I was eight. I pulled the heavy sliding van door open and sat inside. I buckled the faded seat belt across my lap. The navy-blue minivan, with scratchy upholstery, was thick with summer heat. It was early morning and I could already feel the sweat, sticky behind my knees as I waited for my family to come out of my great aunt’s trailer.
Yesterday, Ryder and I went on a walk to get out of the house. Our local news was forecasting a strong chance of cabin fever for all citizens while a hurricane blew through. Despite being designated a “flood zone”, our sea level neighborhood, surrounded by creeks and marshes, didn’t experience any flooding, although our neighbors weren’t as lucky. We took advantage of the unexpected dryness to take in some windy and shockingly cold air, thankfully sans kayaks.
As we walked through the neighborhood, park Ryder noticed mushrooms. He spotted many different kinds – warm sugary browns, soft yellows, and bright whites. Ryder thought it was amazing that even though tree limbs, trash cans, parts of houses, furniture, and other debris along our path to the park were in disarray, these tiny, soft, white mushrooms stood strong. They weren’t the ones clustered together, tucked tight between strong tree roots, and lying close to the ground; they were out in the open, gently wobbling as forceful gusts blew through the field in the park.
She took flight from her hive’s landing board, leaving tens of thousands of bees at home in the hive. She was just over twenty-two days old and this was her sixth and final post in the colony. Her four wings strong and glistening under the spring sun, the siren song of nectar was calling her every fiber to come and drink. Dust particles hit her fuzzy body during flight, causing her to become positively electric. No matter the dangers, her mission was to find a vast nectar and pollen source and report back to the others. Through a north-south-sun-circular-rotation dance, she would shimmy and shake to reveal her treasured findings when she returned to the hive. The “waggle dance”, was a perfectly choreographed series of abdominal wiggles that she would dance over the hexagon comb. Her sisters would pay close attention to the direction – more wiggles, left and right movements, the farther the source.