Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Listening to Bees

Kneeling among the Ajuga, pulling and digging the persistent horsetails and dandelions, I gradually became aware that I was surrounded by Bumblebees. Their low-pitched droning had lulled me into a bit of a haze where my mind was only on my work. Once aware, I took a break to simply listen.

Strange as this might seem, I've never had a fear of bees, believing it is best just to live and let live. Granted, I've only been stung a few times and I'm not allergic to them, so I don't advocate everyone sharing my viewpoint on this. Still, one of my earliest memories of bees is of a summer day when as a young child I was among my mother's Hollyhocks. These tall, old-fashioned flowers were common in back yards then and their rather large, bell-shaped flowers were prized by children for making little Hollyhock dolls. I searched carefully for just the right buds and blossoms to pluck and was not the only one there, for the droning of bees was everywhere. Again, I was surrounded by them.

Summer memories for me always include warm sunshine, huge white puffy clouds, cool grass to lie in - and the buzzing of bees. Listening to these energetic little yellow and black fuzz-balls, it occurs to me that we might learn a thing or two from them:

Devote yourself to your life's work. Whatever your work may be, whether caring for children, driving a cement truck, installing software, performing surgery or collecting trash, put your heart and soul into it and do the best job you can.

Share the load. We're each good at different things and none of us can do it all. Divide the duties, share a job, ask for or offer help. Sharing is the very essence of any form of community.

Mind your own business. Most of us easily make judgments without having any understanding of what others are dealing with. We each have an opinion, but unless asked it's usually better to keep it to yourself. Manage your own life and let others manage theirs.

Take care of your own, according to your abilities. People first, so this applies to family, relatives, neighborhood, and community. Don't forget the non-human species that live with and near you as well as across the world. Take good care of all of your possessions - if you find this difficult, perhaps you have too many.

Tolerate others; only sting as a last resort. Not everyone agrees with us nor acts as we believe they should or wish they would. They may not be our best friends, but it is our differences that make us unique. We are all God's children, so unless we are threatened or in danger, we need to treat others as we want to be treated.

When the day is done, rest. Relax your mind and body. Refreshed, you will then be ready to do whatever comes next. At the end of a task, a day, or a life, know that you did the best that you could.

My dear brothers,
take note of this:
Everyone should be quick to listen,
slow to speak
and slow to become angry,
 for man's anger
does not bring about
the righteous life that God desires.
James 1:19-20

1 comment:

  1. Barb,
    These are truly good reminders. It is wonderful what we can learn from even the smallest creatures of God. Thanks for listening and then sharing.