Honey has always had a sort of magical quality for me. Created from the hearts of flowers by a tribe of equally magical insects, this golden substance will always be something of a mystery; a delicious feat of alchemy.
However, the power of honey – as well as the process behind it – has been long understood and well documented. Popular novels celebrating the body-and-soul benefits of honey like The Secret Life of Bees, by Sue Monk Kidd, have even become films. This tasty natural sweetener has replaced sugar as a pantry staple, and has finally made its way into ice cream parlors – possibly its most fantastic incarnation yet.
As I swirled the sweet syrup into my tea one day, I began to think of honey in a different sense. I thought about the powers and qualities stored in its delicate crystals, and how they might translate in my own life. At that time, I was experiencing a great deal of instability, isolation, and self-doubt. I was embarking on a new career far from home, in a culture drastically different from my own. Essentially, life was feeling more bitter than sweet. In response, I concocted a simple mantra: be honey.
Honey is resilient
Finding the will to move beyond past disappointments or personal shortcomings has always been a challenge for me. So, I took a lesson from honey – one of nature’s most powerful representations of strength, adaptability, and resiliency. Despite aching cold and burning heat, honey remains. It doesn’t remain unchanged, but the core of it – its truest nature and most valued qualities – remain undiminished. Though it may fluctuate between hardened crystals and velvety syrup, it never loses itself and it always bounces back. Honey is resilient.
Honey has been consumed by humanity for thousands of years, and is perhaps nature’s greatest tale of endurance. It has been found pure and intact in 3,000-year-old Egyptian tombs, and scientists have declared it the only food that never spoils. These brave researchers even sampled the millennia-old honey found alongside King Tut and declared it just as tasty as ever.
Honey’s ability to withstand the test of time is truly inspiring…
In our modern world, where things are so easily disposed of and forgotten about, honey’s ability to withstand the test of time is truly inspiring. It is a simple reminder to remain pure and steadfast, regardless of the changes and challenges you may encounter. Honey endures.
Long used to ease pain and fight disease, honey is the ideal natural medicine. Thanks to its anti-bacterial and anti-microbial qualities, ancient Egyptians developed more than 500 different honey-based remedies to cure everything from burns to sore throats. This wonder drug can soothe wounds, speed healing, strengthen immunity, slow aging, clean the blood and regulate the circulatory system. Packed with vitamins and nutrients this sweet treat can even diminish acne and act as a natural mood booster.
When I developed my sweet mantra, I had more internal wounds to address than external. However, honey gave me the nourishment to heal throughout. Even adding it to my morning toast or mixing it into my hand cream became a purposeful step on my journey back to whole health and body awareness. When I swapped my pill bottles and lotions for a gleaming glass jar of this bee-approved wonder tonic, I began to feel better inside and out. Honey heals.
Honey is only possible through collaboration and cooperation
Honey isn’t possible with one bee or even one hundred. It can sometimes take 10,000 busy bees working together to produce even one pound of the rich, flavorful substance we so easily take for granted. Hives are an ideal model for collaborative work, shared effort and selfless cooperation.
As a writer, I spent most days in the company of my computer… and little else. I missed the opportunity to work with others toward a shared goal. I missed the joy of celebrating mutual success. I missed feeling as though my work was helping and encouraging others to shine.
I learned to say thank you and really mean it…
I took a lesson from honey, and all the amazing little creatures that work to create it, and invited more people into my life. I asked for their help, their support, and their ideas, and offered my own in return. I learned to say thank you and really mean it. Sometimes I even said it with a fresh baked honey cake. Maybe both honey and happiness are only possible through collaboration and cooperation.
Honey is sweet
If the best things in life are sweet, then honey’s most powerful lesson might also be its simplest. In its very essence, honey is joyful sustenance, and the delicious product of many little wings working together. It is the simple pleasure of swirling a teaspoon in a steaming cup of Earl Grey. It’s a health tonic more satisfying than any drug. It’s a reminder that life can and should be sweet, pure, satisfying, and shared.
Questions For You: What’s your favorite tea to put your honey in (or, what’s your favorite honey to put in your tea)? Is there a particularly helpful use for honey that you have noticed or tried? Feel free to share your thoughts below!