Bees of the Invisible

F E B R U A R Y   2 0 1 3

Let us put aside how different we are — for a moment — here where what is about to happen meets what already has, and think of ourselves instead as bees, the hum of our wings coming right out of our hearts, lifting us into the Great Errand of our lives. Do you feel that? that silent hum of light in the middle of your chest? That is religion, the religion of us bees, though we don’t know how to explain it.

fractalNever mind, it lifts us somehow, and we zip away from our hive home, each alone, seeking the petal pollen blossom awaiting us. Oh delicious search! How different from the humming hive of our thousand conversations! Here in the clear air, the thin drifting fragrances, the sudden colors, calling, calling, where, where?

We are the bees of the invisible, hovering in the light. Alone, we know we are not alone, though we are. The hive is our immortal life and this flight our bright mortal chance to Find. Hovering, motionless above the green ground, we wait for a sign. How shall we tell it from all the welter of color and wind?

The Queen told us, the Queen our ancestor, descendant of all our ancestors, the Queen told us, “Remember your religion, your din, that which comes out of nowhere in the middle of your chest.”

Humming light in the middle of my chest, humming light of my heart, I look into You to remember. You look back. Who is looking? Neither You nor me, just this empty open quiet space, Your center everywhere. Nothing Yourself You hum as the joyous light of everything.

“Remember that,” she told us, “remember the humming quiet and you will Find.”

Now the ground lights up, sparkling blossoms everywhere, now we dive and Find the soft petals enfolding us, Find the sweet nectar in the middle, Find the bliss of flowers at last fulfilled. We kiss and the Gift is given. Now the world can continue, the humming quiet in the pregnant flower, the humming quiet in the middle of our chests, now, nectar thick on our dangling legs we lift away, home to our mystic hive.

Oh joyous ones arriving! Fresh from the flowers’ Gift, our aloneness vanishes in this sweet homecoming! Now too the hive continues, now immortal, the humming quiet recalled in the middle of us all, in the middle of the world, the humming stillness, this Happiness.

"Bees of the invisible" is a phrase from a letter by Rilke to his translator.