The bees had been dwindling for decades. Certain strongholds across the planet were still growing flowers and food, but they were dwindling too. While the earth’s citizens scrambled to hoard the remaining canned and packaged food, Vivian’s garden thrived. The countryside where she lived was one of the holdouts, and botanists from all over the world had come to learn what they could.
It was springtime, and the news wasn’t good. Although the early spring flowers were blooming – the magnolias, the daffodils, and the lilacs – the consensus among the scientists (who had come to be Vivian’s friends) was that this was the final year for flowers, and thus for food.
When they told her the news, tears came to her eyes. While a part of her wanted to run to her bed, curl up under the covers, and never come out, she breathed through the ache in her heart. With tears spilling and spilling like rain, she spent hours in the sunshine, inhaling the scent of the flowers and gazing at them as they quivered in the breeze.
That night, she called everyone she loved (including the botanists). The next day, according to her wishes, they all sat together – children and adults – in the expansive garden. They gazed silently at the flowers and inhaled their scent. As they glowed in the sunshine, the preciousness of these last blossoms on earth made their hearts ache. They wept deeply even as they were overcome by beauty like they had never known.
The evening was a warm one, and Vivian made the most delicious feast with all of the last season’s goods that were stored in her pantry and freezer: canned pumpkin and squash, stewed tomatoes, dried sage and rosemary, raspberry cordial, zucchini bread, and her last apple pie. They sat out in the garden to eat. With everyone’s hearts broken open, there was plenty of deep laughter even as the tears continue to fall. No one had ever enjoyed a meal more. When it was over, some played music and others danced late into the night.
When they finally camped out under the stars, everyone slept deeply, and dreamed. Not of a world with no bees and no food, but of the deep, secret wisdom of the earth. Their dreams taught them about living in harmony with all beings. Their dreams were filled with promises of rebirth, of healing, of interconnection, of regeneration. Their dreams imparted transcendent wisdom, that went far beyond anything that had previously been known by humans, and beyond anything that could be spoken of or explained with words, numbers, graphs, or headlines.
When they awoke, they still did not know what was going to happen now that the bees were gone. But they had enjoyed, and they had witnessed, and they had dreamed. They had inhaled, tasted, appreciated, and loved. They had listened deeply to the earth, and the earth had told them secrets: secrets that could hold promise for their future. And all because they had the courage to allow their hearts to crack open into a million pieces so that the beauty and the wonder and the magic could flow in.