The Winter Cluster – Advent Reflection

Credit: Matthew Bellemare, CC

“Know also that wisdom is like honey for you: If you find it, there is a future hope for you, and your hope will not be cut off.” – Proverbs 24:14

I press my ear to the pine box, hold my breath, and listen. At first, I hear nothing. Then a faint humming comes through. A weary beekeeper rejoices. I imagine what I can’t see: a cluster of bees, covering babies, surrounding the queen, making sure everyone is fed and warm. The bees on the outside buzz, generating heat until they move to the center. Surviving winter is a miracle of teamwork and self-sacrifice, the taste of stored honey a reminder of spring to come.

A bee is an emblem of hard work, but she also dances to communicate and produces honey, which the scriptures repeatedly equate with sweetness, good for the soul. As the days grow shorter and colder, I think about that cluster and how instinctively they meet the needs of their colony. There is no other way to live. I imagine what we could do if we clung together, working to make sure everyone is fed and warm, taking turns at the center.

Kasey Butcher Santana is an English teacher, turned library specialist, turned small-time alpaca farmer and beekeeper at Sol Homestead. She resides in Golden, CO, and enjoys keeping an eye out for herds of bighorn sheep on the hiking trails.

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