UuKay sat cross-legged on the terrace just next to her front door. Leaning back against the soft, warm wood of the thick, giant Tree that her people called home, she looked out over the dawning Sun slowly lightening the East. Her home was grown directly out of a branch, small as a result of it being situated as close to the end of the branch as possible. But that suited her perfectly. It gave her an unimpeded view of the mountainous forest that stretched as far as the eye could see. Her giant Tree overlooked the others in the immediate vicinity and her vantage point was only surpassed by a handful of neighbors who’d made home higher in the Tree than she had.
The night air was pleasingly warm, the canopy of leaves overhead kept the heat of the day trapped in-between the giant tree boles during the night. She wore a long, thin, light-brown colored meditation robe. She had been in deep meditation for sometime now, but dawn was her time to give thanks. She drew her attention into her inner body feeling it as a single field of energy – similarly shaped to her physical body, just lighter, and clearer – and slowly settled herself into this inner body until she could no longer distinguish between it and her physical body.
As the first rays of sunlight sliced through the mountaintops in the far distance and struck her, she reached out with her inner, energetic body and offered it to the Sun. She embraced the Sun’s energy and gave thanks for another beautiful dawn. Why the Sun? It didn’t have to be, it could have been anything: the Tree; the Sky; the Earth; the River; the Moon; the Stars. Everything was connected and whenever anyone gave thanks to anything, everything vibrated with the commingling energy. For UuKay, it was the Sun; it’s rays pierced her body, rejuvenating and re-energizing her, internally and externally.
She spent 15 minutes in thanks and reverie and then slowly stood, ready for the day ahead. She went inside her home and changed into her travel clothes. Light-brown, knee-high boots, a brown and green mottled flight-suit, and a backpack with three days worth of supplies. She doubted she would be gone that long, and there would be no shortage of food and water along the journey, but it was always better to be prepared for anything. After emerging from her home, she walked along the terrace, anti-clockwise until she was facing towards the Northwest. She gingerly, lightly touched the giant Tree, whispered “Good bye. Thank you,” and then she stepped off the terrace.
Flying was second nature to her. It wasn’t innate to her species, but the physics of flitting – either slowly or instantaneously – from one physical location to another had been discovered millennia before and all children eventually learned the skill at a young age; usually just after they learned to crawl and were in danger of falling out of doorways, or off terraces. Living thousands of feet up in the sky in giant Trees would have been very cumbersome without the ability to fly from one to another.
She drifted slowly out from under the canopy of the her giant Tree. As she neared the perimeter of her Tree she broadcast her intentions on a public, mental channel that everyone could access. “I am traveling Northwest to the edge of the forest, to where it meets the great fields of flowers.” It wasn’t strictly necessary for her to let everyone know as anyone could directly communicate with her mind and find her should the need arise, irrespective of the distance she traveled, but she enjoyed the parting ritual. She smiled to yourself as the various “good-wishes”, “safe travels” and positive thoughts flooded back in return. Her community was truly built on love.
Bee sat alone outside the hive, shivering slightly as a cool, gentle breeze blew in from the Northwest. It was late at night but a full, round, silvery moon shone brightly overhead and she could see out over the small field of flowers that she foraged in every day. The worker bees and drones had all returned for the night and were resting quietly in the hive but 50 000 resting bees and those few bees that were awake tending the larvae still amounted to a lot of activity and the hive thrummed gently under her feet.
An old Drone quietly crawled out from inside the hive, a short distance from where Becca was sitting. He was very old: both of his wings we broken in numerous places – it would have been impossible for this old Drone to fly anywhere; he limped and jerked sideways as he crawled over towards Bee.
Bee shifted uncomfortably, afraid of this old Drone, afraid of being out alone late at night.
“Peace,” the old Drone spoke softly and deeply, “it’s quiet out here, isn’t it? Beautiful too. The moon looks just delightful tonight.” He gazed off towards the large, gibbous orb, shining in the night sky overhead.
Still too shy to talk, Bee just nodded her head.
“What brings you outside, bee? You must be tired. Do you not want to be resting inside the warm hive?” The old Drone tipped his head downwards in the direction of the thrumming hive beneath their feet.
“I prefer the silence, thank you.” Bee responded timidly. “Oh, and the view, it’s gorgeous.” She couldn’t help herself from smiling when she looked out in the night sky; her field of flowers shining silvery in the bright moonlight. “And you, old Master Drone, what brings you out tonight?” Becca asked a little more bravely than she felt.
A deep sonorous chuckling sounded from the Drone’s thorax. “I may be old, and I may not be able to fly but I can still get around. I try not to miss a full moon.” The old Drone sat next to Bee for a few more minutes enjoying the silvery moon creep across the sky. Then he silently – without a word – slipped off, back into the hive.
UuKay chose to fly slowly through the forest rather than instantly over the top of the canopy above her head. She was enjoying the familiar sights and smells of the giant Forest: hot, humid, wonderful, earthen smells drifted up to her from the ground thousands of feet below. Fresh shoots were pushing up through the soil, turning it over, exposing the rich, damp soil to the air above. She could picture ants, worms, and millions of insects all scurrying about over this fresh soil.
Birdsong drifted out from all around her. Spring was the mating season and every bird she could hear seemed enthralled with finding a mate. Short, shrill calls cut through long, intricate mating songs. Occasionally a pair of males barked at each other as they fought for a mate. UuKay smile to herself: the Forest was plentiful and every creature would get their share.
Occasionally, she glimpsed villages like her own grown into the boles of the great Trees. Her people were tall, over seven feet tall, very slim, and very light. Their arms and legs were long, much longer their torsos. The were completely hairless and their skin color changed throughout the day: very pale at dawn to a deep, rich, dark grey when the sun finally set. UuKay wasn’t exactly a “she”. Her people didn’t have a genetic sex that they were born with and which remained with them throughout life. Instead, they were mostly hermaphrodites; their sexuality temporarily defining itself due to age, seasons and the needs of her people.
Each time she approached a village she broadcast a friendly greeting on the public, mental channel – the same one she’d used to announce that she’d left her village – and informed the inhabitants of the village that she traveling through, en-route to the edge of the Forest. Some people replied back to her mentally while others physically looked over at her; smiled and waved.
Bee was out, on the wing at day-break, just as soon as it was safe to fly. Wings beating 200 times a second, she flew at 15 mph towards her field of flowers. She had about 100 flowers that she needed to forage from today. Within minutes she was above the flowers, carefully picking out her route. She had her favorites; flowers that she visited every day, but she was always on the look-out for small, new flowers that needed nurturing, or a flower that had been neglected and need some help recovering. She was very proud of the flowers she tended.
Most bees kept to the center of the field, but Bee always found herself flying towards the edges of the field, towards the large mountains and forest which bordered the field. She always wondered to herself whether the mountains and forests were coming down to the field, or whether the field was raising up into the forest, encroaching into the towering trees.
She darted into the trees, foraging among the newly forming flowers, transferring as much pollen from flower to flower as she could. It was quiet and dark inside the forest. The first couple of times that Becca had ventured into the forest, she’d been frightened out after just a few minutes. But, she’d persevered and now she enjoyed the solitude and stately beauty of the trees rising high into the sky.
The giant Trees around UuKay started to thin and in the distance UK could make out blue sky through the gaps in the trunks of the giant Trees. After an hour or two more of easy flying, she burst forth from under the canopy of the Forest. The view was breathtaking. It was the same every time she came up to check on the flowers, but it never ceased to amaze her. She stopped in mid-flight and simply stared out across the flowers. The flowers stretched northwest as far as the eye could see, covering hills upon hills, and reaching all the way up to the snowline of the mountain ranges hundreds of kilometers in the distance. Every shape, size and color was represented. Simple yellow and white flowers danced next to complicated, ornate flowers or deep purple and black.
She drifted to the ground at the edge of the field of flowers and sat down, luxuriating in the soft, green grass which edged the Forest. She ate, watched the sun slowly set over the flowers, and then slept.
Bee was outside the hive again. The wind was blowing and occasional rain drops splashed down around her. In the distance, lightning flared inside the bank of clouds that was slowly rolling towards the hive.
“Young bee, come inside this instant.” A kind but firm command issued forth from the hive entrance nearest to her.
Bee looked up to see the same old Drone who had spoken to her a few nights previously. He was standing inside the hive, just out of reach of the gusts of wind which periodically slammed into the hive. She smiled to herself and crawled over to the entrance he was standing in.
“I was worried about my flowers. The storm is going to pass right over the field and possibly destroy a lot of the flowers that I’ve been tending.”
The old Drone looked at her for a few moments, and then smiled deeply. “That my young bee is Nature. Nature is a wonderful force; it brings life to everything. But, it must always keep balance. What we see as destruction, Nature simply sees as the ultimate balance.”
“But a lot of flowers will die in that storm, their petals destroyed and their stalks bent and broken.”
“Those petals and flowers will fall to the ground and provide nutrients for the next generation of flowers. The soil will become rich and fertile. Life will thrive.” The old Drone’s eyes shone as he uttered these words. “Do you have time for an old Drone to show you something, little bee?” His voice was serious but his eyes twinkled. “After all, you cannot sit outside in this storm.”
“Of course, “Bee said, truly not interested in settling down for the night with the rest of the hive. She watched the old Drone move as he led her into the hive: the rest of bees didn’t appear to notice him, but invariably, they unconsciously stepped out of his way. His slow passage through the hive went without incident and together they wound deeper and deeper into the hive. Suddenly, he took a small turn and vanished. Bee stopped in astonishment, not sure what to do.
The old Drone appeared again in front of her, chuckling to himself. “Walk forward a few more inches, and then turn left.”
Bee did so and found herself in a new tunnel, one she’d never seen before.
“It’s a trick of the eyes.” The old Drone explained to her. “From straight on it looks like there’s no tunnel, but looks can be deceiving and we often see what we expect to see, not what is really there.” He turned and led her down the new tunnel.
Bee followed the old Drone closely down new, unfamiliar tunnels, turning left and right , up and down, until she had completely lost all sense of direction. Finally, the tunnel they were walking in opened up into a small, round chamber. As Bee stepped into the chamber a deep, rich, cloying – almost viscous – fragrance of nectar threatened to overcame her, and she stumbled to a half.
The old Drone steadied her gently. “Breathe lightly, it takes some time getting used to.”
Bee nodded her head. Thousands of versions of the lightly lit chamber swam in front of her eyes throwing her off balance. Before she fell over completely she covered her eyes and concentrated on breathing slowly and lightly. Eventually she acclimated to the deep, heady smell, and slowly uncovered her eyes. When everything looked normal, and stayed that way, she kept her eyes open and slowly looked around the chamber.
The walls were dry and very smooth. Bee figured they must have been very old, older than any other tunnel she’d seen in the hive. The chamber was egg-shaped; the roof curved into the walls and the walls dropped into the floor. In the middle of the chamber sat a small pool. A deep amber glow filtered up through the pool illuminating the chamber from below. Bee looked over at the old Drone and was astonished at what she saw. Instead of the old, bent, disfigured and broken drone that had led her down through the hive, she saw a tall, strong drone stranding upright, shining golden and smiling calmly and beatifically.
“This is the Hive’s secret Nectar.” His voice was deep and rich, pitched perfectly for the chamber they were in. “We have been cultivating this Nectar since we started the Hive. It is the Spirit of the Hive made Matter.”
UuKay woke the next morning just as the sun crested the Eastern horizon. The sun climbed steadily into the sky pushing back the washed-out, gray gloom of the early morning as a line of shining, bright colors crept over the field of flowers in front of her. Sleeping, closed, gray flowers opened, revealing their myriad, splendid colors as the dazzling rays of sunlight touched them, waking them. This reminded UuKay of her morning ritualized reverie of the sun. Soon the entire field – from where she stood to the far horizon – was shining bright and quite cheerfully.
She admired the view for a few more minutes and then she set about preparing herself some breakfast. Instead of using the supplies, she’d brought with her, she decided to see what the land had to offer her; she pulled a small, wooden bowl from her backpack and set about collecting berries, nuts and edible green leaves. She didn’t have to walk far before her small bowl was full and a few minutes later so was her stomach.
Very satisfied with her fresh, juicy breakfast – it was a great sign of how rich and healthy the land was – she gathered her gear and slowly flew off for an inspection of the flower field.
She flew close to the edge of the field, where the flowers met the giants trees, examining and probing for signs of how well the two were getting along with each other. Birdsong and the buzzing of insects sounded around her everywhere she went. UuKay was a Gardener and this part of the continent was her Garden. She was responsible for tending it, and helping it grow and flourish. She smiled and mentally thanked the millions of flying, crawling and walking creatures that filled her Garden.
She flew to the nearest horizon, and then flew on and on, horizon after horizon disappearing under her feet; flowers on her left, and giants Trees on her right. At noon she stopped for a short rest. She settled on a large, exposed root, covered in soft, green lichen. A small, clear stream flowed gently under her perch. Clear, fresh, cold water flowed down out of the mountains the giant Trees grew over. She reached down and scooped up a bowl of ice-cold, crystal clear water from the stream below. She could taste the Northern Glaciers in every mouthful.
It took her the entire day to circle the the whole field of flowers. The soil was dark and rich, the flowers were big, bright and healthy. Only one very old giant Tree had fallen over since her last visit a year ago. Termites had hollowed it out, most of it had collapsed into the soil underneath it and it was already shrouded in new, young flowers.
She settled for the night again, very content that her Garden was healthy; Nature was in balance.
Bee didn’t understand what the old Drone was saying about Spirit and Matter but she wasn’t paying much attention: an indescribably feeling of ecstasy was slowly steeling itself over her.
“Do no succumb to the nectar yet, Bee,” the old Drone gently cautioned her, “we have more serious work to do still.”
Bee focused on the old drone. “It smells so beautiful. I feel wonderful just standing here, just breathing and being alive.”
The old Drone smiled. “Good.” They savored the smell for a few more seconds and then the old Drone spoke again.”This Nectar is as old as the Hive itself. It infuses the entire Hive and is transformed by every bee in the Hive.”
“How? I do not understand – no one has ever mentioned anything about this to me before.”
“No one else knows,” the old Drone answered. “The Queen Bee and I alone know the secret of this nectar. We share the task of rarefying this nectar. One Female, one Male, we cultivate this nectar together for as long as either of us lives.”
Bee suddenly felt afraid. “But, why are you telling me this? I am just a working bee. I just forage in the flowers. Is the Queen Bee ill? Is there something wrong? I don’t understand – I am scared.”
The old Drone smiled gently at her. “There is nothing to fear. The Queen Bee is healthy. I may need an apprentice soon as I have spent many years cultivating this Nectar and I must leave the Hive soon.” He chuckled to himself. “The Queen Bee is healthy and the Hive is healthy. I have something else in mind for you, Bee.”
“Bee, over here please.”
Bee looked around, surprised to find both of them kneeling next to the pool of Nectar at the bottom of the chamber. She looked back at where tunnel entered the chamber but couldn’t remember having walked down into the center of the chamber. She shook her head and a wave of dizziness briefly overwhelmed her.
“Act slowly. Remain calm. If you become agitated, just stop and breathe slowly and lightly until you’re feeling better.” The old Drone’s voice had taken on a deep, authoritative tone. He began to instruct her. “I want you to drink some of this Nectar. I tastes wonderful, but it will effect your mind. You will forget where you are and – possibly – who you are. I do not want you to worry about anything. Even though it may not seem so you will remain safe in this chamber. At some point, you will fall asleep and when you awaken, everything will be normal again.”
“But why should I do this, “Bee asked the old Drone?
“Because you are the Bee that sits outside at night preferring the quiet of the moon and the stars to the incessant buzzing of the Hive; because you fly into the giant Trees and pollinate the flowers other bees would never dream of; because you worry about your flowers when a storm passes overhead.” The old Drone paused to let his words sink in and then he began to speak again. “Drink this nectar and share in the knowledge of the Hive.”
The old Drone reached down and drank slowly of the Nectar. Intrigued by his words, overwhelmed by the heady smell of the Nectar and emboldened by seeing the old drone drink of the Nectar, Bee, scooped up a mouthful and swallowed.
UuKay awoke again the next morning to birdsong; beautiful melodies winding their way through the giant Trees and over the colorful flowers; . She lay for a few minutes listening to their songs, then after a brief breakfast she set out for the day. She traveled back along the perimeter of the field of flowers and finally spotted her destination; a large, giant Tree stood by itself, meters away from the forest. The tree stood high on exposed roots and flowers grew under the Tree, over the exposed roots and high up the trunk.
UuKay landed next to one of the large, dark, gnarled roots and gently touched it in greeting. “Good day Old One. Are you well?” A deep sense of pleasure slowly built in her chest in response – a sign that the Tree was well. UuKay smiled her own and then walked into the tangled knot of exposed roots. Right at the center of the roots was a small pool of clear water fed by an underground spring. She sat down, cross-legged next to the pool; the immense trunk reaching thousands of feet above her. She reached forward, dipped her cupped, left hand into the pool, scooped up a handful of ice-cold water, brought it to her lips and swallowed. It was the most delicious water she’d ever tasted.
After savoring her mouthful of water, she gently folded her hands in her lap; one palm resting lightly in the other; thumb-tips touching; a small circle forming just bellow her belly. With the crown of her head pointed directly upwards into the bole of the giant Tree and her spine sitting firmly on the soft, loamy soil, she inhaled slowly through her nostrils, gently, deeply filling her abdomen. Then she parted her lips slightly and exhaled through her mouth. After three deep breaths her body was erect but relaxed and her mind was clear and light, gently floating on her breath.
She focused on her energetic body and let herself feel the world around her. Within seconds, the quiet, cool, dark spot under the giant Tree where she’d seated herself had become a maelstrom of life forces. Every life-atom vibrated rapidly around her with an unique intensity and identity. Life-atoms focused into streams of consciousness, animating every form of Matter surrounding her. It was thrilling.
It was impossible for Bee to describe what the Nectar tasted like; if every loving thought; every compassionate expression; every smile; every caress by every bee in the Hive could somehow have been condensed into a liquid, it would have paled in comparison to the deep, rich taste of the Nectar that she swallowed. She started to buzz and tingle and seconds later she found herself floating just above the pool of Nectar, starring down at herself. An instant later she was ‘flying’ straight up through the Hive into the night sky above. The quick, unreal exit from the Hive frightened her and she flailed around in the dark, starry sky, trying to fly, trying to regain her equilibrium. The old drone’s advice echoed in her head: “Stay calm, breathe slowly.” After a minute or two, she was settled enough to take a look around herself.
Everything was exquisitely bright and full of life. Moonlight shone through the the thin clouds, everything shining upwards in response.
“It is beautiful, isn’t it?” The old Drone’s voice sounded deep inside her head. She looked around to see him hovering a few feet away from her.
“But, you can’t fly. I’ve seen your wings – they are old and broken.”
The old drone beat huge, colorful wings. “These wings? Do they look old and broken to you?” He chuckled. “Our minds are flying but our bodies are still deep in the chamber next to the pool of Nectar. Do you normally see this well at night? Do you normally feel that the world is exactly as it should be?” The old drone circled around. “Look out over your beautiful field of flowers. What do you see?”
Bee looked around at all the flowers she flew over every day. “They look absolutely beautiful: so rich; so full of life; so perfect.” She hovered some more, gently turning a full circle. “But wait, there’s more…”
The old drone nodded. “Yes, there’s much more. You just have to look for it.”
“I can feel every plant, every flower, every tree, every insect around me. It’s amazing; I can feel every life-stream around me. I can feel the life waxing and waning in everything around me.”
“Please Bee, show me what you do everyday.” The old drone asked.
Bee looked at the old Drone confusedly.
“Concentrate, try to remember where you fly, what flowers you forage, what the flowers and air smell like, what you feel when you’re foraging.”
Bee looked down over the field of flowers and slowly started to imagine her foraging route around and across the field. Suddenly she could picture the path that she was imagining imprinted on her view of the field below. But, she could also remember everything she saw, smelt and felt as she flew along the path. It was exciting seeing and feeling her forage from high above the field.
UuKay was Gardening. She let her consciousness slip deep into the earth between knotted, gnarled tree roots, through mud, rock, raging underground rivers and finally to the edge of the molten magma that composed most of the inner core of the Earth. It was very hot. That was good: the Earth would survive until the Sun became a Red Giant and engulfed it in a few billion years. She felt a small shift in the mantle rock far to the west of her, around the Pacific rim. An earthquake was likely. She made a quick, mental note for the Gardener’s of that area. One of the giant Tree’s roots were growing into a dead-end between two solid plates of granite. She gently encouraged the roots to spread horizontally before sinking shafts vertically.
After a few hours of Gardening underground: untangling roots; ensuring streams provided enough underground water to all the plants and animals that lived deep under the surface; flushing out old, abandoned, clogged up underground caverns; UuKay slowly brought her consciousness back to the surface, and settled back into her body. She stood up, stretched a bit, walked out from under the giant Tree and snacked on a little lunch.
After a deep, cool drink from a nearby stream, UuKay slowly drifted up into the air and flew out from under the cover of the giant Trees and over the huge field of flowers. She slowly drifted up, looking for familiar landmarks. Eventually she pinpointed the familiar rolling hills and she flew over and settled among the flowers. She lightly brushed the flowers, pulled up a sod of earth and smelled it. It was a little dry; the deep ravines to the south were pulling the water away over the ground into streams and rivers faster than it could irrigate the surface properly. She would have to return to the area sometime in the future for some Geology work but that could wait – tonight she had a very important task to attend to.
She could’ve undertaken the upcoming task from anywhere at anytime; from the convenience of her home on any cool, comfortable evening. But, she preferred the ritual of matching the cycles of the moon, and being among the flowers. It all started in the flowers that first time, many aeons ago and she liked being in the flowers now when she repeated the task.
UuKay had a light supper and a refreshing drink from the river at the bottom of the hill. Then she returned to her chosen flowers and made preparations for the evening’s work. She spread her cloak lightly over the grass, making sure not to break any flower stems, and then she removed her boots and lay down, supine. Hands open, palms pointed towards the sky, feet bare, soles exposed to the air, she went trough a series of breathing exercises, similar to those exercises she’d practiced before Gardening earlier in the day.
Once her body was completely relaxed, and her mind was still, she spread her consciousness out into the Nature that surrounded her. This evening she was looking for a Bee. She let her mind slowly reach backwards, millions of years until she started to feel the presence of Bee. Eventually she found her: her body was slumped over in the bottom of the Hive, next to the pool of Nectar; but her consciousness was floating high above the Hive with the old Drone. UuKay smiled to herself: the old Drone had set everything up perfectly… just like he did every time. She hoped his apprentice would be as good as he was.
The Past, Present and Future
Bee suddenly felt like she was being watched. She quickly looked around for nocturnal predators.
“What is it Bee? What are you alarmed?” The old Drone looked completely relaxed.
“I thought something was watching me. I was afraid.” Bee answered truthfully. Bee usually told the truth, but tonight, having drunk of the Nectar she felt completely safe speaking the truth. It seemed so pointless to lie. The truth simply was the present: to try and pretend it was anything else felt laughable.
The old Drone gestured downwards. “Remember, your body is safe inside the chamber at the bottom of the Hive. We are just thoughts floating on the winds. No bird, or bat can even see us, let alone eat us. It is millions of years of neural conditioning which activated your natural response to flee. But, tonight, well, tonight you start becoming mindful.”
Bee nodded her head.
“Do you still feel like something is watching you, Bee?”
Bee nodded her head again.
“Well, something is… Look up at the moon.” The old Drone was staring up at the moon, tears streaming down his face. “It is so beautiful. I’ve seen this many times and each time it is more beautiful than the previous time.”
Bee looked up confusedly, unsure what the old Drone was looking at or what he was talking about. Instead of the moon though, she saw a beautiful, pale, diaphanous grey face staring at her.
“Good evening, Bee”, UuKay thought towards Bee, gently and calmly.
Bee jumped when the delicate voice sounded luxuriously inside her head. Shaking her head, she responded, “Good evening…ah.” She gulped; she had no idea what or whom she was speaking to.
“My name is UuKay. I am a Gardner. I live many years in your future, but tonight we meet – in my Past and your Present – so that I may tell you a few things.”
Bee nodded her head, not really sure what else to do.
“Bee, would you take a trip with me? It’s perfectly safe. I’ve taken a number of Bee’s on the same trip with me. You may check with the old Drone.” UuKay nodded towards Bee’s companion.
Bee looked over at the old Drone. He nodded. “It’s safe. Many Bees. Many trips. I have been on one myself. It was the most beautiful experience of my life. Go, see the Past and the Future join.”
Bee nodded her head in assent. UuKay seemed to float down out of the moon until she was hovering next to Bee. Bee blinked her eyes trying to adjust to the fact that the massive creature she’d just seen dwarfing the moon was now hovering next to her, her own size. UuKay took one of Bee’s forelegs in her hand. Mostly humanoid in shape UuKay was very slim and her touch was very light. Bee noticed that she was wearing some sort of clothing. “Are you a Man?” she asked?
UuKay smiled. “All in good time. Everything will be explained. Are you ready?”
Bee nodded and they started to move. They weren’t exactly flying anywhere as far as Bee could tell. It was just that everything seemed to be moving. Sometimes they were in the center and everything moved around them while at other times, a specific item stood still and they moved around it.
“Look, there is your forage route that you took today.” UuKay pointed down and the scene below looked the same as she’d imagined it when the old Drone had asked her to visualize it. “And there is yesterday’s forage route.” The image shifted slightly, two thin, golden threads weaved some recognizable flowers together. “Look, there are all your foraging routes from the first day you started working.” Imprinted on the scene below were approximately fifty golden threads. “You seem to favor the flowers on the edge of the field, those closest to the trees, or those farthest from the Hive?”
“Yes, I love to travel. I like to be alone with my own thoughts.” Bee felt proud of the picture she saw below her. It looked like the root a brave Bee would take.
“Oh, it’s definitely a brave route, Bee,” UuKay agreed with her. “It’s more than that though, watch, we’re going to move forward, beyond the Present, to tomorrow, and the day after. It may be a bit disorientating when we start but do not be afraid – you are safe.”
Suddenly the sun started shooting over the horizon, daytime and nighttime, flashing past in seconds. Bee looked down to see her foraging routes broaden themselves. Some routes took her into the forest while others took her far over the nearest hills. As her routes spread out she noticed something wonderful happening: the flowers followed her. Flowers blossomed in the forest taking hold wherever they could find enough water, soil and filtered sunlight. Over the exposed hills, the flowers bloomed quickly.
“A little faster,” UuKay urged. Daytime and nighttime started to merge and the scene below changed faster. Her field of flowers spread for miles now in every direction. With a quick jerk, her vantage point changed dramatically: she was now hovering above a large city of Men. “Mankind destroyed itself, “UuKay spoke slowly and solemnly, “it had to, there was no way it could sustain itself. Famine broke out everywhere. The economy proved completely irrelevant and based on protecting the wealth of the few while the many perished from a lack of food, medicine, fresh water – the basics needed to sustain life.” A large white plume blasted off into the sky from the south. “The leaders of the nations built an Ark and they left Earth. There were those of us left on the ground who knew how to live off the land, how to live a sustainable life. We moved out of the cities and into the mountains and grasslands and we adapted to our new Earth. When you look at me, you are looking at the future of Mankind.”
Bee was astonished. “How many years?”
“Millions.” UuKay answered.
“Millions?” Bee asked incredulously? So, why are you telling me this. Why are you showing me this. I only live a few weeks.”
“I am a Gardener. I tend the Earth. I create the Present that I live in – your Future – by influencing the behavior of the creatures of my Past. If you and the million Bees that follow on after you all listen to my advice, this is what we will create.” UuKay gestured, her arms sweeping over the distant mountains, the forest of giant Trees and the massive field of flowers.
Bees eyes teared over as she looked over the beautiful vista in front of her. She pictured her small field of flowers becoming this huge continent of thriving wildlife. She nodded her head vigorously. “Of course I will help. I am confused by so many things that I’ve seen and heard tonight, but this, this is beautiful – it must be done.”
UuKay grasped both her forelegs and looked deep into Bee’s eyes. “It isn’t necessary that you understand everything that you have seen. There are things in the Heavens that I don’t understand. Each of us understands what it is like to be ourselves. It takes all of us working together to create the sum that is greater than the individual parts.”
Bee awoke to find herself propped up by the old Drone, gently being fed some cold, clear water. Bee looked over at the pool of Nectar longingly.
“Gently, little Bee,” the old Drone laughed. “One cannot storm the gates of Heaven, even with Nectar as pure as this. You have accepted your Path, now you must follow it. When you gain some Wisdom, you will know it is time to return to this Chamber to share that Wisdom with the Nectar, with the rest of the Hive.”
UuKay gently opened her eyes. The flowers were thick around her. She smiled. The World was good.