my dear friend and i were enjoying a lovely conversation over a cup of tea today when a giant bee decided to visit. our reactions to this little fellow were so different. i found myself giggling as i watched him flying around doing nothing, but scaring the begeesus out of everyone who saw him. but her reaction was to jump up and run. her fear was real, and there was a part of me that felt guilty for being calm. how comical that we could be so different.
it is in knowing our backgrounds that we begin to have a greater appreciation for our differences. i grew up camping, fishing, getting dirty, playing with bugs. she grew up in a war torn country where the sound of something buzzing only meant danger.
she went on to share with me how a bee got into her car yesterday and how she had to stop and ask a construction worker to help her get it out of her car. the man was happy to help and showed absolutely no fear. he shared with her how he was a war veteran and that he was bigger than the bee, and that he’s killed people in the past. killing a bee was nothing. after taking care of the bee, he confessed that he was actually afraid of butterflies.
how could anyone be afraid of a butterfly? they’re so peaceful and beautiful. and then i remembered how my brian struggles with trying to find peace, that for him calm and serenity were not a part of his familiar place, his upbringing. maybe this kind man had that same fear – the fear of the unfamiliar. for him peace wasn’t familiar. for him the violence of the war, the memory of killing people, kept him from sitting still with the quiet butterfly.