Life Affirming

My last blog was all the bad news about global climate change and how it is fueling weather changes.

A twin to Global Climate Change is the fossil fuel-driven big agriculture industry. It has become a massive enterprise of government subsidies, driving a monoculture of crops, drenched in chemicals—particularly glyphosates (herbicide) and neo-nicitinoids (insecticide). Our current mainstream food system is full of ecocidal chemicals.

On the bright side, something very happy happened recently in my chosen, fair state of New Mexico. Commission sacks weed control chemical, read the headline.

Bernalillo County Seal

The County decided to stop the use of glyphosate products, i.e. ROUNDUP. It’s use has skyrocketed—from big ag to our backyards. Scientists have researched long enough (40 years for MIT scientist Dr. Stephanie Seneff) to know that they cause very bad things in humans, soil and all beings exposed. Like those entities who cheered the monstrous and persistent DDT poison in the 50’s and 60’s, giants like Monsanto and Bayer will fight to the end when the public demands change. They will call the results hooey and seriously bully anyone who says that chemicals are wreaking havoc on our bodies, our food and our habitat.

Yet, in a major paradigm shift, the commission passed this unanimously. Debbie O’Malley said, “It’s about trying to do the right thing for the health and welfare of the community”

Published: Tuesday, April 23rd, 2019 at 11:40pm

This is a large undertaking with a department encompassing 123 properties and 2, 209 acres. But it is setting a precedent and an example for the state and the city in how to stop using an easy “fix” on our publicly shared spaces. They are showing us that it is possible to use other means for weeds. Old fashioned hand pulling and tools comes to mind. More manual labor, more jobs for humans, also comes to mind.

When I began working with the bees as a beekeeper, I felt as though I had joined a secret underground organization. Like the FreeMasons, I undertook multiple levels and years of training. Freemasons have the apprentice, fellow craft and master mason. I have no idea what that means in the Freemason world, but I can imagine what that might mean for a beekeeper.

I began by apprenticing myself to the wonder of the bee—a more endlessly fascinating mystery than a prescriptive being with easily solvable answers. I learned that interacting in the natural world requires one to slow down. Listen. Learn about hive – mind and bee world.

Fellow craft was learning to use the tools of beekeeping. The zoot suit itself made me feel invincible and part of a secretive society. It is also bloody hot in the middle of summer.

Then there is the smoker and and bee-brush with feather thin bristles. There are the hive tools to pry the bars apart.

Finally, master mason conjures up the years of classes I took to become more accomplished and find out how much I still didn’t know.

I do have my certified beekeeper award. But, be clear, it does not inoculate one against ignorance and human error and arrogance when working with the hive mind, the secret society of bees.

If I were to go back to the drawing board with my apprentice, fellow craft, and master mason training, I would include an immersion course into the poetry of bees, their mythology and sacred significance. It invokes reverence.

I would learn more carefully about the world that bees live within and all their mutual, symbiotic and magnetic resonances with flowers. I would study their habitat. After all, it is ours as well.

We do not often understand or even desire to recognize our surroundings with any form of mastery as most critters have been evolved to do. We move readily from one place to another. Humans have lost the ability to be deeply grounded in place—relentlessly local and aware.

Yet, When we are synergistically connected we will become fierce protectors of the land, air and water from whence our food comes. As our tiny anthropocentric world view changes, we will not readily harm or destroy.

So, thank you Bernalillo County Commission. You are my heroes! You may have done this for the sake of humans and to avoid a lawsuit (of which there are aplenty against Monsanto’s glyphosate products these days), but it helps all living beings and in the end, makes our food chain safer and healthier.

City of Albuquerque, please sit up and note. You are next…

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