A friend of mine who has lately begun to keep bees is finding them a great source of new interest. He steals down to his garden to have a look at them whenever he can snatch a moment from his work. It is like peeping into another world, he says, and it sends him back to his work feeling refreshed and stimulated. There are worlds within worlds in this complex universe of ours, and so much of the time we go on our way ignoring everything but our own particular little one. It seemed to me when I was first introduced to his hive on a lovely day in June that his garden must be a bees’ paradise. It stretches away down a hillside, a great part of it left as much as possible in its natural state. This part shimmered with the blossom of late flowering thorn trees, while underfoot were blossoming wild strawberries, trefoil and wild thyme, and through and over it all was the contented hum of bees, little master craftsmen with an amplitude of good material at hand.
It made me feel how much we all need other worlds in times like these, each man according to his own needs or tastes, whether we find it in study, or in some special activity, like woodwork, or like my friend who chanced upon a little world of Nature’s, to find that it lifted him right out of the worries and anxieties of the present. We let so much remain a closed book to us when we come to adult life, whereas as children we found the whole world fascinating. It would be good for us all if we could do so still.
— Charles Hayward, The Woodworker magazine, 1941, excerpted from “Honest Labour“