I just had my bees inspected by the state apiarist. Nice guy. Went into those hives all bare-handed like it was nothing. My girls are strong and healthy, and the estimate he gave me for selling them was more than I expected. He asked why I was getting out of the bee business. I told him it wasn't fun anymore without matt. He didn't have the reaction I'd expect he would if he knew why matt wasn't here. I slipped it in to the following sentences... you know, a casual mention of death: "the year matt died, we were running three hives." Then the response, the apology, acknowledgment, and telling me I am too young for this. Respectful, kind, professional, human. A little later, Inspector guy said - "I don't even know how you do something like that, live after that. I'd move too. No reason to stay." Bee people. They really are good.
I still feel, I don't know, melancholic, a little heartbroken, a little wishing it didn't need to be this way, this selling of our bees. Another chapter in our life closing, differently than it would have if you were still here. A lot of little leave-takings. A lot of little melancholies. Digging out perennials to gift to other gardens. Boxes of things to goodwill. Posting our bees for sale. Looking around at the darkening skies and coloring leaves and knowing (Insha'llah) this is my last fall here, my last winter here. I am removing our roots, my roots.
It is weird to hold the line to moving. To hold to the reality of selling our hives. To continue to dismantle the gardens. The romantic notion of beekeeping, and even of gardening, is at odds with the reality of both. The romantic ideas can cling to me, especially on days like this. But I know if I allow that nostalgia and dreaming to keep me from doing all this, I will be angry and resentful come spring, angry and annoyed with myself that I let the romantic image sway me from my actual experience. What was once, what could be in the haze of romantic vision, neither of these are now. Money from selling the colonies means heat for the winter, means breathing room for the next couple of months. Right now, it feels like a gift matt can give me, a gift our life can give me. So. The bees are posted for sale. Wish them luck. Wish me luck.