This summer has literally been the summer of the bumble bees around here. As a rule, I am always on the search for my girls (honey bees, not kids) out and about, but there is an added layer of delight when I find the busy girl to be one of the bumble bee family. I love their fuzzy bodies, the loud noises they make as they slowly cruise by, along with their gentle demeanor.
Due to some combination of last winter’s birdseed and my desire to grow the largest flowers humanly possible, our backyard has become a menagerie of goldfinches, bees, and squirrels. So much so that I had to cut stalks down to allow entrance into our compost bin, chicken coop, and to reach my beehives. Now I'm collecting sunflower seed heads to prevent an even greater patch of brilliant gold next year.
I may have overdone it a bit.
It is exciting because some species of bumble bees have been placed on the endangered species list. So finding an abundance of them is a good problem to have.
Most notably, bumblers are almost exclusively responsible for the tomato crop. They are the only bees with the vibrating method of pollen collection--which is responsible for the bumble noise where they derive their name. Without bumble bees, in some locations people have taken on the role of pollinators.
These creatures are so highly specialized and fit for the work that they do, that Walmart now sells pollination wands for regions that don’t have enough pollinators. It’s a wonder then, that bumble means ‘to move or act in a confused manner.’
But, I resonate with the description a bit. Even as a write, I’ve got two other projects sitting open on the table next to me that I continue to rotate between. If someone were to have tracked our movement as a family this summer, it could easily be described as bumbling. Never before (and maybe never again) have we had the good fortune of moving around in such a manner. It was fun without a doubt, but coming home to the routine of school again has made me a bit discombobulated and clumsy.
Yesterday for example as I inserted my Love and Logic strategy of letting my kids learn the consequences of their actions and they were both late to school. The night before when I spilled my entire water bottle in my lap and sat in standing water on my way to church and walked in with pants wet down to my knees and up my back, or bringing a comforter to the laundromat without quarters or soap and making several trips to successfully wash one blanket.
I was discouraged by all of these events. But I imagine there is a deeper truth hiding in the brambles.
Rather than bemoan the many hats I'm wearing right now, and probably you are too, I'm trying to notice the way that only I can accomplish the tasks that I've been assigned. Not that I'm doing them any better or worse than someone else--in fact most days my approach is neither aerodynamic or graceful, but purposeful and hopefully, fruitful.
I've probably exhausted the bee metaphors in this space, but if you're needing encouragement in your clumsy efforts this week, channel your inner bee, especially if she's a bumbler!