Having found lists of obscure/obsolete color names and rounded out the alphabet with a few simply-charming-to-me colors, each day, I’ll introduce a color and a swatch I’ve painted and then write about whatever comes to mind as I muse about the day’s color. Fair warning, my mind is a non-linear traveler, so who knows where my contemplations will take us.
M is for… melichrous – honey-colored
Being the flower lover I am, I could sit in a garden and marvel at them and the hard-working bees all day long. I feel such a connection with them. And of course, honey is right up there in my contemplations as well.
Let me start with a dream, which I always find a wonderful place to begin. I was lying in a field of night-blooming flowers, gazing up at the moon, and something buzzed my head. I thought it was pretty interesting a bee would be out so late, but even as I had the thought, I heard a snort and a very indignant faery landed next to me. Turns out she was quite chatty, and not all that impressed with humans, whom she considered a little light in the intelligence department. But she did wonder why people thought the moon was made from cheese when clearly it was made from honey. She opined about many things, but it was the idea of honeymoon that stuck in my brain when I woke up.
I remembered I had once researched the etymology of honeymoon and had discovered a tidbit of information that delighted me. In the 1500s, the term flitterwochen came into use in Germany to describe what is commonly defined as that “indefinite period of tenderness and pleasure experienced by a newlywed couple.” Flitter means tinsel and wochen is week. Doesn’t the idea of a tinsel week spark delight in your heart?! Seriously, from this moment forward, I am absolutely adopting flitterwochen as the standard by which all my weeks need to measure up.
While it’s still too early for my garden to be in bloom except for the hardiest of brave blossomers, I still have my memories to tide me over. I can’t help but think about late autumn when the goldenrod was at the height of its bee magnetism.. When in full bloom, the stalks were literally bee-heavy with all different types of bees, including plenty of bumbles. There were literally hundreds of bees in bliss-charged delight each day, and it was heart-burstingly wonderful to watch.
I can’t help but think of the lines from Mary Oliver’s poem Hum:
"The bees have gone simple, sipping, that's all. What did you expect? Sophistication? They're small creatures, and they are filling their bodies with sweetness, how could they not moan in happiness?
Did you know St. Valentine is considered the patron of beekeeping? In Bulgaria, it’s St. Kharlampii, a renowned healer who used honey and beeswax extensively in his practice. In Ireland, St. Gobnait, also known outside of Ireland as St. Abigail and St. Deborah, is the patroness of beekeeping. Deborah, as I love to mention, means “bee” in Hebrew. In the ancient Chaldean language, the root means both “bee” and “word.” So perhaps that helps explain why I love writing about bees so much.
The medicinal and nutritional value of honey has been documented as early as 300 BCE. Honey is used to ease sore throats and coughs, and for wounds, and allergies; it’s used in beauty rituals and spiritual rituals as well.
In ancient times honey and salt were the only commonly recognized preservatives, and honey was definitely considered to be connected to rebirth/resurrection magic. There’s evidence that bodies were embalmed in honey between 3500 to 1750 BCE, and honey was certainly a sacred essence to a number of goddesses, including Demeter and Aphrodite.
While honey is literally a source of sweetness, we shouldn’t forget the figurative aspects as well. There are times in life when sweetness is called for. When sweetness isn’t present, you can work with honey as a reminder, invoking that quality, attuning to that vibration. I particularly like this quote attributed to Walter Savage Landor:
“Kindness in ourselves is the honey that blunts the sting of unkindness in another.”
What about you? What’s the buzz where you’re at? Are you a honey lover? Don’t you think every week should be a tinsel week? Do tell – you know I love to hear