, our goals, our desires.
In fact, change is the only consistent. As I complicate my life (to eventually simplify it) I realize more and more that this aphorism rings true. As I see the very ground in my garden go from unfertilized lawn, to newly dug soil, to composted mulch full of worms and life I realize that I did not start this cycle of evolution in my garden; that this cycle never had a beginning nor will it have an end. I watch the plants come up excited in anticipation just as I was last spring and will be in the springs to come.
Perhaps adding to my newfound goal of complicating my life, I must realize that I have a choice: to act with or react to the nature of life and the living. As a gardener and now a keeper of bees, I try to be a steward but I am really an audience member to the grand change this is life. But life, our lives, is short with no intermission, no stage, no actors, and no scenery. I started out a suburban gardener, but I slowly realize that the garden has always been there and that I am only reacting to it.