I had something else in mind for today but then my kitchen starts buzzing. At first I think the lumberjacks are back for a strim in a distant neighbour’s tree. Except the buzzing doesn’t quite fit that. And although it’s faint, the sound feels nearer than the outside. But whenever I look in the direction of the noise, there’s nothing to see.
So I carry on making breakfast.
And the buzzing continues. Intermittently.
I pretend like I’m not paying attention. I practise subtle corner-of-my-eye looking, before whipping my head round, but I continue to see neither movement nor culprit. It doesn’t sound like a fly, too deep. And for a moment I panic that the timer on my boiler is about to explode. It’s all feeling a bit like an out of reach itch.
Finally, I turn the heat down beneath my pan and edge closer to the bombilation. I realise it’s coming from a shelf full of mugs. I peer. Nothing. I pick. First mug empty, second mug empty. By now, I’ve manufactured so much tension, I’ve convinced myself whatever is making this noise will be literally horrific.
Third mug, I find an enormous bumblebee. And throw it back into the breeze after opening a window.
I like to think I’ve just returned a soul to its body, for it’s said that when the soul goes wandering it takes the form of a bee. So an incapacitated bee is never a good thing.
But I do wish I’d checked out its arse before it flew off. For it’s also said that should a bee come to call, you should expect a visitor. And a white tailed bee means my visitor will be female, whereas if the tail is red, I should expect a man. A solo bee is also said to bring prosperity and luck to a household. Which will hopefully offset my uninvited guests rocking up in the middle of a pandemic.
The Everyday Lore Project has been running since St Distaff’s Day on 7 January 2020 and will run until 12th Night on 6 January 2021. Most days I have stuff planned, with a huge Tetris-like spreadsheet that I consult like the Oracle. But other days like today, I only have a vague notion of what I’ll do (it was beech tree related), which gives me some flexibility to react to the folklore around me. Anyhow, please subscribe for my last couple of weeks and spread the word by using the share buttons below. And keep your own eyes peeled for folklore opportunities…