You don’t even know

When the cempansuchil (marigold) is blooming for the dead, the bees are putting up stores for the winter. In the October twilight there is a strategic moment, the perfect angle of light, like the fissure in a diamond that when tapped just right will reveal its beauty; this is moment for which Victor waits.

His gaze is soft, his body relaxed. The descending sun appears to hover above the ridge. He raises his arm, “Aya”(there) he whispers… slowly his finger draws a line across the landscape, his arm falls. A few minutes later the action is repeated.Five times he locates bees returning to their nest by gazing into the slanted light of dusk that makes them visible. Visible to him that is, I see nothing but the winged ants and mayflies, and they are all within a hundred yards. He is watching swarms that are a half a mile away. He can differentiate them from other insects because he knows at what altitude they fly. As they light he visually calculates where they are landing. This is nothing short of magical in my mind, but I suppose it is achieved with an intimate knowledge of the terrain, and a well-practiced spatial sense.

In the morning he will set out to find the hives, as honey must be harvested while the bees are still groggy from the evenings’ chill. If they are not found he will watch again tomorrow and adjust his coordinates. On this occasion, he found all five hives the next day.

The seemingly miraculous aspect of this accomplishment makes me ponder the difference between my perspective, and Victor’s view of his skill. I think of it as something incredible. He says, I just know how to see, as if it were very simple, very easy. This is also difficult for me to see, though I can attest that the honey is very good.

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About vsvevg

Hello, I'm Abby Smith. I started this blog in 2010 to write about the pursuit of a self-sustainable life in rural Mexico. In 2015, my then-husband and I moved to Nicaragua, where we created a successful farm-to-table and in-house charcuterie program for a high-end beach resort. In 2022, with mad butchery and cheese-making skills under my belt, I started a sustainable food systems consulting business. Happily, I also have more time for my first love-- writing about food and the complexities of the simple life.

1 thought on “You don’t even know

  1. Abby, I bet you are a great see-r. How amazing to get to learn from Victor! I want to try seeing too. I wonder if it is similar to what I’ve heard, I think, described as softening your gaze? You kind of take in everything at once (like in Where’s Waldo? I had a cool teacher once in dance class, who had us practice receptively taking in the surroundings through our eyes. It was an unusual feeling, but cool!

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