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On Lightening Up

And Listening to Wasps and Bees

black and yellow wasp on a lettuce leaf

I periodically pause, tune in, and pull a rune to ponder. Off and on lately, I’ve been getting Ansuz. It looks like a capital F with the cross bars pointing down. I often interpret Ansuz as the rune of communication. Of listening and speaking. Of being a channel for the Gods, or the cosmos, or whatever else needs to come through us.

Given that I’m a communicator for my living, and that characters speak through me all the time, it is no surprise when I get this rune. But to get it repeatedly? That tells me I need to listen to something in particular.

That rune is part one of this story.

Part two? That’s the bees. And one wasp:

I’d been out watering the garden and harvesting some vegetables before the day’s heat hit. I paused to watch the bees pollinating the false pennyroyal, a low, spreading bush with small green leaves and little purple flowers. The bees love it.

They buzzed around me, happily at work, as I squatted near the bush, and snapped a photo.

Around ten minutes later, I was folding laundry while on a phone call with a friend. I felt something on my neck, and brushed my hand across it. I figured it was just my necklace, but it being spider season, you never know.

A bee dropped onto my bedspread. “Sorry, I need to call you back, there’s a bee on my bed,” I said.

I grabbed a small container from a bedside table, the bee crawled inside, and I took it back to the bush to set it free.

A few days later, while watering the garden, the wasps were pollinating the vegetable patch. Both the bees and wasps love the droplets of water from the hose, so I wasn’t surprised to see increased activity as I watered. But then a wasp flew right at , likely heading for the nasturtiums and herbs one bed over. I dodged, thinking it had past by.

Then I heard buzzing. Very close buzzing.

The wasp was caught in my curly hair.

As gently as I could, I batted my curls and the wasp released, and flew on its way.

Breathing a sigh of relief, I cautiously began to pick lettuce, wasps and cabbage butterflies still alighting here and there. As I crouched, I saw a wasp on a long lettuce leaf, drinking some water. I very carefully snapped its photo, picked the lettuces not near it, and headed back inside to work.

That afternoon, while in the passenger seat of my partner’s car, en route to get groceries, a bee flew through their open window, and right at me, again. My window was closed. I quickly opened it and let the creature out into the air.

That’s when it came to me: I needed to listen to the bees. So, over the next week, I paid close attention to the pollinators in the garden. The bees. The moths. The butterflies and wasps.

What did they have to teach me?

To lighten up.

Specifically, to work and move and live with lightness. A lighter heart. A lighter touch. A lighter mind.

So I’m practicing that. And when the news gets to be too much, or I start to tense up around my to do list? I take a breath. I remind myself to live with greater lightness. To move with expansiveness. To breathe.

I remind myself to enjoy life as it comes, even when the world is crumbling and there is so much work still to be done. If I can do that work with a lighter heart? Everything feels better.

Thank you runes. Thank you bees (and wasps).

I appreciate the lesson.


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Such a lovely reminder on this hot August evening. I can feel my body relaxing as I read your words. Thank you. Blessings on you and yours ❤️

Unknown member
Aug 08, 2022
Replying to

blessings to you, Laurie!


I probably need this lesson about "lightening up" more now than I have in a very long time. I'm a 75 year old retired American who has lived the past fifteen years in the Philippines. Over the last five years or so, I have stood on the sidelines watching my home country transform into something I no longer recognize.....and this often causes me to experience all sorts o negative feelings about "home". I don't like it at all, but would much more have preferred to continue along in what I now see as having been nearly a lifetime of naïveté rather than have my face rubbed into the harsh reality of what actually is. How did I manage t…

Unknown member
Aug 07, 2022
Replying to

Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I feel your pain. If it's helpful, I came up with a phrase I've been using as a touchstone the past six years. It is:

Do what you can, where you can, when you can. It helps me to remember that we can all do *something* to help this world. No, I can't sway Washington politicians, but I can help striking workers, or engage in mutual aid activity close to home. I can offer kindness, or counsel, or money, or time. Basically, whatever I have in the moment. If we all do this, we all help each other and help the world become a kinder, most just place. Otherwise, we're just drowning in a wash of…

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