Thank you first to my love, Bi Kline.
Finding you halfway across the globe in rural South Korea was the best kind of synergistic magic. Thank you for witnessing me as I face myself over and over. Thank you for being my accomplice in smashing everything from bottles to binaries.
Thank you for the push to root into place and manifest words into actions. You are all the blessing a human could possibly ask for.
My ancestors — who while on this earth were complicated and complicit in many of the “isms” I fight against. But now, as ancestors hold me in their hearts and in my dreams to right the wrongs of generations of suffering. Who meet me in that room in my mind to talk me through some of the most complicated decisions in my life. Who are ever by my side whispering “this is it” in my ear when I can’t access the feelings in my own gut.
My femme body — you’re hard to live with but you NEVER give up. Thank you for your resilience and strength. Thanks for dancing along the edge with me, and for waiting for me to figure out what “care” means.
A heartfelt and special thank you to the More-Than-Human world. Flora-Fauna-Elements-Spirit; When there are no humans to support me, you are there for me. You hold me so well, and aid in my healing when I am broken. You are my most trusted relatives. Through you I learn constantly about beauty, strength and resilience.
Aisha Russell, thank you for gathering up all of these stories and summarizing some of my more tangential points. Thank you for writing alongside me, for encouraging me when I needed it most, and for being patient with the timelines I set for myself. Thank you for steady reminders to show up as I am, and for quietly holding space in those moments.
Kent Alexander, you are one of my dearest friends and mentors. I’m so damn lucky to have a comrade, friend and mentor like you. Thank you for all the long sessions full of deep talks and full belly laughter. Thank you for the trust and comradery. Thank you for listening to my voice, and helping me to find it sometimes too.
To my brother Patrick, my first comrade. There were a lot of moments I wouldn’t have pushed through if it wasn’t for your wit, sarcasm and funny dog pics. Near or far, thanks for being here.
To Knoll Farm for giving me the space and time to prioritize my writing practice at the Better Selves Fellowship 2019. To Peter Forbes for pushing me to define who the mentors in my life were in a moment when I needed to feel held.
To The Future- for affirming my writing by offering me my first residency, and re-infusing my work with magic.
To my fellow writers and colleagues who are on their own journeys, and still make time to show up in support of mine. Thank you, Catherine Sands, for saying “the world needs this book.” In moments of self-doubt your words echoed in my head and in my writing space. To Wallace Louis for all the co-work dates and long chats about what the creativity, life and deep work. To Abrah Dresdale for seeing me as a writer from the very beginning.
To Madeline Charney and Jeremy Smith for helping move this text from vision into life. To Mark Hamin who sat with me in a university office and made me feel like I belonged there.
To all the beekeepers who said yes to being interviewed for this book for sharing your own beekeeping journeys and visions for the future. A special thank you to Melanie Kirby who welcomed me into her heart and home with open arms. You made this book feel possible by saying, “YES” and I’m so darn grateful.
To my bee bud and friend-tor — Sam Comfort for always welcoming me in the bee yard, and trusting me with your bees even when I’m doubting myself. You’re a really patient “teacher of anarchists” and I’ll forever be grateful for your friendship. May we always remember that bar rests are a construct, just like everything else.
Thank you to Tucka Saville, Hannah Whitehead, Jenny Van Wyk, Jennifer Holmes and Maria Molteni for being bee buds, leaders and femme folks in the industry. Thank you for welcoming me into collaboration. Your friendship, guidance and encouragement have pushed me through moments of doubt, confusion and deep frustration. You’ve shown up in a myriad of ways to support this journey.
Thank you to Kirk Webster for modeling possibilities of mentorship from elders. To Dee Lusby for modeling rebellious spirit. Thank you for keeping the small-scale beekeeping dream alive and turning so many of us on to what is possible. Thank you to Ramona Herboldshimer for giving me my first beekeepers “how-to” book (The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Beekeeping) at a Farmers Market in Jamaica Plain.
To Sue Hubell for writing the memoir that got me dreaming of bees on my first dark winter in the Northeast.
Thank you to everyone who is picking this up. Thank you for bringing your curiosity to this. When you start pursuing an idea you have no clue where it’s going to take you. Sometimes your end goal is only the beginning. Stay with the work, don’t let your own shine scare you. Rest when you need to but always keep going.
As one of my dearest collaborators always says, “Ever forward.”