The Bee and Heaven on Earth - Reflecting on Emily Dickinson

Photo: David Gilbert [see below for more]

I saw this beautiful photo of a bee on a flower, so enchantingly in tune with the colors of the bloom and the color of the noon, I was reminded of an Emily Dickinson’s poem (see below). 

On first look it seems like the bee is idling, doing nothing of purpose.  It is striking how the idleness of the bee is a tune, much like it’s labor which is chant. And if that it all it was doing it would still be beautiful.  Even the ones that are waiting are serving reminds John Milton.  Just by being itself the bee sings. This singing is it’s true calling, it’s service of its truth. The service of the guru of truth is fruitful says Guru Amar Das. The service of the bee is fruitful. In singing this beautiful song of being itself the bee opens the door of heaven on earth, So Dar (Guru Nanak). That door beyond which everything sings, from the elements to the planets and the universe. 

But if you carefully think about it, the bee is not just being beautiful and idling. It is pollinating the flowers.  She goes from flower to flower vanquishing them and  herself. She helps propagate her own species and plants. Her labor is true, it is the service of the guru. This is her song that maker her part of the eden she is creating on earth. 

The Bee by Emily Dickinson

Like trains of cars on tracks of plush
I hear the level bee:
A jar across the flowers goes,
Their velvet masonry

Withstands until the sweet assault
Their chivalry consumes,
While he, victorious, tilts away
To vanquish other blooms.

His feet are shod with gauze,
His helmet is of gold;
His breast, a single onyx
With chrysoprase, inlaid.

His labor is a chant,
His idleness a tune;
Oh, for a bee’s experience
Of clovers and of noon!

More about the David Gilbert 

The photograph was taken by poet David Gilbert with his iPhone. David is a born and bred Londoner. He is the youngest son of a kinder-transport refugee, and has worked for 35 years in health and healthcare. He is a mental health user and the first ‘Patient Director’ in the NHS. Throughout his career, he has written poetry, and has published four collections: