It took a while, but it came.
I thought I was immune, but no one is.
There is a tree with thick, knuckly roots driving into the soft green earth. Its branches do all sorts of interesting things: hold nests and tire swings, block the hot sun, reach into other trees, click against one another, give wood, provide hollows, cast shadows.
One branch, in particular, has taken a risk and grown longer than the others, shot out perpendicular from the trunk. Dangling from its skinniest part, the part before the branch becomes too weak to hold anything, is a hornet’s nest.
The hornets buzz. They’ve always buzzed. They never stop buzzing.
It’s the hornets of which I’m most proud. And for that alone, I’m embarrassed. Too much care about the hornets, what they’re doing in there and when they’ll come out.
I realize this is the source of everything – the good and the bad: my worry that the hornets will stop coming out. That they will stop moving altogether. It makes my branches grow, my trunk thick, builds homes for other things to live.
My biggest fear, as I’ve discovered, the thing that makes me lose sleep, that keeps me from being present with all of this life living in and around me, is that the nest will seal, will snap from the branch, will fall to the ground, and the hornets, plump with purpose, finally ready to run their arcs around the world, will never find their way out.