Sweet Dreams

“It takes a bee 10,000,000 trips to collect enough nectar to make one pound of honey.” — Sue Monk Kidd, The Secret Life of Bees

My 16 ounce jar of Swords into Plowshares honey, then, is just that: a jar full of 10,000,000 bee trips.

(Do they get frequent flyer miles?)

Swords into Plowshares is a New Haven-based company owned by Vincent Kay, who started beekeeping in 1982. The name of his company comes from a passage in the Bible:

They shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.— Isaiah 2:4 (King James, Cambridge Ed.)

“I’m not a really religious person,” Vincent told a reporter for the Record Journal back in 2007. “But that particular verse made a lot of sense to me in terms of how people should learn to live together.”

Vincent seems quite pragmatic about many things, actually. I had a chance to talk to him this weekend, when I called to ask about recycling.

“Do you take back your glass jars to reuse?” I asked.

I was just about to toss the sweet little, beehive-esque jar into the recycling bin. But it seemed such a waste.

“I do,” he said. “But I also buy the nicest jars I can find so folks think about re-using them, for rice or beans or things like that.”

I could drop them off at his home in New Haven, he said. We exchanged names and phone numbers — but I was already considering what I could save away in my sweet little jar.

Rice. Beans. Sea glass, perhaps? I have a handful of pale pink pieces from a walk on the beach last week.

Or just more honey.

“The elixir of life is as sweet as honey,” writes Ted Andrews in Animal-Speak, “and the bee is a symbol that promises us that the opportunity to drink of it is ours if we but pursue our dreams.”

Perhaps the jar is for dreams, then? A sweet little spot for whispers of what may be, what will be, what already are…in my dreams.

6 thoughts on “Sweet Dreams

Add yours

  1. yeah – i’ve kept some of those jars – the label soaks right off if you wish it to

    what a nice thing to think about as your little snowflakes fall down either side… honey and the wonderful little bee people!!!

  2. “(Do they get frequent flyer miles?)” A worked bee will wear out his wings in five to six weeks and then he dies. Kind of sad huh? My daddy raised a lot of bee’s when I was a kid, and we always had hot buttered biscuits with honey on them.

    Nice memories.

    You did a good job on this one a delightful read. The part about the jars was nice, if everyone did this (recycled) it surely would be less drain on the planet.

    Good job.


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