Rainbow Fish and Honey Bees

Spent a blissful couple of hours at the Crown Inn in Shorwell on Sunday afternoon; a rather lovely country pub whose garden is next to a stream and pond, both home to the most amazing rainbow trout. We sat in the sun, had lunch and watched the ducklings and baby moorhens learn to negotiate their way in their new watery world, whilst the ducks performed the aquatic equivalent of pacing the edges of the pond, eager for titbits from customers’ plates. The pond was lush with marshmallow, reeds and grasses and large arum lilies grew in pleasingly placed clumps, their impressive white trumpets perfectly arranged. In the centre of the pond stood a dove cote; the doves, white as arum lilies, did their own pacing on the pond’s edge, pecking around my feet, as equally expectant as the ducks for the odd piece of my lunch.

We were struck by how the bird life that moved around the surface of the pond was quite untroubled by the fish life that moved beneath. The large rainbow trout swam in the shallows; the sunlight and clarity of the water combined to show off their iridescence. Their mustard backs were speckled with black dots, the rainbow strip of colours running the length of their bodies, a mesmerising line that reeled in the brightness of the sun and reflected back a magical and otherworldly glistening. They performed a kind of sinuous dance with each other that was constant, gently sliding along each other’s bodies, only occasionally snapping in irritation or warning. Winding in and out of each other’s space, they occasionally surfaced, their backs arching above the water like miniature whales, snapping their open mouths around the air.

Watching their seemingly carefully choreographed and elegant movements, I caught myself feeling extraordinarily happy. This has been a rare feeling over the last few months but, as the weeks pass without taking any hormones, I feel these moments of spontaneous joy more and more. How we are able to interact with the world makes all the difference to our well-being. When we feel ourselves part of that dance of connection – perceiving the movement of our lives in tandem with the movement of the world around us – we feel ourselves to be most alive. Having felt so cut off these last few months, sensing this reconnection has made me realise how much I miss being around people. I have become increasingly hermit-like over the years, actually really enjoying my solitude; there was certainly a point in my life when I hated being alone and so finding kinship with my own company has been so valuable for me. I think it is important to feel at home with one’s aloneness, to understand that being alone is not the same as being lonely. We can feel utterly lonely in the company of others, so of course, it is all about our relationship with ourselves. However, the warmth and interaction of others is an emotional and spiritual food source we all need to survive and I can recognise the signs of my own social malnutrition!

We have been socialising more of late, which has been great, and as if nature wanted to drive the point home – to really make sure that we understood how important our group connections are to our happiness – we were invaded by a swarm of bees on Friday. They came in the afternoon and at first completely surrounded the house. I ran around shutting windows and trying not to jam any of them in the window vents as they attempted to squeeze their way in through the tiny holes. They were obviously looking for a new home. They chaotically flew around the entire house for some time and then moved to the front of the building, an impressive mass of humming and frenetic movement. Bit by bit they appeared to disperse but on later inspection I found them all clumped around each other at the centre of a bush in the large planter outside our home; stragglers flew around the top, betraying the swarm’s presence.

We called Dave the Bee Keeper and he spent the next two hours placing the swarm in a bee basket. Carefully trimming back the bush, he removed the section with the bees attached, placing them gently in the basket and waiting patiently for the remaining bees to huddle around the queen. She was buried beneath a protective, writhing mass of wings and legs.

It was fascinating to watch the swarm of individual bees gather together to form a whole, rather in the way that solitary slime moulds suddenly decide to come together to form beautiful single fungus shapes. The individual’s sense of its oneness with the whole is striking and we – although so keen to think of ourselves as unique individuals – also need to feel our place within the group.

On a personal level, that means forming relationships with our friends, family and colleagues but on a bigger scale it is also crucial to feel ourselves a part of the wider human community; expanding even further to feel our interconnection with all life and hopefully celebrating our place within it.

This whole area has been a bit tricky for me in recent times: I have rather pushed many people away in the fear of being hurt or rejected. This is a residue of my family split and the more difficult experiences in life that have built over time. These can make us brittle and guarded if we do not process them. However, now that so much of the dust of my past angst and upset is beginning to settle, I can feel my edges softening and I am yearning for good old fashioned human contact. There have been some lovely people who have come into my life in recent times; a reflection in so many ways of this new shift.

Perhaps we all go through periods of ebb and flow in our connection to others but it is true that so many of ours greatest life lessons and gifts come from the reflection we see of ourselves in another’s eyes. This can be a painful experience – relationships of any kind can be an incredible challenge at times – but more often than not they bring such joy.  Finding one’s soul tribe and feeling oneself a part of that can bring deep healing; to touch and be touched, whether it is intellectually, emotionally, physically, sexually or soulfully, can renew and revive us. I am learning once again that we are the dance of bees and rainbow fish.


  1. executivepagan said,

    June 24, 2010 at 1:02 pm

    I suspect I will be sitting with these thoughts for a while… thanks so much for sharing this and all your experiences.

  2. luckyloom1 said,

    June 24, 2010 at 3:55 pm

    Thank you so much for reading and for your kind comments but also for your wonderful and inspiring words on your Blog too. Hope you are ok.

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