Thank you, bees. Thank you, Burt Shavitz.
This shop has been compensated by #CollectiveBias, Inc. and its advertiser Burt’s Bees. All opinions are my own alone.
There are cat people, there are dog people; there are coffee and tea people. Then there are indoor and outdoor people. Dog, tea….outdoors. That’s me. And I’m in good company…
Burt, co-founder of Burt’s Bees who sadly passed away this week, dedicated his life to connecting with nature, embracing wildlife and protecting that which he loved – including bees – whilst living simply and humbly in harmony with the natural world.
If it wasn’t for my immense and paralysing fear of the dark, bourne in childhood and perpetuated until the present day thanks to far too many Freddy Krueger films as a teenager, the meadow above would be where I would choose to spend my days, much like Burt [although I doubt he lived in a children’s tent]. Whimsical wildflowers, long, breeze-tangled grasses and white cotton clouds – a simple life, outside.
It’s not everyone’s cup of tea [or coffee]. Having squandered many a weekend roaming the meadows and woods of Hampshire with the huskies and our boys, we’re at home with the entire cast of the Ugly Bug Ball – and the Southern reptile population, too. We welcome them into our garden and try to cater to their needs as best we can – especially the bees.
Honey bees, bumble bees, queen bees and worker bees – call me sheltered [it’s nicer than ignorant] but it wasn’t until I became geography co-ordinator whilst teaching that I realised just how crucial bees are to our lives. Our boys had no fear of any kind of creature until Jensen began school and then I had to fight hard with every ounce of Mommy logic to keep him happy to be around the apparently deadly bees. He came home filled with horror stories of how bees had committed crimes against his friends and it actually saddened me to think that the very insects that were committed to promoting a healthy lifestyle for us humans were getting the worst press.
So we sat with our boys and watched the bees in our garden. We got up close to them. We looked at the combs on the bees’ legs and we watched their pollen baskets enlarge as they buzzed about their business in our patch. And the reason we don’t touch them is because they’re so busy – and if we did, they might drop their pollen and have to start again, which would make them very cross indeed. We looked at the stingers on dead bees we found at the end of Summer and we all agreed that if we thought we were going to be squished, we would fight with everything we’d got, too.
I’d heard tales from other parents about the ingredients in baby products and added “what to bathe my newborn in” to the list of things to worry about – until we found Burt’s Bees. Everything was going snuggly and honey scented at bathtime – until they discontinued the Buttermilk Baby Bath Soak [I’m still nostalgic over the sweet, soft, milk-and-honey scent five years on, I can’t seem to let go *cough* bring it back *cough*] Jensen was upset that his Mommy couldn’t get any more from the bees and came to the conclusion that bees were indeed needed.
Previously the range was limited to Mommy products with the addition of the adorable Baby Bee brand. But now there’s something for everyone – outdoor and male grooming products – and the new Burt’s Pink Grapefruit Lip Balm that arrived in our parcel this week is so fresh, fruity and very often missing from my pocket as the boys love the tangy, citrus scent.
Citrus sings Summer. Our favourite lemon body oil and new orange and citrus body wash are refreshing anecdotes to the heat of the afternoon. Bathed, fresh little bodies drift to dreamland draped in white cotton sheets, cooled and calmed by the light, tangy fragrances.
Bathtime is blissful.
As July begins in our garden, my own Summer daydreams drift in like afternoon lullabies and the holidays flutter closer – juicy navel orange slices begging to be squished into thirsty mouths by the smallest of little fingers, and luscious red berries dangling carefree in the breeze, singing songs of temptation to those who peek beneath the cool shade of their leaves.
Even though Burt is no longer with his bees on earth, we promise that our garden will always be a safe haven for our fuzzy little friends. They will be fished from morning paddling pools, rescued from the stickiest of spider webs and be welcomed into our backyard to work their magic.