Mysterious things are happening around my house.
Strange, eerie, beautiful (and sometimes maddening) things.
Those of you who follow me on Facebook are well aware of the MASSIVE beehive that has taken over a portion of my property … and my life. If you’re not yet familiar with THE HIVE, don’t worry. The saga will likely result in a metaphor-rich post about productivity, fertility and sweetness. It’s obvious the all mighty honey bee is my latest animal spirit guide.
Synchronicity is in full swing. Everywhere I turn there’s a reference to bees. I attended a Sylvia Plath poetry reading last month at which every poem seemed to reference bees. (Plath’s husband, Ted Hughes, was a hobby beekeeper. Her father, an entomologist, studied the insect.) Two weekends ago, I took my sister to see American Stage’s fabulous outdoor performance of the 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee at a park in downtown St. Pete. Three weeks prior to that, my son developed an infatuation with Blind Melon’s No Rain video, in which a misfit girl dressed in a bumble bee suit runs around town feeling like an outcast.
And then there’s this enchanting flower: the Night Blooming Cereus, also referred to in works of literature as The Queen of the Night. A rare summer cactus flower, it blooms just once a year and only at night.
Tonight was that night. Tonight it bloomed. Tonight this prickly serpent-like vine gave way to big, white sea anemone-like flowers. All year it does nothing but hang like Medusa’s hair from an old cabbage palm on an abandoned lot across the street from my house. All year it’s unimpressive and overlooked, until one night like the Venus flytrap in Little Shop of Horrors it comes to life and begins fiending for human blood.
Tonight this ugly vine erupted into a cascade of blooms. Neighbors called to inform me of the news. They wait all year to catch a glimpse of its moonlit glory.
Its performance is ephemeral at best. By dawn the flowers will be gone. Wilted, exhausted from their marvelous one-night only performance.
To those who didn’t see the blooms, it will be as if the flowers never existed. To those who did, this spiny, slithering vine will forever be regarded as beautiful and bewitching.