Friday, June 25, 2010

HONEY

June 25, 2010 honey
Years ago, when my mom and I went on outings because we had something we needed to do rather than to just get her out of the house, I decided I was going to make friends with beeswax. I loved the way the pure beeswax candles we bought in Williamsburg dripped when we burned them. I was gonna make my own! Both Mom and I had antique tin candle molds sitting on our hearths, and I wanted to try candle dipping as well. The prospect was sealed one day while dusting a couple old Santa candy molds I also own; I thought I’d also try making beeswax ornaments from the old molds. Thus began our quest to find good quality beeswax.
Thanks to the yellow pages (these were the days before Google) I discovered a small shop in Salt Lake City where they sold the residue left over from their honeybee hives. On an autumn afternoon Mom and I followed the seam of I-15 down south, off an unremembered exit, past a business selling cast lawn ornaments. We drove back across a long narrow driveway and opened the door to the shop. I’m not exactly sure what the memory was, but the aroma of the place evoked one: a remembrance of something long forgotten…like hundreds of years old. Something stored deep in the spiritual pocket behind my belly button.
We purchased two large blocks of golden wax. I lifted the bricks to my nose as we walked out, inhaling at half-speed. It was earthy and sweet and balanced…it felt balanced - in the way that all the earth should be balanced. Like a dinner plate with two thirds vegetables and one third protein. Like water from a mountain spring the minute it emerges. Like morning air damp with dew. It felt like the benefit equaled the sacrifice. Sweet and earthy and old.
We melted the wax in an old can which we set in a pot of water. The can clanked and jiggled as the water below it boiled, the clump of gold turning to liquid as I stood above it and watched. I stirred the wax with an old chop stick until it was melted. We poured and dipped and scraped. Re-melted, re-poured and dipped again. We still have those golden Santa’s made of beeswax. I recall that afternoon every time I lay my Santa collection across my concrete mantle in our family room.
A few years back I spent a summer travelling to various public libraries in Salt Lake City. They had hired me to do a summer program for children. We called it Happy Faces – Happy Feet. We sang songs, traced our feet, dressed up like fairies, made music shakers out of empty pop cans (we had plenty of them at our house, what with Dave’s Pop Shoppe). Then we marched and kept the beat as we sang, following the pattern we had laid on the ground with our traced feet: A marching band of children with a Pied Guitar-er in the lead. I did a different library every week.
One week there was a little four-year-old boy who completely charmed me when he talked. I had been sitting on a stool, explaining something, when he raised his hand. His name was Thomas.
“Yes, Thomas,” I said, worried that his helium-filled arm was going to wave off his body.
“My Honey said we should do this or that (I can’t remember what it was he said, just that he mentioned his Honey.)
“Oh, good idea!” I responded.
“Who’s Honey?” I wondered who the sweetheart of a four year old would be.
“Ummmm”, he thought for a minute, “She’s just my Honey.”
“OK,” I said.
One week later he showed up in another library.
“Hey!” I smiled as I winked at him. “Weren’t you at our last one in South Jordan?”
“I brought you my Honey.” He turned and took the hand of a middle aged woman. The sort of woman I am now.
I was charmed almost speechless that he called his grandmother Honey.
“So do all your grandchildren call you Honey?”
“No,” she responded, “Only Thomas. He just started calling me that one day and it’s been that way ever since.”
I could not take my eyes off the two of them for the rest of the program. I watched him wrap his arms around her neck when they finished their rattle. I watched her talk to him as he colored. They were perfectly balanced; like the beeswax. The just-right amount of give and take. Sweet and true and eternal.
Honey.

ps- my Honey and I were married in the Washington DC LDS Temple 33 years ago today.  Happy Anniversary, Honey!

4 comments:

  1. i almost forgot about this story. i love the name "Honey". i love the name "Thomas". and i am glad that you married your "honey" so very long ago! i'm sure he didn't realize he was inheriting a harem...but aren't we lucky!

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  2. Happy Anniversary you two. You two are also the prefect balance of give and take and I love the way you both adore each other....

    Thanks for your examples. I love you both.

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  3. Lovely, lovely, lovely. And now I ache to walk through that door, smell that smell and buy some of that golden dream.

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  4. I too have a set of those santas. Every Christmas when I take them out of their tissue, I think of you and the fun you must have had making them. Now I know the story. I'll always treasure them.
    Thank you.

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