Dear Bees on The McCormick Trail marked S,
I surrender to your space for the time being. When you stung me three weeks ago, I was shocked, and in a strange way, touched by your attention. It had been 30 years since my last inoculation. Days later, when you stung me again, I felt angry and annoyed. Three days ago, when you bombarded my face and punctured my lip, I finally saw you. I found your hive and our crossroads.
The first two stings felt like subtle suggestions, but your third sting was a slap in the face. In fact, after running home, my lower lip plowed through the back door before I did, stunning my kids and husband between a laugh and a cringe.
Me and my red hound, Ruby, run and walk the same trails most days of the week. It’s our beloved ritual. Up until the third sting, I didn’t question returning to our woods for solace. But the needle to the lip made me pause.
Fast forward 24 hours to the first day of school. I got a call at 12:30 from the nurse’s station.
“Mrs. Folz, your daughters have been stung three times each by bees. Can you come to comfort them?”
“Of course, I’ll be right there.”
I arrived and stuck out my lower lip. I empathized and commiserated. We shared a few laughs between sniffles. Then they shared their obvious concern about getting stung again. My instinctive solution was simple.
“Girls, don’t walk past the hive. You know where they live, so give um’ some space.”
My daughters rebounded gracefully and returned to school with a plan. I, on the other hand, was unable to surrender. Ruby and I wanted to pounce in the woods, and I felt will and magic would protect us.
A minute before I entered Trail S, I visualized a white light around me.
I stated my intent to pass by your home in peace, without harm. I held my will tight and stepped onto the crossroads.
Wham! You got me, right between my right butt cheek and upper thigh. Perfect shot. Best place to stop someone in their tracks.
The next few minutes passed in walking meditation. I opened to wisdom I’d heard myself say 24 hours ago.
“Don’t walk past the hive again. You know where they live, so give um’ some space .”
Dear Bees, it’s true. I wanted to keep my same path. I wanted to keep my same rhythm. I wanted to bend your will to mine because I knew I wasn’t going to harm you or your hive.
But you showed me. In order to be on the same page, both parties need the same book. You were reading from your bee book, and I obviously was not.
So, did you notice? I didn’t return to our crossroads on the second loop around. I looked for another route. Ruby was thrilled actually, her nose to the ground, her body running a new obstacle course. In fact, we both enjoyed the view, another perspective to our beloved ritual.
Dear bees, thank you for letting me practice the art of surrender. Thank you for being your true nature. Thank you for bringing me back to my inner wisdom, and thank you for showing me that one’s loving will and imagination doesn’t block another’s instinctive duty.
Editor: Brianna Bemel