While sitting in a coffee shop 3 miles from Monkstown a Bee came into view. It might have been a wasp, It was wearing black and yellow, I’m not a Melittologist*. Initially it was mildly irritating but I ignored it and continued to read Dr Miriam’s problem page in the Daily Mirror.
Eventually I noticed this Bee one too many times. As it was hovering in front of my face I gave it a clean whack with the back of my hand. Stunned, the Bee crashed against the window and fell lifeless to the window ledge below. If I volleyed the winning goal in the Champions league final for Carrick Rangers it wouldn’t have been more satisfying. Time passed, I forgot about the Bee and got on with reading about Karen who fancies her married workmate.
Then later that afternoon something incredible happened. After lying motionless for 30 minutes the Bee’s leg began to move, then it’s abdomen, then it’s wings. I couldn’t believe my eyes as the Bee eventually rose to its feet and was ready to fly off. Think about that. If a human being was hit with the equivalent force it would be like getting whacked with a Blue Whale at 100mph and crushed against a giant glass window. Our internal scaffolding wouldn’t stand a chance. Yet this Bee received the blow of his life and managed to survive.
This Bee now had a new zest for life and was going to make so much honey when it got back to the hive. It was going have a great story about the time a hand came out of nowhere and tried to crush his spirit but couldn’t. This Bee was going to meet the Queen. I couldn’t help but admire the structural design of this insect which allows it to absorb colossal impacts over and over again and still get up for more punishment. What an animal! What a miracle of nature!
I began to think about how sometimes life is full of knock downs and only the strongest survive. Like the Bee, we may seem small and weak, but we must learn to be internally strong. Although it sometimes feels like nothing is going according to plan despite every effort that has been attempted. Even when it seems like we have been dealt too many hits to take, it is important to keep moving. To get up after each hit, start flapping your wings again and fly on…. Broken and damaged as you are.
I too had a new resilience. Who knew I could learn such a big lesson from such a tiny insect?
As for the Bee in question, I eventually crushed it with my shoe. Made sure it was dead this time. I had to. I just bought a sandwich and there was no way it was getting near it.
Kelly Clarkson once sang, ‘What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger’. In the case of this Bee, we will never know what it would have went on to achieve. Plenty more Bees in the swarm.
*Bee Expert: Ps if any Bee experts are reading this I would like to know the classification of the Bee I crushed. It’s probably a wasp isnt it…
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