Fruit trees do not grow in our parts. About three hundred kilometers to the south, if you please: there are cherry and apple trees but not where we are: they would freeze. But berry bushes and perennial herbs grow well. This means that the local plants are in bloom from the first warm days right up until autumn. So there is superabundant provisions for bees. But the only problem is that warm days come late. Usually, a great thaw begins in the end of March: snow on the fields melts, creeks rush, ice in the river becomes covered with water, but this spring lasts only a week. Then it again gets cold, snowstorms begin, fields are covered with snow drifts, ice on the river becomes thicker and stronger, and even Northern Lights sometimes take place. And it is only in the beginning of May that irreversible spring arrives. But, again, it is not rushed: cold nights continue almost until July. And the first frost is in September. That is, the local bees, in order to survive, must have a hurry-scurry character.
Well, one venturesome person, who was known to be an excellent bee-keeper, invited me to bless his apiary. I never before had any familiarity with bees, but there is an "Order for Blessing Bees" in the Book of Needs, so I thought to myself: "priests before me somehow managed, and I've never heard that someone was eaten alive. "But it is frightening nonetheless ...
I arrive and there are 40 beehives and a buzzing as at the airport.
I read the beginning prayers a little to the side, and further is written: "The priest sprinkles the whole area of the bees."
Well, what can I do? I went and sprinkled the "whole area."
I go, as if in a dream, and they, like bullets, are darting here and there.
I returned, recovered my breath, read the following prayer, and saw: "And again sprinkles the area of the bees."
I went again, this time more boldly: I feel that this is is not just happenstance, but providential-all the bullets are flying by.
I again returned.
I read the excerpt from the Gospel of Luke on how the risen Christ appeared to the disciples who were afraid of such a miracle, He asked them for food, and they gave Him baked fish and a "honeycomb."
And then a new instruction: "Again sprinkle the area of the bees."
Now I went forth completely calmly: waving and sprinkling so that it was something like a downpour to them, but it did not matter, they did not get angry at all.
O yes, I think, truly God's creatures: they tolerated me and did not sting.
And this is not from their reasoning-really, why should they stuff their small heads with men's problems-but from rigorous "walking" before the Creator and, thus, constantly being prepared to follow His will. There's something here to learn ...
As one Transcarpathian builder said: "One can learn from anyone, even pigs: they will gobble any filth and turn it all into the finest food."
From the book: Archpriest Yaroslav ShipovCollection of stories "No Right to Refuse," Moscow, 2000.