Little Bee and the Thistle

Little Bee and the Thistle


I work outside. Most of my years I've worked outside. I've had some inside jobs: Computer Technician, Web Help Desk, Estimator, Barista, Server, Bartender, Computer Store Manager and Book Store Manager. 

Some jobs that I've had helped me to transition into the office: Job Admin, Assistant Superintendent and Superintendent. Those were transitional because I was working in the field as a Lead Carpenter, Form Carpenter or Carpenter Foreman.

My experience has led me to appreciate many types of work. It has also led me to understand that it's better to work outside than inside.

The Find

When I arrive to work I see the transitional sky from night to day. I see the water of the Elizabeth River. I feel the wind or cool breeze. I see the thistle plant and a tiny bee.

The bee is a tiny thing. She's maybe 2mm or 1/4" long. My eyes are not so strong at close range but I can make out her distinctive torso with gold and yellow stripes. I pull out my phone and take a picture. She doesn't mind. 

The purple of the thistle contrasts the bleak dusty ground. Nothing lives in the well traveled road but adjacent to it life continues. I can't remember ever seeing a tiny bee like this. I barely see any bees at all these days.

Just as I am writing this I stop to hook up a metal box to a crane and I see a flash of zig-zag movent. I see a honey bee! I investigate. It's a bee for sure. About four times the size of my previous bee sighting. 

As temporary as this all is, it's still good to catch a glimpse of a bee in action. When the conditions are right this will happen. 

The Rub

As always I have time to think. I think how wonderful this place is that we live. I think about how fragile our home world is too. How connected and disconnected we are. 

The sun rises and the sun sets. Our sun is temporary. We are temporary. You get this perspective when you engage the natural world. 

Everything in the world we live in involves care. Carelessness is also care. It's like the word "quality" that's used in advertisements. It's just a form of kamma. Good or bad it is still action, actors and acting. 

Another way of thinking is in the conduit of action and energy. When the conditions are right, this will happen, but we also affect the outcome as we channel the action.


The ultimate position to be in in action is striving. That's goal oriented action. That's when the brain rewards success with endorphins. Successful people go after this in every activity. 

Inside the thistle the little bee does her thing. She shares pollen and the thistle provides glucose. Their actions together bring fruition. As human beings we can work for this fruit too. We have choice. 

Do we toil ourselves out of existence? Do we set goals and explore the Galaxy and the Universe? Do we worship chance? Do we solidify our spiritual carelessness? 

I'm like little bee and this is my thistle.

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