It’s time for the honey pour.
Five gallons of golden sweetness is rolled out of storage, the funnel set in place, and the thick, rich nectar begins to fall.
This is the stuff of local flowers. Our friends down the street have an apiary. The tropical flora here is plentiful and these bees are inspired. This five gallons is a small portion of the fruit of their labor.
Jeb holds the funnel while Mary pours. But I know what he’s waiting for. And when she’s done gifting me with a gallon of flower power, he lifts the dripping funnel to his mouth and lets the sticky sweet roll down his chin.
“This was harvested May 1st,” Mary says.
“Ahh!” I say. “Beltane honey.”
Jeb’s the epitome of summer. Barefoot and bare-chested on a sunset lawn, licking honey fingers, one by one.
I flash back on the Beltane fire we had right in this backyard. How we jumped across the flames and made our wishes. How at evening’s end I had a moment alone with embers, bridging time and space.
On a night that marked the mid-point between Spring and Summer, I could sense the future feel of Fall. I knew I was sowing seeds that would be harvested in Autumn. At what hearth would I be standing come that time? Would those wishes pressed to starlight, fanned by Beltane flames of promise, have come real?
Right now, we’re deep in July. The Dahlia’s in the garden are full bloom. The basil grows thick. We make popsicles from purple lilikoi in the freezer.
At sunset we gather kindling for the fire. Lick the smooth, glass edges of a gallon jar of honey.