On my lunch hour today I made a new friend.
He was a bee. A very determined, very resolute, very special to me bee.
He was just standing there on my windshield, a skinny wisp of a bee, so unassuming I didn’t even notice him until I pulled out of the parking lot. My first instinct was to windshield-wipe him away, but something about the way he stood there — frozen, braced, unwavering — made me stop. I was impressed with his tenacity – he had to have been holding on for dear life just to make it that far – so I pulled my hand away from the wiper switch and silently assented to his presence there in my field of vision. The odds were already stacked high enough against him. I’d give him a fighting chance.
Pretty soon I was immersed in the mindless process of driving, and the bee’s tiny body blended in with the rest of the scene before me. But as I slowed for a red light, I noticed him again – still there, still holding on.
Suddenly, I RELATED to this little bee. We were kindred spirits, him and I. Despite forces of wind that had to be tens of millions of times his body weight, twists and turns that would have felled much bigger bugs, there he stood in blazing defiance. Holding on to that windshield glass with a death grip, using nothing more than sheer grit and slightly sticky feet to stay to the surface. Absolutely determined to spit in the face of his losing odds, he stayed right there with me, despite the tremendous forces working together, so hard, to tear him away.
Was he wondering how he got there? I know I was. Did he make a terrible mistake by staying on that windshield, even after the door slammed and the engine started? Of course. Was he in the wrong place at the wrong time? I’m sure there was at least a little bit of that, too. But it really didn’t matter — whatever mistakes he had made, whatever bad luck had transpired, he was here now, and he would NOT let the world win – at least, not without a fight.
A quick honk behind me let me know the light had turned green, and I realized I’d been staring at him, muttering under my breath one word, over and over: please please please please please.
Was he feeling the same as me? Trapped in an impossible situation, no one to blame but myself, fighting feelings of hopelessness and looking everywhere, anywhere for a sun ray, a glimmer of simple possibility? please please please.
I wanted to pull to a stop and save him – and if I hadn’t been running late, I might have. But I WAS running late. So I kept going. I kept my eye on the road and told myself, If it is meant to be, It will be. It’s not MY fate. It’s his. He’s just a bee. And I tried to let it go.
But there was no denying that my new friend’s fate now MATTERED to me. I NEEDED him to make it – because if he could, that meant I could, too. My own hopes and fears and determination were all tied up in this one little bee’s perilous journey. I was pulling for us both. please please please.
My speed increased with traffic, and the roads took us on twists and turns that should have sent him flying – but he stayed resolute. I watched him, worried for him, feeling for him, rooting for him.
Then I reached the big curve. 45 miles an hour, an almost 120-degree arc that simply could not be avoided. I tried to slow down enough that the bee could sustain his grip, but it wasn’t enough. Without even time to say goodbye, his tiny body abruptly disappeared behind me. Just like THAT! he was gone.
In hindsight, I should have seen it coming. That was one killer curve and I was going way too fast for a tiny bug like that to hold on. But I DIDN’T see it. I’d had pure, blind faith in that bug. Pure, blind faith that his strength of mind and resolve would see him through even this, the toughest of times. I believed.
I was SHOCKED when his body lost its grip and flew behind me. SHOCKED. A sharp intake of breath, then little tears formed – I knew the tears were ridiculous and completely unjustified – it was just a bee, after all – but still. Still.
Even now I continue to grieve for my little friend. Don’t be so silly! I keep telling myself – it was just a bee. Just. A. Bee. It’s not like he got squished – he just flew away. Unwillingly, yes, but still. He just flew away.
We were next to a park, a very nice park, maybe it was all for the best. Maybe he found an even better spot than my office complex parking lot. Maybe he’ll find himself a new home, a better home, there in that nice park. He’ll make new friends, maybe. Find a new hive. please please please.
Maybe one door closed for him today, but another one, an even better one, opened. Isn’t that how the saying goes?
Maybe it’s really true. Maybe there’s no valid reason for the despair I’ve felt since he lost his grip.
The little bee didn’t make it.