I loveeee summer! I love the heat. I love that the sun wakes up early. I love throwing my windows and doors open in the morning and letting my house breathe. I love lying in the grass at night watching fireflies glimmer and glow all around me. I love campfires under the moon. I love tanning, and sweating, and being outside all the time, and reading a good book as the sunsets, and friends, and the pool… Summer!!!
Literally summer is the best. And I would LOVE for life to always be summer. Except for one thing.
The buzzing by my ears and little bites on my skin as I do all those things above. Flies destroying a picnic if I leave the food uncovered. Spiders thinking they get to join me on my towel when I’m laying in the grass. Weird gross things with wings landing on me when I bike or hike. And Bees!
I was stung by hornets, yellow-jackets, and even a honey bee bit me when I was a child (I was told they don’t have stingers?). To this day bees kinda really suck in my mind. (It’s the reason I don’t like the Steelers. Shhh. Don’t tell anyone in Pennsylvania! People get offended in these parts by things like that. But it’s the truth. Black and yellow means run away in my mind!)
Anyways. This evening I was a safe distance from a gathering of Bumblebees in my mother’s garden going to work on some flowers. And honestly I was kinda fascinated. They floated around each other, from tiny flower to tiny flower. Their wings were nearly invisible. The yellow and black didn’t scream danger to me. They looked fuzzy and friendly, sticking their heads in and out of the petals and flying off to another. For the first time in probably a decade, I appreciated bees, but more than that, in those few minutes while I watched the bees, three things stood out to me:
Bees are hardworking. From dawn to dusk they fly around collecting pollen to take back to their queen somewhere. A little here a little there, they buzz and buzz. And when they aren’t stinging people, they are working for their queen bee to keep her alive. It’s a together sorta job that requires a community. Which led to my next thought.
I imagined myself as a bee. If all I ever did was work for someone else, and that’s literally all I did all day, well I might sting a person too if a human got in my way. But honestly those bees don’t know the difference. They’re just doing what is inherent to them, which is work for someone else, to keep her alive. Their main agenda is to return to her, whatever that requires.
3. Creating and Producing
Lastly, as I watched the bees I thought about how cool it is that they aren’t just doing a meaningless task as they keep their queen alive. Without realizing it, as they do what comes naturally, buzzing from flower to flower and taking it back to their hive or nest or wherever bees live, they produce a product that people wouldn’t have without them: Honey. (And pollination of other plants and flowers so the plant cycle can continue, which is super important as well.) But honey is where my mind went while watching the bees. They just do their thing, and people get honey as a result.
I got kinda annoyed at that point when I realized the bees were taking me to school, teaching me some pretty basic life lessons, so I retaliated by snapping a few photos and coming to my computer to write about it; dang Bee Coaches.
But they were good lessons for me to pick up: To strive to be hardworking, selfless, and to produce/create/give back to the world around me. Bees do this inherently. They don’t have to beat laziness. Or kill selfish ambition. And they create and give back something unique that only they can offer, unlike humans who are just as good at destroying as we are creating.
But by following through with our goals and responsibilities throughout the day. And by being others-focused, instead of self-focused. And by creating, producing something in life- I don’t care if you are an artist producing photography, a construction worker digging a hole for someone’s new home, or a police officer making the world safer by watching out for the rest of us- we all have potential to create/produce/give back to the world that others might appreciate what we do.
So let’s learn from the Bee Coaches in hardworking capabilities, selfless action, and producing something good that which others can appreciate.
Which of these lessons can you apply this week?