Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Don't Bee Afraid!

I was wet-my-pants, top-of-my-lungs-ugly-sobbing terrified of bees as a child.  A few of my cousins and I inadvertently disturbed a hornet's nest when we were very small, and I watched myself get stung in slow motion.  He got me right on the web between two fingers of my outstretched hand.  My grandma was with us, along with an uncle or two.  They dragged us screaming kids back up to the family cabin we were visiting and slathered our stings in baking soda.  A soul-wrenching phobia was born that day.

Some of my most embarrassing memories involve being at some kind of gathering in a park, a bee landing on my soda or near my paper plate, and mini-me breaking down into ridiculous hysterics until the little monster finally decided to move on.  I laugh at the memories now, but at the time I truly believed I was about to die.

By some slow-working miracle I completely overcame my fear as I grew up.  Today I love looking at bees, and am perfectly fine going about my business if one decides to investigate me.  They really are fascinating creatures, and they're so beautiful!  Their "culture" is extremely interesting, too.  I love watching them perform their dances in nature documentaries, telling other bees how to get to delicious, nectar-filled meadows they discovered in their wanderings.

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Ants go marching

Life has gotten so busy!  With work and school, I sometimes feel I barely have time to breath, let alone draw.  The craziness of life has me feeling a bit nostalgic this morning.

I attended North Kindergarten in Heber City, UT.  It was a single-grade school that served all the kindergarteners in the little valley.  My time in Mrs. Tolley's class was wonderful, even if I was sadly missing a peach crayon and all drawings of family depicted orange or yellow skin.

My favorite memories of North involve spending time in the cafetorium with other classes to watch Doctor Seuss cartoons or sing at the top of our lungs.  One of the songs we learned was "The Ants Go Marching." That song marched through my mind as these three ants came into being.

As I have mentioned before, I was fascinated by bugs as a child.  I loved letting ants crawl around on my hands, rotating my wrist and elbow to keep them in view.  I would stare, entranced, at their investigation of the little hairs on my arm as they tickled their way across my skin, waving their tiny antennae.  I'm ashamed to admit that when I learned about the magical properties of magnifying glasses, I did fry a few of my little friends.  Thankfully, my now-overactive conscience kicked in as I got older and returned to watching, rather than torturing.

Today I seem to have lost a bit of that awed wonder, and am more annoyed than entranced by the little creatures when I discover them indoors.  It's good to time travel in daydreams to recapture the innocence (and sometimes mischievousness) of childhood.  It helps us realize that though we may have changed with age, the world around us holds just as much magic as it did when we were small.  We simply must slow down and re-learn how to see it.