Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Birds, bees, and creation


I took my lunch hour out in the courtyard today where I work. It's a nice space, with a big, grassy center, wide paths, and ample benches. It's my favorite place to hang out during working hours, whenever I get a break. In full summer, there's plenty of shade from trees around the perimeter, and beneath the trees are bushes, where birds and squirrels keep busy. We have a lot of wildlife in our courtyard.

And we also have bees. The bees make sure I can enjoy my solitude. They're also fuzzy. I tend to like fuzzy creatures.

These are bumblebees, mind, not nasty hornets or yellowjackets, which would have me on the run. Bumblebees (which my grandma always called "humblebees," a name I really like) are very peaceful and don't sting unless they feel threatened (which is fair enough). Today there were three near my bench, flying in large circles, chasing each other. Occasionally they circled around me curiously, and, though they are pretty able navigators, one of them bumped into my shoulder now and then -- almost like a friendly punch on the arm. One actually alighted on my jeans-clad knee, and sat there regarding me solemnly, while deciding that I probably was not a nectar source.

No one will come near when there are bees about. It's a perfect system. I get to read my book or say prayers in peace, the bees go about their business, and everyone leaves me alone.

The birds were busy today, too. Those in the courtyard are quite tame, and if they see that you have food, will come and perch boldly on the edge of the bistro table, or on the end of the bench where you're sitting. Back in the fall, I nearly had one eating crumbs out of my hand. It's quite a thrill, actually.

I suppose if I were a real mystic instead of just a hopeful mystic, I would be a nature mystic. Nothing gives me a glimpse of God like being outside does. Nature is constantly creative: in the busyness of bees and birds, in the foliage returning to the trees, in the rhythmic roll and break of waves, in the gentle yielding of one season to the next. In my growing older; in my attempts to peel away habits that are not important, to get to what is. God is busy in Nature -- Creation is never done!

May God be busy in me as well.

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