The Butterfly and the Bee
January 3, 2017, The Butterfly and the Bee
Harlingen has a place my bride finds to be magical. Ordinary folks, including almost everybody, would call it a “nursery”. It sells things like trees, plants, seeds, and potting soil. This particular place works its magic with a tremendous number of flowering plants and trees, along with exotic birds (that are not for sale), great music playing in the background, and awesome fountains with really large goldfish (again not for sale). The combination has a magic that takes the starch out of my nature loving bride – it even works on me.
Over the top of the nursery area is a screen. It adds shade and keeps the tree leaves off of the plants beneath. I was standing there looking up when I saw a butterfly. I have no clue how it got on our side of the screen, but there it was. It was trying very hard to get to the other side of the screen. I watched it for well over 10 minutes. It stayed within a two foot area and repeatedly tried to fly through that screen over and over again - with literally no result.
I like butterflies, and if I could have helped it escape I would have. The fact that there was a 10 foot gap between me and the screened in roof, where the butterfly was at made that impossible. While I am aware that butterflies are not for known their problem solving capabilities, my moment of truth came when I remembered all those occasions when I acted just like this butterfly - repeatedly trying something that didn’t work and expecting a different result (computer passwords come to mind here).
This brings me to the bee. Standing there I turned and noticed a bee working on a pot of purple flowers. For the next 10 minutes I watched it fly from flower to flower looking for ones with their pedals open. If they weren’t, the bee moved on to a new flower. If a flower appeared to be mostly open, the bee would work hard at getting his head into the white center. Sometimes it made it, sometimes it didn’t. After a serious try, if the bee found the petals still to closed, it just moved to a different flower.
When I walked on, the butterfly was still trying to make its escape, and the bee was still working the flowers. This reminded me of a quote attributed to Cromwell – “I beseech thee, please consider the possibility that you might be wrong.”
Moral for the New Year – Try to be open to the possibility that on some occasions we just might be wrong.