Holy Buzzing

(adapted from “A Shirt Full of Bees” by Bill McKibben)

Walking in the woods, hiking off trail,
deep in thought - suddenly - a purity of pain
washing up my stomach toward my neck.
A pure splash of feeling like a tossed pot of boiling water;
a flash of white light.

I stepped on a yellow jacket nest.
Instantly, bees boiling out of the hill,
and me running down a 40-degree slope.

Hives - big, swelling cones.
Throat swelling shut; an emergency tracheotomy?
My dog was not up to the surgery.

Panic gave way to remarkable emotions:
thank you God for this drooping hemlock;
thank you God for that living, sparkling creek.
Everything seemed dear and noble and complete;
Layers of insulation removed - a lesson of desperate clarity.
The holy spirit is buzzing.