When You Disturb a Nest

“brown winged insect in macro shot” by Jari Hytönen on Unsplash

Sweat trickled down my back as I squatted. Dappled shade from the hickory and walnut tree offered some relief from the blazing sun, but did nothing to soften the humidity. Gloved, my thumb and index finger pinched and pulled, pinched and pulled. Weed by weed I dropped purslane, clover and thistle into my five gallon bucket. This might sound strange, but I enjoy clearing a flower bed of weeds. It’s peaceful, honest work. I can look back and see what I’ve accomplished — a simple pleasure with an observable result.

On this particular day though, the peace was interrupted. At first it was just one — a bee buzzing by my ear. I swished at it and kept pinching and pulling, but the buzzer had friends and soon several were circling me. Well — I know bees sting so I did the logical thing — I ran. The drones followed me, but broke off when I entered the garage.

Unscathed and undeterred, I waited a few minutes and went back to my bucket — pinch and pull, pinch and pull — what!! More bees. Run, hide, wait repeat. Sometimes I’m kinda slow to catch on to things.

The third time I went back to the bucket, the bees didn’t even give me time to squat.

I took off my garden gloves and went into the house for some lunch.

Later, from a safe distance I watched the bees bumbling about where I’d been working. For hours they flew above the rich brown dirt looking for the entrance to their ground nest. I’d disturbed their peace by shaking up their home.

I recently read a story by Niklas Göke about Will Smith. Here is a section of the story:

On the first day of ninth grade, he (Smith) provoked a kid into knocking him out with a combination lock, which led to said kid being arrested and expelled.

“I was laying in my bed that night and I was just feeling like sh*t, and I had the recognition that I had caused this kid to throw his life away. He was kicked out of school and I never knew what happened to him, but I have a sense that it didn’t go well beyond there. And I felt a deep sense of regret and a deep sense that I had caused an emotion in a person that made them do that. And that feeling of regret turned into a sort of a fear of how much power I had. I was like ‘everything I say and do has that kind of effect on other human beings?’ And in that moment I decided that I would never walk into a room and do anything other than inspire and uplift and enlighten people.”

Whoa! I mean WHOA, right? Smith got knocked out by another kid and his reaction was not anger or revenge. He felt bad for the part he played in something he’d done to affect the trajectory of somebody else’s life.

Nothing happens in a vacuum — didn’t Einstein say something about actions and reactions? Nope — I looked it up. Newton said it.

We are way more powerful than we give ourselves credit for. We need to wake up to our power. We have the choice to spread positive or negative ripples out into the world with every thought, word and action.

And in that moment I decided that I would never walk into a room and do anything other than inspire and uplift and enlighten people.

It was pure accident that I disturbed the bee’s nest. You can bet I’d never poke one intentionally.

The bees go everywhere.

Sometimes they sting.

Thoughtless provocation can turn a peaceful flower bed into an angry war zone.

Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see. ~Mark Twain

Consider your power.

I intend to use mine to uplift, inspire and enlighten.

A writer should concern himself with whatever absorbs his fancy, stirs his heart, and unlimbers his typewriter. I feel no obligation to deal with politics. I do feel a responsibility to society because of going into print: a writer has the duty to be good, not lousy; true, not false; lively, not dull; accurate, not full of error. He should tend to lift people up, not lower them down. Writers do not merely reflect and interpret life, they inform and shape life. ~E.B. White





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Gail Boenning

Gail Boenning


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