The bees kept on coming. Doing what bees do. Being what bees be. They nestled into and alighted from the sun soaked blossoms, completely unaware that the Brussels sprouts so carefully seeded and tended in hoop covered rows from autumn, through winter into the accelerating spring warmth had technically failed. Traces of sprouts had appeared, but none had matured. All had withered away.
Never in 13 Ozark growing seasons have I met anyone who has successfully cultivated Brussels sprouts. Too hot? Too buggy? Too rocky? So many possible impediments.
Somehow untouched by this viewpoint, my avid gardening partner, Carol, planted seed for a veritable Brussels sprouts forest in her raised beds last fall. It was with her healthy-leaved, flower-rich plants that the bees communed last Sunday, while we pulled up bittering lettuces, toughening kale, and seeding cilantro to make room for warm weather friends — tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, squash.
There was no question of letting the “failed” Brussels sprouts remain for the bees.
Indeed the only question that lingered was the question of our human “being” and our human “doing” in the face of individual and shared 21st century challenges. You know the list.
Our major religions all speak of Love. Our heroic myths tell of strength, courage, devotion and daring. In the presence of the bees (who seemed so sure and easy in their mission and their being), I wondered for myself and for us as a species, will I/we commune with and respond from the flower the Heart? To what extent will I/we pollinate life with bravery, insight, resolve, and compassion? I hope we will respond on par with the grace and confidence of bees.