In 2002, after eleven years living in Santa Fe (a mid-life leap after living most of our lives in NJ), my late husband Bill Higginson and I moved back to northern NJ to be closer to family again. Grandchildren started being born, plus we missed our kids. After Bill died in 2008, I moved again, down to the South Jersey shore area to be near my daughter and her family. I am about a forty-minute drive inland, on winding country roads, from the Atlantic Ocean.
Healing the Wound With Honey
Numerous studies have shown that difficult-to-heal wounds
respond well to honey dressings.
It must have been inflicted in another life,
this wound we can’t remember, not even sure
whose it may have been. Sometimes we feel
a rift in the flesh needing stitches, or a wound
of the spirit that even the heavy blue dressing
of the sky can’t fix—an invisible fissure in the
heart or brain, cradled in our arms like a refugee
child too damaged to weep.
Sometimes we hear the bees whose sting is less
important than their task of filling the comb
for the queen, or the beekeeper in his white suit
and gloves, humming back at the hive.
We each have a job to do—the bees to gather
nectar and transform it into honey, the beekeeper
to steal the pot of gold. And what is our work,
we who need to learn the art of scars?
We must learn the names of honey, give its
sticky sweetness to our tongues, fill our
cupped hands with healing, and offer it to the
ancestors of our still open wounds.
© 2018 Penny Harter
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