Under a Honey Moon
July 8, 2007

"Tippet's opera, The Midsummer Marriage, and Britten's version of A Midsummer Night's Dream both focus on the mysterious drama of a solstice marriage. Pagan societies chose the solstice for their unions - the goddess was at the height of her powers, and would confer light and warmth on those who came to her on that day. Fascinatingly, our cliché of the honeymoon, long since stripped of its solstice associations, is the moon in June, the moon under which our ancestors celebrated their unions by drinking mead, made from fermented honey."

from "Summer Solstice" by Jeannette Winterson

One thing I love about setting up in VanDusen Gardens is the fact that most people visiting are not in a hurry. They are there to wonder, meander, and linger. Yesterday I noticed a young couple deep in conversation, leaning on the silvery wooden fence in front of the hives. Families drifted in and out. We drained the tea in our thermos. Still, the couple talked. Dragon flies cackled over the pond, hummingbirds whizzed around the twinberry bush, and bumble bees hovered over clover in the orchard lawn. The couple remained absorbed by the hives. Towees shimmer-whistled, squeals and shouts of "Boo!" erupted from the maze and then finally the couple came to speak to me.

Turns out it was a special day for them--two hearts buzzed as one. Felicitations! Another couple were on their honeymoon, visiting from Glasgow. Get those young folks some mead! In fact, a hive for everyone and mead too.