This summer I found a carpenter bee drowning in a cheap blow-up pool we’d temporarily set up on our back carport for our kiddo. I stood a moment watching it trying desperately to do anything at all to survive, but out in the middle of the pool with nothing to latch onto, it was going to die, legs flailing, wings soaked and useless.
I grabbed a stick and gently lifted it out, laying it on the warm carport to dry. Within seconds it began crawling and trying unsuccessfully to open its wings, too wet to unfurl. I watched it for several minutes and followed it. Within 5 minutes its wings were becoming larger and dryer, and I could tell it was feeling better. I snapped a few photos and felt a slight twinge of good karma paid into the massive debt of bad karma I have already accrued in this life.
So, why did I hesitate to lift it out when I first saw it? Why did I pause before rescuing it from certain doom?
I did so because we have a carpenter bee infestation. It’s true. Carpenter bees have invaded our back porch and have established little tunnels and homes for several years. Carpenter bees are like that. They remember. They return to the places they were born. They are very damaging to wooden structures when left to their own devices and they have made great mischief on our porch, our deck, and in our garage.
I paused because I knew this little carpenter bee would continue its instinctual drive to bore holes into the wooden structures on and around my home if it lived. Once dry I knew this bee would immediately fly back to its little tunnel and continue the work of eating away at it, making it ready for hibernation during the cold months.
But, despite all this, I knew that little bee still mattered. Regardless of its usefulness, or peskiness, it mattered. And so, I saved it. And it lived to fight with me another day.
In life you will find yourself in situations where someone no longer deems you useful to them. They will discard you, deny your validity, and affirm your insecurities, simply because you suddenly got in the way. I want you to understand that you still matter, little bee. When someone treats you badly, or you treat another person badly, because your relationship has ended or because you do not see eye to eye, you’re forgetting that everyone on this earth matters. Every living thing has purpose and the right to exist here.
I encourage you to remind yourself that you also matter, even when other people make you feel as though you don’t. And I encourage you to remember that the people you find pesky also matter, even if you don’t care for them.
We are all little bees drowning in the same plastic pool. Let us make every effort to pull each other out when we can and honor our existense as living beings.