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Something You Love

This writing is in response to the prompt: write something you love without saying you love it, but making it clear that you love it.

I’m walking through our prairie, inspecting all of the tiny plants as they break through the surface of the dirt and begin to grow. It’s beautiful outside. The sun feels warm on my cheeks and the soft breeze brings with it the smell of spring. I’m glad that the warm weather and sunny skies are returning. I’ve missed them. Sometimes winter feels too long, even mild winters like this one.

As I near the house, my attention is pulled in another direction as I notice that the blooms are opening on the crab apple trees in our backyard. My heart begins to beat fast, I know what’s on those trees and I cannot wait to inspect. I'm unable to contain my excitement as I quickly jog to the shed to grab a ladder, passing by the house for the camera on my way. I’m out of breath but need to slow my breathing. I can’t hear them if I’m breathing too loudly. As I get closer to the trees, the buzzing begins. Where, oh where, should I place the ladder? The possibilities feel endless as my attention drifts from bee to bee buzzing in the trees. Some sit on the flowers for a brief moment, but others simply dash to and fro. Like me, they are looking for their perfect opportunity. I scan the tree for my favorites. Who is out today? I want to watch them, follow their movements, but I know that this is a losing battle. The tree is thick with flowers and with so many bees flying between the branches, my eyes will struggle to focus on just one. If I want to see them, all of them, I need to close my eyes and listen.

The deep thrum of a fly catches my attention to the left. While I can appreciate flies and their role in nature, I rarely find them a worthy subject to be photographed. Tuning out the sound of this visitor, I turn my attention to the softer, faster buzzing all around me. I know that I am surrounded by honeybees and I smile as I realize most of them are likely from the beehives we’ve just established. Honeybees are beautiful and a frequent subject of my photography, but today I want to focus my attention elsewhere. And so, I continue to stand on the ladder, surrounded by the sounds of honeybees and the sweet smell of crab apple blossoms, as I continue to close my eyes and patiently listen.

I haven’t heard her yet, but I know that she’s here somewhere. She’s always here this time of year. I sneak a peek from under my eyes. Maybe I’m getting rusty after the long winter. Maybe my ability to discern the different buzzing is failing me. I don’t want to say it, but maybe I’m getting old. God, I hope not. I could spend hours out here, just listening. I take a deep breath and close my eyes again, reminding myself that photographing bees is a game of patience and mindfulness. And then I hear it, the heavy beating of the wings, a slower, deeper buzz than the sound of the honeybee. I take a moment to pinpoint the direction of the sound before opening my eyes and spying her… a beautiful, fluffy, fat bumble bee. I knew she would come. I can’t wait to add her photo to my collection.

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