Thursday, February 17, 2011

Little Bee

Not too long ago, I purchased a book, by poet Nick Flynn, called Blind Huber. It's a beautiful collection of verse, all about the grace and mystery of the honey bee.

And today, a bee died unfortunately at the hands of my vehicle. I climbed into my car this morning, then noticed the poor thing, apparently already injured, clinging onto my car as I sped down the highway.
I rolled my window down to see if the bee would move, then up again, not knowing that the critter had wedged itself inside my window jamb. When I realized that the bee was dead, I felt what can only be described as grief.

It seems almost silly to really convey here how sad I felt when I realized what had happened. I know it is "just a bee," and there are plenty of them, but the notion that the bee suffered is what hurts my heart. For as long as I remember, I've always had compassion for the most unlikely creatures--even insects. I've always pondered how it feels to be an insect, and to meet sudden death at a shoe, or a window.

And of course, I have had people scoff at me. (Particularly Christians, who love to point out how "animals don't go to heaven--only people do, because only people have souls.") Fortunately, my wonderful boyfriend is not one of these people. He told me that he would keep the little bee in his thoughts, after I sorrowfully told him the story over the telephone.

And perhaps this spring, I'll see a bee land on a flower and feel more reverence for the good that comes from these amazing beings. Perhaps tonight, I'll read one of Flynn's poems about the intelligence of the bees in its honor. And despite the fact that bees probably don't go to heaven with grandmothers and other cherished lives on earth, I'd like to think that the spirit of the bee has found a place where the blooms are plentiful.

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