No Ordinary Days

I am increasingly aware of the potential and loveliness of the “everyday,” of sun falling at a particular slant across a hardwood floor, of the quiet singing of fabrics and design throughout a dear domestic space. And that is before I even really consider the world outside my doors and windows–here, deep in Nova Scotia summer, a particularly rich and inviting world of a dozen shades of green (although this morning still hidden by morning fog–we often awaken in thin cloud that only gradually lifts to reveal the Annapolis Valley below). Of course, it helps hugely that my husband, Cam, is so finely attuned to nature and to the rhythms of the agrarian seasons, & is constantly making me aware. It is he who hears the low growl of combines now moving out into the ripe and heavy winter wheat crops, or a distant neighbour’s snarling chain saw harvesting wood for winter fires…or…

As, the other day, the growing hum of a thousand wings. “Want to see a swarm of bees?” he called to me through an open window. Of course I did.

Outside, at first all I could see were small gold and black bullets ricocheting against the patch of blue between the highest branches of a maple and an ash tree. But gradually I could hear the wing-sound. I had to sit down on the slope of the lawn to look up without feeling dizzy. Slowly, the individual bees merged into a golden cloud and moved into position as an elongated dark ball under a high spruce bough in the woods that borders our property. “Shekinah,” I whispered to Cam, scarcely able to take in the beauty and order of it all. “I have seen the glory.”

Totally improbably, and again only because Cam heard and saw it first, two days later we saw the same swarm dissolve back into individual bees and lift away in a golden cloud, following their queen to some new home. I didn’t like to think that I had seen the Shekinah glory depart, as I had earlier seen it descend, of course.

What I did was look up the poem “I thank You God for most this amazing / day…” in my Complete Poems of E. E. Cummings

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