As I headed to work this morning after dropping off my granddaughter at school, a hornet landed on my side mirror.
Normally, this would have caused me to panic and either I would slam on the brakes or accelerator, causing an accident, just to get a despicable creature of God off my car.
I’m not usually one of those women who is bothered by bugs of any kind. Bugs are not my thing, but I know they have a purpose. But when they bother me, it is another story. Plus hornets are awful and can put me in the hospital.
Lucky for me, my window was closed. I began to wonder, “What is this thing going to do when my car takes off?” I’m not always the most sedate driver in the world – cancer hasn’t taught me to slow down and enjoy a car ride home. Speed limits are just estimates, as long as there are no police officers within view. And, unless you are where you know children play.
So, will the hornet fly off when I start moving and the air rushing past it force it off? It will it wait until I hit a stop light or sign and then leave? Did it plan on living on my side view mirror, forcing me to sell my car and buy a wasp-free Toyota Venza?
My drive to work is usually about 10 minutes (depending on how I hit the stop lights), all through city streets. I spent my driving time watching this bug. At first, as I took off, its creepy antennae waved around from the wind. Then as I picked up speed, it hunkered down – legs curled up, antennae pulled in. At one point, when I made a California (Sorry, Dad. Don’t be made) stop through a stop sign, that hornet kind of side-stepped across to an area of the mirror where there would be less wind resistance.
Unlike many of my commutes where I seem to be forced to stop at every red light, this time I sped through all green. I wondered what this bug would do when I finally hit red. Would it fly away, so far from home? Would it miss its children, its nest? Would it stay with me? It was clearly avoiding the conditions it found itself in, curled up in a ball like that.
Maybe it was dead, killed by the wind.
Finally, I hit a red light, one that had just turned.
I watched that nasty hornet. It took a few seconds, but it seemed to realize now was its moment to escape. It’s feelers came out. It uncurled its body. It walked a few steps and spread its wings. Then it flew, hovering for a few seconds near my car, then off. It headed towards some bushes near the road.
I couldn’t help but think, this bug was a metaphor for life with cancer. You are going along your merry way, when suddenly you land in the wrong spot. All you can do is hunker down and wait for it to be over. You end up in a different place than you planned, where you have to accept new conditions – but at least you didn’t end up smashed on somebody’s windshield.
And, that is definitely something to be grateful for.