When I took the dog out this morning, I noticed the wild roses were in full bloom. My husband considers them to be a pest growing along the fence row, but the dog, the bees, and I enjoyed their simple beauty.
I noticed the bees buzzing around the roses and it made me think that those roses were the bee’s knees. Although that expression came unbidden to my mind, it made me curious as to why the heck it was there and whatever (besides seeing the bees) made it pop into my head.
Google tells me that the expression has been around since the late 18th century. At that time, it meant something small or insignificant. Well, wild roses aren’t quite as small as the actual bee’s knees, but they are somewhat insignificant in the entire scheme of nature.
The expression “the bee’s knees” gained popularity during the 1920s and meant something excellent or high quality. Now we’re talking!
Not everyone agrees on the reason for the expression, but some interesting ideas have been thrown out for considerations. It could be because bees carry pollen in sacks on their knees, making them a spot of concentrated goodness. Some people insist bees-knees is just a slang term for “business.” The expression could be because of a world champion Charleston dancer named Bee Jackson, who was popular in the ’20s. I think I’ll go with the dancer!
To my way of thinking, wild roses are the bee’s knees because their beauty is simple. Roses have delicate blossoms, but tiny, sharp thorns protect their stems.
When you have a loved one with dementia, it’s hard to find things that are the bee’s knees. Sometimes life stings and hurts. Yet, amidst the bad times and the sad times, you will find quiet, simple moments that may seem to be small and insignificant, but remain in your memory for a lifetime. It may be that rare smile of recognition, an “I love you, too” said with meaning, sitting on a park bench drinking milkshakes from Dairy Queen, or walking hand in hand while your heart beats with unconditional love.
Beauty surrounds us, but we have to pay attention and look for it. Wild roses aren’t fancy like award-winning rose bushes, but they are plenty fine for a country girl. In fact, they are the bee’s knees.
Copyright © June 2020 by L.S. Fisher