Follow the Bee!

Starting almost anything, whether it’s a design project or a blog, is a lot like starting school in a new town! I laugh to myself as I think back, once again, to the story of the bee.

When I was seven years old, my mother dropped me off at the General John Glover Elementary School to take a math and reading placement test. We had just moved to the town at the end of summer, so I hadn’t had the chance to meet new friends yet. Despite the newness of my situation, it felt natural that she would expect me to walk home all by myself when I was done with the test. I had been walking home since kindergarten in our old town, which is what everyone did back then. She had even taken the time to familiarize me with the new neighborhood and the easy route home. But somehow, despite the build-up and the preparation, after I finished the test and headed down the big stone steps for home later that day, it just felt right to try a different route home, not the one we had driven along and rehearsed together.

I walked adventurously for a while, confident that these rows of houses were laid out in a way that made sense and that I would find my way easily. Then, suddenly, I saw what I will always remember as a giant bumblebee. I couldn’t out dance it, no matter how much I tried to hurry away from it, veering to the edge of the sidewalk or pretending to skip ahead so it wouldn’t notice that I was actually trying to get away. My innate reliance on the interconnectedness of streets, on instinct, on memory of a corner driven past once or twice, my overconfidence, all gave way to fear of being stung, to panic. Running, discombobulated, close to breathless, I braced myself for the stinger, surrounded by what now seemed suddenly so unfamiliar. As I ran, I got faster and faster. The bee followed, and I continued. But eventually, my running started to flow more easily somehow, my fear lessened as I moved. I remember this moment really clearly, that I suddenly felt magically propelled. For a brief second I lost track of the bee; I looked around and saw that the bee was actually in front of me. It had been showing me the way, and my home was right around the corner!

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