Yesterday I got back from Burbank. Spent an intense three days with a room full of strangers, who by the end of weekend, I felt like I knew their souls.
I do this every so often, meet with other high-level people with the specific intention of understanding some hidden part of myself better.
My favorite moment didn’t take place inside the room, but outside near the pool.
I had been talking to these people earlier about a metaphor I’d heard about certain kinds of bees. Not all bees are worker bees. Some don’t do very much work. But the work they do — the product they make — is extremely valuable. The honey produced by these bees is rare and is sold for $300 an ounce or something (in the human world).
I was talking about this bee metaphor in the room. And then later outside, a bee landed on me while I was lounging in the sun near the pool. There was an initial moment of slight freak-out as I tried to shoo the bee away from me. But it wouldn’t budge.
I realized I’d have to gently collect the creature and guide him off of me.
I used my sandal to pick up the bee. I place the sandal on the ground. The bee struggled to walk away…but he eventually did so. I wondered if he was injured. Confused? Dazed. I felt an emotional connection to this bee. He walked a bit on the pavement, then eventually flew away. He was free.
I wondered if he would still be alive twenty-four hours from now.
Would any of us still be here a day from now? A year from now? Ten years from now?
That evening I watched videos of bees on YouTube. I couldn’t watch any swarms. But I found videos of individual bees intriguing, comforting, and fascinating.
One single bee apparently was dead, but was still twitching. Was it alive and in pain? Or was it dead and just involuntarily moving? What’s the difference?
I cried a river of tears watching this bee move. Was it a “struggle,” or was I introducing the concept of struggle into its movements?
We humans really don’t get it. Some of the smallest, tiniest things are responsible for our entire life.
I get it. I felt this incredible life energy teeming out of the bee. I felt the symbolic implications of this small insect landing near me. (OK, it didn’t really land ON me at the pool — it landed on my towel, pretty close to my leg. Same thing almost.)
That was my favorite moment of the weekend. Realizing I could be gentle with this small creature that felt like it had a big soul, a big personality. Just this one lone bee, coming to greet me.
And initially I wanted to shoo it away.
How often do we shoo away the very things that give us life?
Later I found an organic Asian Fusion restaurant online. I ordered their pad thai through UberEats. When the food arrived, I hurried out of my hotel room, through the hallways, down the elevator, downstairs to the front of Hotel Amarano and picked up my food.
The delivery girl bowed to thank me.
Upon returning to my room, I watched bee videos. I texted Dan, sharing the experience with him.
Bees intrigue me, with their slow and deliberate ways of moving. They’re not in any hurry. They bask in the flowers, they take their time. They soak up life, helping other species while doing so. They move differently than other insects. They’re in no rush. They’re so precious, they hold the entire fate of humanity in their little bee hands.
I’m not normally a person who bonds with insects, or cries over them.
But this interaction with a bee spoke so deeply to me.
Each night before I went to bed, I opened the sliding door of my hotel room and basked in the energy of Burbank. Los Angeles.
The sweet smell of the night air. The busy streets teeming with life. The mountains. The lights. The traffic. A Von’s grocery store across the street.
I didn’t want to stop gazing at the scenery. So beautiful. So many people have come to this place. They live in Los Angeles. I’ve dreamed of living here but haven’t done it. It scares me a bit. I can only take it in, in small doses. I’ve been to California at least nine times — six of which were different cities in LA. Each visit was a treasure. A mini universe that lives in my memories.
In a way, this place is my soulmate. I recognize it every time I come here. It stirs something deep inside of me. Memories of something ancient, and something that doesn’t yet exist…simultaneously.