I have been busy.
Busy like a bee. A bee that should have been gathering nectar and making honey but instead spent a few idyllic days simply buzzing around a well-kept garden in the south of England. That bee sniffed the bouquet from the flowers – possibly for the first time he really sniffed them – and that bee smiled a tiny smile that could only be seen by a bee scientist with a bee microscope. But there was no bee scientist; only the bee.
What did the bee do next? The bee explored the bushes and looked at the paths left in the soil by worms who had popped out when their lookouts confirmed no birds were nearby. The bee was happy and the bee spied an open window. In through the window the bee flew. He should have been gathering nectar and making honey but here he was, flying through an open window.
Oh! The bee became trapped. Not on purpose, of course, for the people in the house – large people, much larger than bees – would never willingly trap a bee inside their house unless they were bee scientists with a specific interest in this bee, or perhaps weird bee fetishists who sought the comfort and unquestioning love of a buzzy companion. No, the people closed the window without realising the bee was in the house and the bee was locked in.
And the bee spent a long time trying to escape. The window would not shatter no matter how much the bee headbutted it. The bee was beside himself with fear. He should have been gathering nectar and making honey but now he was cut off from the hive! Would he ever see his stripey friends again?
The bee did escape eventually. The very large people in the house opened a series of doors and then performed a dance with a newspaper that instructed the bee where the exit was. The bee was grateful and decided not to sting the people in their eyes.
So, the bee was free and back in the garden. The pretty garden with all the things that he never really noticed when he was gathering nectar and making honey. And the bee considered whether he should look around some more or return to the hive and bring his heart-rate back to something approaching normal. He was not really a brave bee. He’d just had the urge to do something different. He’d almost paid the ultimate price. But he’d survived. Best not to push one’s luck especially when one is a bee. Bees are small, you see, and bee luck is proportional to their size.
The bee was back in the hive among his buzzy brethren very soon after. He wanted to tell them his exciting story but there was a ripple of activity from nearby and within seconds he heard that the Queen would be making a surprise inspection very soon to check up on any bees who had been slacking off when they should have been gathering nectar and making honey. Which meant that the bee had to fly off very quickly and get whatever he could from whatever flowers he could find.
But the flowers near the hive were all drained of nectar so the bee had to fly farther and faster than he had ever flown before. On his tiny bee face there could be seen a contorted grimace of stress. At least, a bee scientist with a bee microscope could see it. But there was no bee scientist around. Only the bee. If a scientist had been around the bee would have asked for assistance. He wasn’t a proud bee. He wasn’t lazy either. It was just that sometimes he left things to the last moment and then became overrun with tasks to complete. It was a lesson he promised himself he would learn from but he knew he probably wouldn’t because it was in his nature to act exactly like himself. He could not be what he wasn’t. He was a bee. And right now he was extremely busy.
I have been busy just like that bee. I have not been trapped in a house though, nor have I been the object of unquestioning love and comfort recently.