Oh, not what you are thinking, the hardy perennial plant and hummingbird magnet that, even today, bee balm is used as an herbal remedy for a variety of ailments.
No, the bee balm I am trying to convey is my Sewing/Quilting Bee named Just Sew Bee, or JSB. Since bee-mate Carrie Casto is in town visiting her extended family (and grandbaby), we always try to sneak in visits with our out-of-town bee-mates (Carrie and Prescott Deb in AZ and Mary Nielsen in FL). The bee balm is our deep love of sewing and quilting, but more importantly, our deep bonds of friendship. And frankly, it's like Vegas: what happens/discussed at bee, stays at bee. We've all helped each other at one time or another in various ways. And they have helped me in more ways than they know.
Sew, on two coldish winter mornings in the past week; we met at Debbi Carter's. What a way to start off 2023. With most of our meet-ups, we bring handwork, or our sewing machines with projects to work on, plus a lunch. But when Debbi said she'd make a big pot of chicken soup to share (great for the soul!), we were all in. Thank you! Everything was delicious!
For me, belonging to a quilting guild and several bees since I moved to Maryland in 1996 has been my balm in helping me get through life's toughest moments. I could only hope I helped the others, too, when they needed it most. All studies point to a sense of belonging as crucial to our life's happiness and satisfaction, along with physical and mental health. Many other studies indicate that belonging even helps longevity. Being our authentic selves and belonging to something bigger than us gives our lives a deeper sense of purpose and meaning.
Who is your "bee balm?"
L-R: Carrie, Debbi, Deb, Karen, Janet, Susie, and me.