A bike ride to Sandgate market this morning in the bracing autumn cool as the sun slowly pulls at long shadows; returning with a jar of locally produced honey as well as a surprise for John. Buying the honey was a quiet laconic moment. Ambling along the line of stalls and not really looking at anything, just lingering.
This week, I wrote about my writing feeling somehow broken. Luke J asked “If you, or your writing, or your relationship to your writing, was a line (drawn or painting or traced or whatever) … what sort of line does it feel like now and what does it feel it wants to become?”. My reply: “If I was to think of my writing as a substance, rather than a line [which seems like such a certainty], it would be like honey at the point where it begins to crystallise and harden. A move from soft and flowing to hard and gritty – a change that can be partly reversed by warming the honey, though some of the grittiness remains.”
An unassuming man asked, carefully, almost apologetically, “Would you like to try my honey?”
The neatly arranged jars of honey were luminiscent in the sun: like amber, jewels or stained glass.
“Of course,” slightly breatktaken; though I might have said yes to anything as I was pulled out of my pensive meandering.
“It’s all local,” he explained as he dipped a small stick into a pot. Passing the stick to me.
And as I pressed it against my tongue, the warming sweetness of flowers felt as radiant as the jars themselves.
“Do you have a hive in your backyard?” I asked.
“I actually have six,” he responded with some pride. “Three in Bracken Ridge and three in Geebung.”
“So its very local,” I say affirmingly. “My husband and I have been considering getting a hive of native bees for our garden – not necessarily to harvest honey but to support the local ecology, especially the micro-ecology of our garden.”
“It’s a good thing to do,” he said. “The bees are important.”
With this moment of shared understanding and appreciation, I bought a jar of honey. He gave me the last jar with a fabric cover – slightly larger than the others. I asked him if he was sure he wanted to part with that jar or whether he wanted to keep it for display. “Oh no, you must have it,” he said as we completed our transaction and he pressed the jar and the change into my hands. Wishing him sweet luck with his honey enterprise, I ambled away, cupping the jar in my hands and enjoying the viscosity of its contents in that brilliant sun …