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.