I’m pretty sure I saved the world today.
You don’t need to thank me.
It wasn’t a lot of effort and was without any kind of grand strategy or good will.
I was just eating some soup in the backyard with my achy legs dangling in our very cold and dirty pool and actually scowling at all the work that needed to be done and feeling that panicky pressure that always starts in my chest and wells up into my eyes when I feel overwhelmed by life and am not ambitious or energetic enough to do anything about it. There was dog poop everywhere, the butt face squirrels were having some kind of party up in the pine trees and trashing the ground with chunks of pine needle clumps and there was dust all over the tables and chairs. And that was just the crust on my giant pie of annoying things that needed to be done.
But the sun was shining on my face and the fall day was crisp and yummy, so despite our backyard chaos I found myself simply enjoying the feel of the water on my calves and the taste of my soup. It was cheddar potato with kielbasa sausage which made it hard for me to maintain the scowl.
That’s when I saw a bee struggling in the pool. I put my soup down and used the empty dog water bowl to scoop him out and gently pour him onto the concrete. I’m not totally sure he was a he, but I think that usually the boy bees are out gathering flower juice while the queen hangs out in the hive and eats honey and makes baby bees and tells the boy bees what to do. Which sounds like a decent arrangement.
I squatted down and watched my sweet little bee just lay there for what felt like forever. “Come on sweetie! You got this!” I whispered in my best bee voice, wondering if I should do some kind of CPR and eyeballing a pine needle as a potential bee defibrillator . And then he started to finally move and shake off his near death experience. His little front feet squeegeed the water off his furry face and I’m pretty sure I heard a tiny cough but that could be my imagination adding drama to the story. I can’t be sure. He stretched his back legs, then his middle legs and then fluttered his wings. The whole recuperation took maybe ten minutes and I sat there the whole time, my soup forgotten, feeling protective and wanting to be there for him. When he finally flew away I whooped joyfully “Godspeed beautiful bee friend! Go savor the last of the fall flowers and tell your queen hello from a fellow queen of a distant, messy kingdom!” Which I KNOW is very silly. But I was caught up in the moment. I almost fell in the pool myself doing a little whirling happy dance.
Several years ago one of my friends called me a rescuer but I know he didn’t mean that I was a good person. He knows me well enough to know I am no Mother Teresa. Not even close. I just hate witnessing suffering. It makes ME suffer, which I hate even more, especially when there is something I can do about it.. So it was with purely selfish motives that I pulled the bee from his demise.
Isn’t that really why any of us help others, because we don’t want to suffer ourselves?
Think about that with me for a minute.
Anyhoo, I’d have not forgiven myself if I’d kept eating my soup and turned my back on a good cause: a creature struggling to LIVE. I felt so grateful and less scowly about the poop ridden back yard watching him fly away. The life of this bee could be crucial to the next small thing needed for the sake of the world. You can roll your eyes and say I’m being melodramatic. But that bee wanted to LIVE. I don’t know his role in the world and it’s really none of my beeswax. All I did was give him a leg up in attempt to escape my own suffering And he clearly had a purpose or he would have not struggled. He’d have just sucked in water and said “Fuck it. I’m tired. Let the other bees make the world as we know it a better place.” But he DIDN’T! He was so tired but he pushed past the fear of almost drowning and the pain of water in his little bee lungs and said “I got shit to do!” And flew away to do it.
This is just so encouraging to me! And quite possibly, on a small scale, world saving.
Again, no need to thank me. You’re doing your own unique and awesomely selfish acts of rescuing. That’s how it gets done.