I envy the bee whose life is so simple and uncomplicated: find flower, gather pollen, drink nectar, return to hive; repeat. It's easy -- the flowers provide everything the bee wants. The bee just has to show up and do its thing.
I became entranced watching the bee activity in the bed of spearmint in my garden this summer. Last year a neighbor gave me a couple of tiny spearmint cuttings and warned me not to put it in the ground, because it would take over. I had a naked 3 1/2' x 6' bed of bare dirt in back of the house that needed something besides the sow thistles and other various weeds that I'd spent many days yanking out after we moved in, so I went ahead and put the spearmint in the ground.
I loved how it grew and thrived, branching out to possess the entire space, embracing the bare ground the way a luxuriant robe embraces your naked body when you arise from sleep. Some runners sprawled out of the bed and crept across the cement walkway, releasing refreshing spearmint scent when trod upon. It grew into an undulant cool carpet of green, joyful in the bright sun.
And the lovely purple flowers! The bees adored them. Many other insects adored them as well, including other species of bees, plus wasps, flies and butterflies, but it has been the industrious honeybees that draw my attention. They zoom in and out, each choosing a blossom and methodically probing its florets as she works her way around. It is a frenetic ballet in three dimensions, but there is a purpose behind the chaos.
Each bee knows what to do. Each has a plan. Each is focused on a common goal. Each works for the good of the hive, for each other, all of them doing their part, without diversion or distraction.
The bee is not plagued by doubts about what to do or her ability to do so. There is no confusion, no uncertainty, no ambiguity, no bafflement, no deceit. Her world is simple and straightforward, small but manageable. I almost wish I could become one.
I envy the bee.