A Beautiful Death
May 29, 2007

I am in Vancouver now.
Wish you were here,
but in some ways you are.

Today I lunched with the bees. I was on my way to the hives at Van Dusen Gardens, but was distracted and waylaid by the Laburnum Walk. The Laburnum Walk is an enchanted path overhung with the hanging blossoms of hybrid Golden Chain trees. The path is also lined with the purple afro-ed heads of blooming allium. I decided to eat my veggie panino under the Laburnum blossoms, and when I was finished, I laid down on the grass, facing up towards the organic chandeliers humming with pollen-laden bumblebees. It's a place so beautiful that it's painful, filling me with the "unbearable lightness of being alive."

Above the layers and layers of prom dress yellow blossoms is a cornflower-blue sky and shafts of brilliant sunlight. It's basically bumblebee heaven. The bees love to trip the lips of the pea-flower-like blossoms that hang in groups of dozens, making them very accessible to these miniature flying buffalo. I love the diversity in the fur coats of these hairy bees. Just when you think black is the only "in" color in this neighborhood, a girl hums by in a bright red full-length mink. The bees vary in size and color and expand and contract with the amount of pollen they're carrying in their corbicular pockets. They are like the clowns of the insect world, reminding me of myself returning from the airport with my over-stuffed suitcases bulging at my sides. Speaking of airports, if you are ever afraid of flying, or of a journey by flight of someone you love, ask the bumble bees for a safe journey and watch the miraculous way they skim your lawn, then zoom effortlessly over the back fence.

A woman I know told me the story of a friend's death. His favorite place to sit was in his garden watching the bees flitting from flower to flower. On day he gently passed away in that very chair in his personal "bee loud glade." Doesn't that sound like a beautiful way to die? Dear reader, let it be known that when I am on the precipice of death, I wish to be with the bees. After my spirit has left my body, please bury me under a Laburnum tree.