Saturday, August 30, 2008

Living Under Bees

Remember this hornet's nest?

Since my last post, I've done some research about hornets, "white-faced hornets" to be exact. Evidently, this football-sized nest can house up to 700 of the little beasties. They eat flies and other "meat" but will also eat rotten fruit or whatever. Usually, hornets are peaceful, but if the nest is disturbed, watch out! Unfortunately, they chose a maple tree rather prone to disturbances. And chose to live rather low in said tree, beside the chicken coop and barn.


In light of these details, Dan and I did some soul-searching. He is a live-and-let live kind of guy and I aspire to be his equal in going with the flow, not worrying/being happy, etc. Okay, I was willing to give the hornets a chance.

After all, I reasoned, life is always tenuous. However we humans try to minimize threats they exist just the same. We dodge bullets every day, bullets we may not ever be aware of.

Unbeknownst to us, the hornets' nest in question was dangling right above the slip-n'-slide at Joe's 5th birthday party, dangling above a wild water balloon war, kids against adults, dangling above the cake and candles and present unwrapping. I shudder to think of what could have happened that day.

But there are always could-have-happeneds. Near misses and moments of grace as well.

Having experienced the lightning strike of sudden tragedy in the past, I can sometimes dwell on these possibilies. Threats seem very, very real to me. So I thought I'd approach the hornets as a lesson, a case in point. I could live under threat of bees. After all, the bees are just one of a countless nasty possibilities made manifest. They could teach me to loosen up a little.

But then, one of the hornets dive-bombed me as I walked down the hill to do the chores. Now, it didn't sting me-- Did I mention I am severely allergic to bees?--- just bounced off the top of my head. And all this philosophy, the live-and-let-liveness and in the moment, no-worries zen-ness I thought I was cultivating, flew out the window.

I went inside and called an extreminator.

We do live under all sorts of visible and invisible threats, and yes, anything can happen at any time and being okay with that-- if you can manage it-- is a real gift. But I'm not quite there yet, not willing to live under threat of bees.

1 comment:

Christy said...

Did you know you can be allergic to one type of bee but not another? I know of many people who are allergic to yellow jackets but keep honey bees. Just an interesting piece of trivia.