Bees.

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This little dude buzzed about so busily in the hot summer sun, she barely noticed me shooting lots of smart-phone pics almost right next to her pollen-dusty wings and furry back (I don’t have any of those nifty little iPhone camera lenses). I just love bees! Apart from the obvious fact that they’re a quintessential part of just about every terrestrial food chain on earth, they’re also cute. Well, I think so, anyway.

Their work ethic is remarkable; watching a bee do its work is a sure way to spring the guilt trip on a procrastinating brain. 🙂 They usually don’t sting people unless they’re defending themselves or their hives (I mean, they get one sting), they pollinate flowers that give us fruit and veggies, they make honey, and buzz about quite politely in gardens and parks (none of this invasive exploration of picnic food that wasps seem much more fond of)…

This growing bee die-off (colony collapse) trend is quite scary to me. Yep, I’m grateful for bees.

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I’m grateful for traditions of gratitude and love.

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I know this is hardly timely, but I am grateful for traditions of genuine love and gratitude. There is a May Day tradition in France of giving little bouquets of these tiny white flowers, called muguet, or lily of the valley, to loved ones. Not just Valentine type love, mind you, but also parents and siblings and BFFs.

I’m grateful for dandelions.

dandelionsThe little things that make us young again,
See the world anew again, tingling, and alive:
Underneath the crust of habit, the beige grownup plain:
Soap bubbles from a wand;
Ducklings paddling in a pond;
Helium balloons against the sky;
The migratory geese flying by;
And dandelion seedlings taking flight,
Like little parasols of cotton fluff and light.

I’m grateful for flowers.

Flowers

I love looking at flowers. Even hemlock growing wild is so pretty, flat clusters of tiny snow-white petals. And thistle flowers, purple and spindly and feisty. Multicoloured fields of wildflowers. Not to mention the ones you actually get at florists (too easy. I figure gratitude should require some effort.)

Flowers remind me that everything has a function, and if yours is to stand there and look pretty, well, then, lucky you. (Okay, okay, I am aware they– and beauty– have important functions in the life cycle blah blah blah. I was being facetious.)

Flowers also evoke such strong, pure feelings. Daffodils, for example. I love daffodils. My cheek muscles can’t help but break into a huge smile, a small but intense spark of joy ignites somewhere between my lower ribs, and I almost drop to my knees when I see the first daffodils. Spring is coming, they seem to whisper, shyly, hesitantly, mistily, we feel it in the earth. They are so fragile, live so briefly, but bring such joy. Remember, ya, that this comes normally at a point when I am nearing the end of my rope because winter has just been too dark, too cold, and too long, and I am starting to go a bit cuckoo from lack of sunlight.

Yup, I’m grateful for flowers.