The smallest beings can help us see the threads of our lives.
A few days ago, one of the writers and editors for my publication posted a writing prompt about spirit animals that intrigued me. Considering spirit animals is not my thing, my curiosity won out, and I took a test to identify which animal resonates with me.
The test revealed my spirit animal is a bee. What? That’s strange because my name, Deborah, in Hebrew, means bee.
Also, my mother named me after Deborah in the Bible, who is my hero because she exhibited tenacity and fortitude in the middle of adversity. Deborah’s story is recounted in Judges 4 & 5 in the Old Testament. She was a prophet and a warrior, leading the Nation of Israel to victory over their oppressors in the 12 century B.C.
When the enemies of abuse, bigotry, and addiction crossed the perimeter of my life, the bees gave me the strength to overcome these obstacles. Like the scout bee, I found a new place to build my hive and nurture others with hope. See what comes from having a family history with the bee!
The bee is an expert at avoiding large elements like hands or swatters that want to squash its life into non-existence. Upon sight, the bee is stereotyped as the bringer of a sting you want to avoid, at all costs. Also, the honeybees’ only addiction is to make honey. It is their purpose in life.
Oh, I am like the bee in many ways.
At a young age, I also became adept at avoiding the incoming fist. My mother’s anger fueled by her addiction often struck out at the closest thing in proximity — me. Whether she meant to or even remembers the years of the physical abuse; I forged an armor, and built a stinger to keep others at bay.
Because of my ability to sting others away, I created a vacuum I filled with the nectar of drugs that soon turned to poison; eating the remaining portions of my spirit.
However, one day the Master bee-keeper interrupted my life, pulled the poison out, and replaced it with new honey. Energized with the Divine nectar, I sought a new place to call home.
Hive of Peace
The next characteristic of my bee is that she hopes and believes all things should coexist in peace and love. This concept is the theme of my life — peace of mind.
If you have peace, you can do all things without fear holding you back. I can believe in miracles because I can see the vision for my life. I keep my eye on the prize as the bee searching for his hive, a place to make honey.
Like the bee, I searched for my place to build my beehive. I found my peace in God, who led me to the writing community I call home. We work together to encourage, inspire, and empower one another to create lives of meaning and purpose.
We care, support, and believe in each other. When one of us has success, we all take part in it by reading, sharing, and engaging. As the bee who builds the hive and nourishes the larva, we interact with new writers and nurture their writing process.
Family History with Bees
Finally, I have a story about watermelon bees and hunting honey trees. My great-grandfather loved watermelons and raised them in his garden in Drumright, Oklahoma. After harvest time, he would put two rinds in a metal pie plate, and set it outside in the back of the barn. Then, he sat on a wooden stool next to the rinds and waited.
He had a little flour in a cup balanced on his knees, and a stopwatch in one hand. After a while, a scout bee would fly by seeking the nectar of the rinds. Grandpa sprinkled a pinch of flour over the bee. When the bee flew away, he would click on the stopwatch and he looked to see from which direction the bee flew.
Eventually, a group of bees returned following the scout bee. They were attracted to the sweetness of the rotting rinds. Well, my great-grandfather would check to see if his little white flour bee was among the buzz and he would click off the stopwatch. Then, he divided the time in half and walked toward the bees.
For instance, if it took twenty minutes for the sprinkled scout bee to fly away and come back. He divided the time into two, which is ten minutes. Great-grandpa walked for those ten minutes in the direction the bees came from. I bet you didn’t know a man can walk as fast as a bee can fly. Anyway, he always found the tree containing a honeycomb.
Until now, I never understood the impact this little animal had on my life. The connection to the bee runs deep from my ancestral story to my birth name, giving me the strength to survive the odds so I could build a hive of writers.
The storyline is simple. I follow the flight path of the bee and see where it leads. Right now, it led me to you.
The test was fun. Find one and see if your animal resonates with you. Remember, sometimes it is the small things that influence our lives the most — like the tiny bee.