ONE WITH NATURE
BY JAMES M. VINES
Buzz go the Honey Bees, as they come out of their hives into the warm sunlight. Chirp go the birds as they look for a mate as they begin the ritual courtship of spring. Up and down the squirrels run, chasing each other back and forth at play. Quietly I sit on an old stump, my, Honey Blonde hair flowing wildly in the wind. In tune with nature is what they call it I think. I am not completely sure, but what I do know is that ever since I was a child, nature has always seemed to respond to me. The quieter I am, the more I am in touch with it. I can feel the Bees, I can become the little birds flying around and I can see what the Squirrels see and think their thoughts. Some people would call it a curse, others would call it a gift. Some would say that I am just crazy. I mean with a demure frame and at 5’9” many say I should be spending my time out with other people. I don’t mind people, they just have to be the right sort of people. So quietly I sit, becoming one with nature. As I sit, I think back to when it all began. Back to the first time I bonded with nature.
Not so long ago, I guess in the measure of natures time. About 12 years or so, when I was only 6, I was playing happily on my grand parents farm. My grand parents were into farming many things, but what they were most proud of were their Honey Bees. They had over a hundred hives and produced some of the best honey in the region. Grand dad says it was because grand mother could talk to the bees. I never thought much about it when I was young, at least not until that day. One of my older cousins was visiting with my aunt at the same time I was staying a few days with my grandparents while my mother was away with my dad on business. My cousin Mark was 5 years older than me, which made him harder to control, he was always getting into trouble. Well on this particular overcast day, he came out to where I was picking flowers and taking them to the Bee Hives. I would lay the flowers on the ground at the base of the hive with bees swarming all around me. All I had on was a pretty dress ribbons in my hair and bare feet. You couldn’t keep shoes on me at that time and I still don’t wear them unless I have to. Anyway, I was out among the hives with flowers in my hand and flowers in my hair, and Honey Bees landing all around me. For some reason, I guess unconsciously I was talking to the Bees, just like my grand mother. Well my cousin was bored and he decided that the would come see what I was doing, I was surrounded by a cloud of bees but no harm was befalling me. He saw me and just stopped to stare. I looked over at him and waved, with bees crawling all in my long hair finding the flowers I had placed in it. He just gave me a hollow stare, as if he were both perplexed and disgusted at the same time. I just ignored him and carried on with my task. Then all of the sudden, I felt a chill run down my spine. Then I felt a panic come over me. I looked around trying to find out what was going on, then I realized that my idiot cousin was throwing rocks at one of the hives on the end of the row. I could feel the buzzing and the anger. The bees were very upset and I knew Mark was in danger. I dropped my flowers and ran towards him, just as a swarm of worker bees left the hive he had attacked. They were about to engulf him and begin stinging him in defense of their colony. Just before the first bee could land on him, I yelled at him to stop. I then felt a reverberation that left my body and went through out the bee colony. Suddenly, he dropped the rock he had in his hand as a cloud of bees was hovering just in front of him. He was so scared that he we wet himself. I could feel his fear through the bees, but for some reason they didn’t attack him. It was as if I could see him through the eyes of the bees. It was as if I was a bee and the bees were me. All I know is that he was frozen in fear! I walked up and pushed him. With a swarm of bees in front of him and me pushing on his side, the finally came too and backed away slowly. He went back to the house and I didn’t see him anymore that day. I turned to the swarming bees and waved my hand in the air, they instantly dispersed and went back to what they were doing before their hive was attacked. That was when for the first time, I consciously knew that some thing profound had just happened. Neither one of us spoke of the incident and it wasn’t until a year later that my grand mother mentioned it to me, you see she had been watching from the kitchen window.
After that incident, I knew I was different. I spent a lot of time on my grand parents farm. I soon realized that it just wasn’t bees that I could talk to, but I began playing around with the house cats. I then moved on to birds and squirrels and before you knew it, I found that I couldn’t just talk to them, but that I could become them. Once I ask my grandmother about what I could do? I ask if my mom could it too? Grand mother explained that for some reason my mother could do it when she was young but it never took to her. She wasn’t interested in the farm or nature, so the ability sort of just dies. Grand dad was just tickled when he found out what I could. I thought he would think I was weird, but it turns out he was overjoyed to know that my grandmothers gift wasn’t lost. So instead of being locked up as some freak, I was encouraged and taught to appreciate my gift. Which by no stretch of the imagination could be very helpful. I just had to be careful so as not to let what my grand mother referred to as boring people see what I could overtly do. She said some folks just wouldn’t understand what I could do an would be afraid of it or want to pervert it. So with that in mind, I hid my gift. I only let it show in very subtle ways and when it was absolutely necessary, I would find a way to use my gift to help others.
As I sit on this stump, as is my common ritual as part of my yoga meditation. Yes, I am into Yoga. I found when I was a teenager that it was a good way to get exercise and do weird stuff where no one would look to closely at you. Meditation seems to be a key part in controlling and exercising my gift as I get older. It is like an athlete working out their muscles. The more time I can spend meditating and becoming one with nature, the better I am at controlling my gift. When I need to use it on cue, I can focus, even in a stressful environment , and use what I have learned at will almost. Provided the animal or insect I want to connect with is willing. As an aside to my Yoga and meditation, I have immersed myself in science in high school. So that also is a social circle killer. A smart girl, most of the guys just run away. They don’t want a smart girl, they want their girl to be dulled down a little, that way they can not only look tough but act smarter than they really are. I digress however, as I sit here I see nature all around me. I see birds checking out a Berry bush to see if the berries are ripe for the eating. I see a the world below as a Hawk flies overhead and looks down on a bunch of things. Some I don’t mind seeing, but some are the ugliness of humanity, that part I cannot stand. So on I go with my existence, using my abilities to farm and help people in subtle ways. I will be going off to college in the fall, my grand parents have already told me that I will inherit the farm. They say they would not trust it to anyone else. I also have a few friends. I have one Yoga partner that they call the flower girl, she seems to be able to talk to plants. There is also a cute guy I am interested in, he is already in college studying to be a vet. He is very empathetic and seems to be able to know just exactly what an animal needs. He says he wants to be able to work with animals instead of people. That might just be someone who wouldn’t mind sharing farm life? Only time can tell about that.