Something I should establish up front: I am a very bad pagan indeed. Or maybe a very urban one, despite my suburban location.
While I am all about the nature in theory, I do not much like plants. I do not find them interesting. I don’t DISlike them; I like many of the things they provide as a benefit of our coexistence, and I wish them well… but there is very little I find as unenticing as gardening. It’s like housework, but outside, in the heat, with bugs. These are not, to my mind, virtues.
Now, pagans are supposed to like plants. We’re supposed to be all keen to encourage the green growing things that are the breath of Gaia, and again, I am… in theory. I just don’t want to be DOING it.
Combine that with my chosen profession- one that’s about as unjustifiable ecologically as is possible for a profession to be- and I am aware that I basically suck, in the sense of my chosen religion.
Which brings me to bees. And chickens.
See, while plants bore me, critters interest me. I like them, and I am generally reasonably good at getting in tune with them. I am intrigued by their different perspectives on life; living with cats has taught me a lot, and I’m learning even more from living with Sasha- what would it be like to have the history of a place as a rich tapestry to one’s nose? And when we walk, she’s always interested when she sees people… but is convinced that every walking or jogging human OUGHT to have a dog with them. It’s unnatural else. She’s as dog-centric as we are human-centric, and it really puts that in perspective.
So the prospect that I can do something positive for our species and for the earth in general, that does NOT involve boring work with plants, excites me. There are ways that raising even food animals can be done that benefit, rather than diminish, the quality of the soil- or so it seems. And while honeybees are exotics, so are most of our food crops, and our very lives depend on those crops, and therefore on bees. I like the idea that I can do something to step into the breach with this. Not a lot- but something, and something that’s at least potentially intriguing rather than pulling weeds! Plus, you know, the honey would be welcome, too- I’d love to do a batch of Northboro mead or mead-ale… but if keeping the hive healthy means that the honey ought not to be eaten, I’m OK with that.
I want to see how far I can move into thinking like a bee, and seeing the world from their perspective. Not far, I’m sure- but it’s still a stretch from the human, and one that fascinates me.
At least in theory! And theory is all well and good… but theory is what makes my buy seeds, and sometimes even plant them, and then, in the heat of July, lose interest in cherishing them.
So that’s why I’m taking the class. I want to know what I’m getting into. I will probably try it anyway- but I want to be prepared.
(I will also mention that such is one of the ways I push myself. The idea of driving 2.5 hours each way to attend a 3-hour class is rather off-putting- but now I’m stuck. Ditto the idea of actually handling bugs, since I am not at all entirely over my bug phobia. So it’s a stretch! Since we don’t’ have to actually handle bees till May, though, I need not worry about that part now!)