Sunday, June 19, 2011

white bees

-- Happy Father's Day to my dad who has been there at all of my crossroads, and who's example is as far reaching as the stars in the sky.

From my book White Bees...

"I woke up this morning to three inches of brand new snow.
There is something about the first snowfall that makes me think back, way back, to when I was five years old. I am sure that it is my first memory, and the first time I saw them. They danced down the double sliding glass door thick and light. A pale white sky masked the sunshine behind the storm. In my memory I am young and alive, and also very curious. The snowflakes to me look like white bees. They always have. Swarming, happy, intelligent bees.
I let my eyes follow one ‘bee’ all the way from the top of the window until it rests quietly on the soft forming snow. The process takes concentration and care, let your eyes slip away for just a moment and you will lose sight of the bee you are following. I sit on the hard linoleum kitchen floor and curl my toes over the heat vent -- and stay wrapped up there until the last bee lands. Minutes turn into at least an hour, or about four cycles of the heat vent warming up. In my memory clear as yesterday, my Dad bends down next to me and ask me what I am watching, and I tell him I am watching the bees. He laughs and teases me saying that they are actually just snowflakes. This annoys me slightly, but I love the attention. From then on during each snowstorm I felt an obligation to makes sure each bee made it safely, and each time I watched, my father teased, and each time he teased, I loved it even more.
Even as I got older, I still called snowflakes my white bees. The name just stuck. And my Dad, well, he never forgot about the bees either. All these years later, it is the one memory that takes me right back to the feeling of a Father’s love on a wintery day.
Father’s should be like superman. You know. Someone who can lift a car, or rescue us when we need help. Luckily for me, my Dad looks like Superman, and can lift a car too. That’s right. Well, to be clear, he looked like Clark Kent in his early days, and he has a car lifter in his auto shop, but it is all just the same. As kids we would beg him to throw on his thick rimmed glasses and fling his small, red and blue felt jimmy-rigged cape on. He would do it, but not often. Even as hard as we would beg, he only transformed into Superman on the rare occasion.

But, as a child, it only takes meeting Superman once to know he is real."

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