It's been kind of a strange, dreamy time lately, what with all the dripping from the eaves, and the solar storm and dancing planets, full moon nuzzling fiery Mars, and finally, this morning, rosy skies, shafts of sunlight through the trees and winds strong enough to hopefully dry some laundry before the rains return.
I've been thinking about bees, and hoping their keepers left them enough honey, because they depend on that for their own food when the weather is too rough to forage. These essential, beleaguered insects have been on my mind ever since I took an introductory beekeeping class with Jimmy Trujillo.
But while I was amazed by the utter coolness of bees and their orderly, feminine-centric world, I was also struck by the way Jimmy taught the class, with the clear intention to build community. I'm kind of a lone wolf type who does my own thing, so I was fascinated by the way that he got us all to connect. By the time the class was over, those of us in attendance had become not friends, but part of a network we could all turn to for bee-related matters. And it was apparent we all felt good about that, and got more out of the class because of the bonding that occurred.
That got me thinking about the power of community, of people linking through shared and common interests to pursue activities that help themselves as well as others and also something bigger. Like back in the day when folks did barn raisings and quilting bees, brought in the crops and butchered livestock, really worked together, hand-in-hand, side-by-side, in a manner that Facebook does not replicate.
The value of community came up again when I interviewed Kaiulani Mahuka about her misdemeanor conviction following an action to stop burial desecration, and she ended our conversation with these words:
“I've become very pa'a (firm) with the fact that we're not going to stop this machine. To me, it's come down to the process and how I relate to people as human beings. We all need to work on building community and taking care of each other.”
And it occurred to me, maybe that is how we stop the machine, by truly connecting with each other and nature, consciously shifting away from from an existence where the value of everyone and everything is determined solely by whether it can be marketed or marketed to.