"’This head is for the beast. It’s a gift.’"
Lord of the Flies ~William Golding
Last week’s full moon marked the passing of the summer solstice. The longest day of the year raced by unremarked among the long stretch of humid afternoons. Here in the northern hemisphere the days will slowly shorten as the earth recedes from the sun weary from a feverish embrace so eagerly pursued just days before. The heat of that embrace will linger, fading every day until the whip of winter’s northern winds chase away the last ember.
Those days are still to come and as yet we bask in the afterglow of that fiery kiss. Where there are no trees to shelter, the caress of the sun lays dormant the grasses leaving fragile fringes to crisp and crunch under foot. Even the weeds are cowed by the glory of that furnace and cringe with heads bowed to hide from the light. Flowers blooming in the morning dew are crushed beneath the wheels of Apollo’s great chariot as it soars through the azure expanse above.
Beneath the wooden eaves of the garage the hollyhocks and gladiolus grow. The nest opening tucked beneath those eaves has been a busy portal all of June and July with bumblebees carrying on the business of the garden. The workers spend the days amongst the flora harvesting pollen. They return to the nest only when their pollen sacs are so full they appear to be clad in bright yellow pantaloons.
This day though, there are no bumblebees in sight. Something new marks the entrance of the nest. How it got there, I don’t even want to speculate. It is macabre in its appearance and possible purpose. It is apparent, as the earth lays spent, weary and languid beneath the insistent weight of the sun that something is not right.