Finding an Answer Like a Bee

The bee landed in the pool next to me. If he doesn’t get scooped out, the chlorine will do him in quickly. I’m allergic to bees, so I’ve figured out a way to scoop them out and get them on dry land. Most of the time, they take a few minutes to buzz their wings dry, and then take off.

Bee at work

Bee at work

This one was different. He flew a few inches into the air and landed again. This time, he landed in my drinking glass, or, more precisely, drinking plastic. I’d finished my water, so the glass was dry. I fully expected the bee to climb out. But he didn’t. He walked around the bottom of the glass, bumping into the edge. He did not crawl up the side, he kept circling the bottom of the glass, looking for a way out.

The whole top was open to the sky, available for flying, but he didn’t do that. He didn’t look up where the solution was. He kept looking straight ahead and running into the glass.

The bee was not going to do the one thing he needed to gain his freedom–look around, get a different perspective. And it occured to me that I am just as stubborn as that bee. I keep repeating the same solution, not looking up, not finding a new way. I’ll circle my problem, bumping my head against the wall for days before it occurs to me to look up, to see their was an open space right over my head. A way out, in easy reach.

Quit circling. Look up. It’s the way out.

Quinn McDonald is a writer and certified creativity coach. She is circulating journals around the world in an experimental project.