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The beekeeper and the farmer

Colin Campbell
by Colin Campbell on 09/03/19 18:00


I spent the most wonderful 30 minutes in surgery today talking to the beekeeper.

An elderly patient of mine who worked at high levels in medicine, helping to save people’s lives and improve the health of the population for decades.

One of the many things he does in his retirement is he keeps bees.

We’d had a long discussion about this last time he was in. Too much here to talk about the wonder of bee keeping and what it will be like when I carve out the time to do it myself, hopefully starting not too long from now.

But it was just such a wonderful interchange, such a wonderful exchange that made me think long and hard about the people that I’m meeting and the guys that are getting things right and the things they’re doing to get things right.

You might remember, if you read this regularly, about Geoff – the patient of mine who is a farmer who took Callum and I around his farm to see his 100 acre wood dedicated to the Great War and his father.

In a few week’s time Callum and I will go to meet the beekeeper (he’s just sourcing a suit small enough for Callum to protect him from the bees)

I thought then more about it, about the people who have got it right, about the people who get contentment and peace and joy every day and I thought about my wife.

Ever since I’ve known Alison she has looked after a group of animals who are responsible for her and her for them. She’s not a beekeeper, she’s a horse keeper. I have always said that’s where she gets her joy and it always has been. It’s the same for the beekeeper and the joy from the bees and the same as the tree keeper (Geoff) and the joy from the trees. The responsibility of looking after something, particularly something that is outside of it being dependent on you and you being dependent on it for your happiness, is something so special and something that so few people get.

We try to replicate it with competitive cycling or golf or even running but it’s not quite the same.

The other thing here is that I would never ever get the information or the opportunity to speak to or meet these people if I did not have the time or take the time to stop and talk and find out. I love the rush, I love the thrill, I love the target and the spectacle and the chasing the thing that’s great but also, I need the foile, I need the peace, I need time to recharge and ‘sharpen my sword’

Those three guys, the beekeeper, the tree keeper and the horse keeper, they get that instinctively. They understood a way to set up the framework of their life to put a responsibility in place which made them, almost every day, return to the place that brings them joy.

It’s clever.


Blog Post Number: 1940


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Colin Campbell
Written by Colin Campbell
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