Silly

On my kitchen counter, I had a jar of dark honey and a jar of light honey. The dark was wildflower, and the light, I believe, came from the beekeeper’s yard full of blueberries, or perhaps from some basswood trees on the mountain behind him. For unlike clover honey, which is also light but generic in taste, this honey was delicious — far superior to the wildflower. When it diminished to the point where my spoon couldn’t reach it, I heated and poured it into the smaller jar of dark honey. Earth, meet sky, I thought. But by the next morning, they had switched places: the light was on the bottom and the dark on top, with only a slight blurring where they met.

Without bees, how would we ever learn what flowers taste like? Without children, how would we remember the way the world looked before it grew tangled and thick? Yesterday, my five-year-old niece was flopping around on her back on the kitchen floor, trying to trip me as I plodded back and forth between stove and counter. Out of the blue, she said, “You know what, Uncle Dave? You’ll never get married to anybody because you’re too silly!” It almost made me laugh, but being a grownup, I was careful to keep my smile safely hidden behind my beard. Stepping high to avoid her, I carried a hot saucepan over to the sink, thinking of John Cleese’s most famous skit and the occasional, absolute necessity of silly walks.

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Dave Bonta (bio) crowd-sources his problems by following his gut, which he shares with 100 trillion of his closest microbial friends — a close-knit, symbiotic community comprising several thousand species of bacteria, fungi, and protozoa. In a similarly collaborative fashion, all of Dave’s writing is available for reuse and creative remix under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License. For attribution in printed material, his name (Dave Bonta) will suffice, but for web use, please link back to the original. Contact him for permission to waive the “share alike” provision (e.g. for use in a conventionally copyrighted work).

15 Comments


  1. Today it rained… yet again.
    But the sun was shining. Blessed, blessed sun. In a brief interim Dixie, the jack russell, and I went for a walk. Just as I looked up to throw her ball, I saw a rainbow.

    When I tweeted about this a woman from Ireland replied saying it meant only wonderful things would happen to me all day.

    I saw your tweet and have now read your blog. It has made me smile even more than the rainbow did.
    Thank you.

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    1. Hello and welcome! Thanks for the kind words. I’m glad the post resonated with you.

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      1. Although, I have been following you on Twitter for quite some time, this is the first time I took the time to look at you blog. I feel like Alice afte she fell down the rabbit hole (in a good way).

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        1. Oh dear! Yes, I guess there is quite a bit to explore here. Maybe it’s a good thing I only link to the Morning Porch blog from my Twitter profile, and not to this.

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  2. Ha ha ha ha! She was paying you a compliment of course, even if she didn’t realise it. All geniuses are silly.

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  3. I read “blurring” as “burring” at first. Had me seeing little tousles in the honey.
    It’s important to walk silly and even to flop around on the floor, sometimes, I think.

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    1. Yes indeed! And after several days of digging through the dark layer to get to the light, there are burr-shaped clumps of the latter intruding into the former.

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  4. the world is tangled and thick? hmmm. hadn’t noticed. :)

    (loved this: “Without bees, how would we ever learn what flowers taste like? Without children, how would we remember the way the world looked before it grew tangled and thick?”)

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    1. Thanks, Carolee. I pondered quite a while on the right language to use there. It’s possible that my own extreme hairiness, post-puberty, influenced my decision.

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  5. whatever influenced it, i think it’s just right: it is tangled and thick. i was being sarcastic about not noticing. :)

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  6. There was a little little while when J kept a blog, a few years ago. We were working on a farm with a rooster named John Cleese. Did you ever see the video of John Cleese the rooster? http://farmtime.blogspot.com/2008/04/next-stop-white-house.html (Rooster video at the end.)

    (Also, I loved that same part as Carolee.)

    (Also also – After months of trying to fix my broken blog, I’m moving it and starting over – at katuprush.com – for now, anyway)

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    1. Great video! And I’m so glad to see you blogging again — though I can understand why that might become more of a seasonal activity for you. I have some inkling of just how hard farmers have to work.

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  7. Just a great piece. Love the “tangled and thick” and “hidden behind my beard.”

    Bees and children. I love it.

    (I had never heard of that skit before. Wonderful!)

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