The Path of the Pollinator by Mari Fitzpatrick

In the garden, the early summer sun nudged the bee awake. It emerged from its honeycomb as its fuzzy body, a tapestry of black and gold, launched itself into the day.

The air was thick with the sweet scent of honeysuckle as sunlight streamed through a canopy of leaves to dapple the flower beds in a mosaic of light and shadow. The scent hung with the promise of good weather as dewdrops, like scattered diamonds, clung with a fierce tenacity to the blades of grass, sparkling like miniature suns.

From inside the open kitchen window, the woman watched as the bee navigated the labyrinth. Its wings humming, beating against the air, creating a low, rhythmic drone that dipped and soared, dodging stems and brushing past velvety flower petals, -- a cluster of lavender, a fragrant sea of purple. It landed with a gentle thud on a velvety blossom. Its tiny legs, laden with pollen, dusted the soft lavender with a golden shimmer.

Deftly, it delved deep into the heart of the flower, slurping up the sweet nectar -- the colour of sunshine. And as it emerged from the foliage, a flash of vibrant colour caught its attention. Momentarily forgetting its pollen-gathering mission, the bee hovered and a butterfly emerged from a cocoon and perched on a flower, its wings! the colour of a pretty summer handkerchief, and as it blinked its large black eyes for the first time it sensed the new presence and fluttered in anticipation. Did he just say 'Hello little one, welcome to our world,' the woman reflected and as she mused the bee continued on its pollen trail.

Suddenly as it flew into the rhododendron grove a gust of wind lit and bullied the canopy and the pollinator spiralled upwards as its world titled on its axis. .

The once-familiar landscape of leaves became a dizzying blur, its body a mere speck against the vastness of the space as it fought to regain control. Its powerful wings, a blur of transparent gauze moments ago, now strained against the unseen force.

Then with a single, mighty beat of its wings, this small dot in the environment managed to arrest its climb and for a heart-stopping moment, it hung suspended, then, with a series of smaller, corrective strokes, it righted itself, and the world snapped back into focus, leaves once more becoming the familiar reassuring landmarks.

This tiny but tenacious captain navigated a world of giants and the world unfurled beneath it in a kaleidoscope of colour and texture--unseen by human eyes. As sunlight filtered through the canopy it cast dappled patterns on the flower beds, to create a mosaic formed by the leaves high above. Each leaf, was a vast green expanse veined with intricate silver lines, stretched overhead like a protective roof. And the bee buzzed past their edges and skimmed over the flower laden hanging basket that hung over the kitchen window and as the woman closed the window she silently spurred it on to freedom knowing that for the bee the sensation was akin to flying alongside a gargantuan, weathered sail.


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