After a late evening at the City Council meeting last night, I woke up with butterflies in my belly thinking about the Beesentation tonight. (Nothing about beekeeping was on the agenda or came up~ it was simply another opportunity for me to speak during the public appearances portion to remind them about the event.) I have spent the morning trying not only to quell them, but also to determine if they are nervous butterflies or excited butterflies~ I’m going to go with both.
We have gotten the word out as well as we could: word of mouth, email, Twitter, Facebook, local printed and online news sources, fliers distributed and posted, and also though personal telephone calls to City officials. I am both nervous and excited to see how many people from the community attend, and also how many Alderman (who will be voting on a proposed urban beekeeping ordinance) take advantage of this educational opportunity. I know a few of the officials have told me that they are unable to attend, which is why I provided them with Charlie Koenen’s email address and phone number; therefore they can obtain the information they need and will have missed directly from him.
So, I am anxious about the turnout. In one respect, I think it will be what you could classify as “good,” given that there is a lot of interest in the subject and that it has been everywhere you look/read locally for the last month. In another respect, there may not be that many people there, given that the overwhelming reaction I get from people is, “I don’t see what the big deal is.” Either way, no matter how many people come (or don’t come), I am looking forward to being reminded about why I am doing this… not only why I have a beehive, but also why I didn’t simply just adhere to the initial letter from the City Attorney and get rid of the hive. I would have gotten a lot more sleep in the last 5-6 weeks, my hair would still be on my head rather than clogging my drain, and I would have had a lot more time to devote to things that I have been neglecting while trudging on.
I am also anxious because I know that this is a step closer to D-Day… Decision Day… the day that the second reading of the proposed ordinance will be read, discussion will be had, and a vote will be taken… the day that there won’t be any calls left to make, letters to write, people to plead with, meetings to attend, minds to change, information to pass along, signs to post, emails to send… nothing. That will be the day when all I will be able to do is sit and watch, no voice or a chance to present counter-points, and certainly no vote. While I don’t always get satisfaction from doing any of those things, I feel as though every time I DO, I have to opportunity to make a difference. That day, all of those opportunities end. That makes things like tonight feel so urgent and crucial. And that also is the main contributor to the anxiety I am feeling.
If you are in Southeastern Wisconsin and are free tonight, stop by and say hi or introduce yourself to me if we haven’t met yet. Just look for the rather short woman in the back looking ill-at-ease and sick to her stomach, next to the pretty little girl with the bright pink cast on her arm. Meet Charlie, one of my favorite bee (and people!) charmers, hear his great stories and be blown away with information about these wonderful little creatures that play such a huge role in the ecosystem.
And if you aren’t able to be there, please say a prayer, light a candle, cross your fingers, say a blessing… whatever your custom is!… just hope that those who need to be there DO come and listen.