|Read an Excerpt|
At five years of age, May found herself uprooted from everything familiar. Due to the divorce of her parents, Meredith and her brother were suddenly moved cross-country to live with their grandfather in California. This was an incredibly upsetting, and confusing, turn of events. For May, things no longer made sense, as no one had explained what was happening. To make matters worse, her mother barricaded herself behind a bedroom door, and entered a seemingly endless season of child abandonment.
Sensing the need for connection, nurturing, and something to fill the deep hole in his granddaughter's psyche, Franklin Peace began to introduce Meredith to the wonders of beekeeping. That journey began with a flurry of bee stings—which would terrorize most children. Counter to what one might expect, the temporary pain of that surprise attack by swarming bees built up a kind of immunity to the deeper sting of feeling alone in the world.
Like a bee drawn to honey, May's curiosity about the rusty old Army bus in her grandfather's back yard was not to be denied. The ramshackle honey bus was the object of Meredith's great desire. She longed to be granted entry into that portal, for she knew that magical things happened inside her grandfather's top secret laboratory. On the day when she was finally deemed old enough for a membership into the honey bus's secret society, May's joy knew no bounds.
As her grandfather's beekeeping apprentice, Meredith not only entered into the fantastical world of honeybees, but more importantly, she found her forever family.
Bees need the warmth of family. Alone, a single bee isn't likely to make it through the night. A beehive revolves around one principle—the family. I knew that gnawing need for a family.May's sage, quietly unassuming grandfather used the language of bees to reveal the ancient ways that were relevant to learning how to persevere through collective strength. As she fed off of this Way of the Bees, Meredith learned all that she could not learn from her birth parents. It was the bees that were, in essence, raising her. From them, the author gained insight into compassion and how to thrive by caring for others.
In following Meredith through the mystical portal into honeybee society, we find ourselves joining in the dance of the bees. You will revel in the poetry of what it is to be in the presence of sacred creatures that exist for the greater good. The artistry of Meredith May's writing was, to this reader, the sweetest of nectars.
Just as honeybees make themselves essential through their generosity, this book is essential reading in that it gives us what we need to enter into the bee's state of grace. Bees give far more than they ever take. Spending time in The Honey Bus has given me the desire to be more of what someone else might need right now. And, perhaps, that is the true elixir of life.
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