Bennie the Bee
Outside our sunroom, he hovers. He zips. He hovers again. Hour after hour, day after day, a shiny black carpenter bee stakes his claim outside our reflective windows. There is a breathtaking sunset behind him but he doesn’t notice. All he sees is himself, reflected in the window, or possibly, like a Siamese fighting fish, he sees a foe. Or maybe he sees a Shangri La inside that he dreams of inhabiting. I am fascinated by this bee who is our constant companion. He must be protecting a nest. He acts like he is spoiling for a fight. We named him Bennie. After all, he is part of our family now.
My heart goes out to this bee. When does it eat? When does it stop its hovering and zipping and just go relax on a flower? Apparently never. I read that the fluffy yellow and black bumblebees live about 28 years but these shiny black carpenter bees live only about a year. So this bee is spending the entire year of its short life hovering outside our window. In all honesty, probably there are worse places to hang out.
And now there is another layer of compulsion. Our cat now runs to the window every day to chase the bee through the glass. Bennie’s quest seems both endless and hopeless. And now our cat’s. Like Don Quixote. Eventually, isn’t there an honor in the striving? Or are we all just coming up with something to do to fill our lives?
My brother had a dog who was addicted to fishing. Nellie was a lab who used to retrieve tennis balls but once she discovered fishing she ignored every tennis ball thrown to her. After months and years of standing in the shallows and lunging after fish, she never caught one. Yet she never stopped. It became an obsession.
I have struggled myself over the course of my life with obsessive thoughts – and I have worked on meditation and mindfulness. Could animals and insects have OCD too? A little more reading has now told me that this bee probably has a nest somewhere in the wood of our house that could cause damage. Back to practicalities, we should get rid of that nest.
I have to think about that. For now, see you tomorrow, Bennie! We love you.