Did I get your attention with the title? I know that you may be expecting something in this blog based on the title, but this really is about the birds and the bees!
So I have, since my retirement, enjoyed not only more writing, and painting, but also have found such joy in simple things. I have a small birdbath in my back yard, and several potted plants whose bottom containers also serve as birdbaths. I have absolutely loved watching all the various birds come and splash enthusiastically, and if I am home that day, I find myself refilling the water frequently. It has been a pleasure to do this….until….
So we, here in California, are in the midst of our summer drought (as well as smoky unhealthy air from all the fires in the state). This leaves not only people suffering, but wildlife as well. It breaks my heart to think about this. It also provides yet more life lessons. Yet again.
As a little girl, I was terrified of bees and would run screaming from any that I saw anywhere around me. It was a pretty irrational fear, as I had never been stung by one (not until a young adult, and although not life threatening, it was unpleasant – but certainly did not warrant the level of fear that arose in me around bees.)
And here I sit, writing at the table, as I look outside at the huge number of honey bees that have taken over the sources of water, especially around the hottest part of the day. The birds do still attempt to approach and do get their baths earlier in the morning, but right now the bees have dominion. And I find myself torn…..I love that the birds bathe and drink the water, but am also more aware these days of the importance of honeybees as well to the environment. I have read that ,indeed, they are endangered and that we need to protect them and encourage their survival in this ever challenging environment and climate. So, it is now time to face my fear, put my money where my mouth is, rise to the challenge and face the bees.
So here I sit, refilling the sources of water so that the bees can also have their fill, (and so that there will also be enough for the birds as well…I still need to figure out if I can do something to better help them co-exist – yet another project that will have more lessons to give, I’m certain – but that is for another post…). I now find myself, since I want to respect as many life forms that I can (I am not sure, however, that I will ever be able to extend this compassion to mosquitoes…..I’m human….)..I find myself going out and finding branches to put in the water so that the bees can find a way to climb out if they go too deeply into the water and become in danger of drowning….and have even taken a twig and extended it to a floundering bee caught in the water and taken it to to safety. I never would have thought this possible. I still, of course, feel some anxiety and trepidation when I venture out among the bees to replenish the water, but am able to talk myself through it (as well as having quite a few conversations with the bees while I am out there, reassuring them that I mean them no harm and hoping that they will extend me the same courtesy and good will.)
Perhaps we can apply this lesson to other fears in life….face them, get to know them, understand where they come from, co-exist with them. Maybe realize that we don’t need to be as afraid as we are…respectfully cautious when needed, yes, but not terrorized…..Maybe we have more courage than we give ourselves credit for? Maybe we can be more than we ever thought possible? Some thoughts and questions we can perhaps let buzz around in our minds….