let the bees and spiders go

I have never whole-heartedly aligned myself with any particular organized faith. But I have faith. The closest thing I feel to a religion is my devotion to karma. It’s a universal cause-and-effect rule.

Freedom Bee

I think about it all the time. My place in this place is a blip. And, with regards to that, I think of the last line in Mary Oliver’s poem, Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life? And I think of the golden rule that exists in all religions. My favorite interpretation is American Indian, All things are our relatives; what we do to everything, we do to ourselves.

The thing is, why not believe in karma? One chance. Best to treat others really well, driven by tolerance and love. Be honest no matter what. Give people the benefit of the doubt. Or, the universe just might bitch slap me. And, I’d deserve it. Plus, it totally works. Stop to let people cross the street and someone will do the same for you. Smile and get smiles back. One big ole happy circle of reciprocity. And it doesn’t stop with humans.

It’s over. I officially give up on getting Margot not to feed Alice her breakfast.

So, why is dig getting all heady and woo woo? Because I don’t kill spiders and bees and pterodactyls and whatnot in or around my house. And it drives my man nuts but if I smoosh on a sweet little spider as she heads across my kitchen table, off to read her spider babies a book before nap time, then her uncle could crawl in between my toes at night and chomp on me. Now the lethal hobo spiders we have in these parts are downright freaky but I try to understand his plight as he aggressively runs at me with his eyeballs all at the end of his antennae, hissing. I selectively kill hobos, only if it is life threatening, like sprinting at my kid from under the washing machine. But to kill him when I awoke him from his under-rock slumber in my backyard would be rude. And, in turn, his pals don’t bite me when I flip over their rock. See how that works?

Bass Creek hike with lady friends

And, we choose to leave our back door wide open so our herd of mammals can come and go as they please during the long days of summer. So, when a frustrated bee gets pissy trying to fly through the screen or loses all hope while drowning in the cat water dish, I catch her and let her go. Killing anything on purpose offends my instincts. It isn’t easy, even when it’s a hobo.


I had my first soggy bee rescue of the summer a few days ago. And, whew, my family is *a bit* safer from getting stung all summer. If my wings were stuck together in a giant bowl of water and my legs couldn’t touch the bottom, I’d want someone to pour me onto dry wood too. Upping my bee karma is a good thing because bees love my hair and think I am like a perfect effing hive. When I managed a farm, we kept bees and a dopey, crazed batch flew into my hair and got stuck and stung me all over as I screamed like a mad woman running through the tomatoes and grape vines. So apparently I pissed some bees off a decade ago and these buzzers got me back.

no bee on this dandelion to sting bug because I rescued the soggy bee

So, my religion. I strive to be nice to all creatures. I believe my actions affect the spin of my microcosm and subsequent actions that happen to me. And, I’ve said it before, but it has never failed me for the big, important stuff (something coming up that’ll really test this belief): I trust my gut and my heart, hurl my desire or change into the universe and it always magically and perfectly works out. Not that I don’t have to roll with it and adjust my stride, but, if I pay attention, I have everything I need and the world is really beautiful.

her favorite book: Diary of a Worm.

Sometimes I am apprehensive. Often, I am. Or, at least thoughtful about what I am about to shake up.

first trip to the neighborhood park’s water park

But once I dive in I never regret what I learn.

25 Responses to let the bees and spiders go

  1. Susan O says:

    This is a great post. I totally agree and behave the same — just saved a spider last night. But then why do you eat animals?

  2. Kelle says:

    smiles. but sister, have you seen our cockroaches? i may be in for some cockroach torture because, i admit, i don’t rescue them. i cringe. and swat. but you could teach me. bugs and bees and such bother me less and less as i get older…funny.
    and whether it’s God, gods, nature, force, karma, aliens or whatnot…believing grounds me. and while our ‘religions’ may differ, i love the common bond of Love. ‘cuz Love rocks the world. and who doesn’t love Love?
    speaking of…i love bug in pigtails, bug picking dandelions, the fact that i’m not the only one who’s given up on babies feeding dogs, and i love your new tiny-text picture captions.
    and i love long comments.
    there. all done.

  3. Susan, Ah, the animal eating. I almost addressed this in this post. I was a vegetarian for a decade and I drove myself nuts. I felt like it was never enough. Leather, milk, eggs, produce, chemicals. So I was vegan and still felt like it wasn’t the answer. I was freaky about food and landed with an eating disorder. I decided I needed to be educated about what I was eating all the way around.

    So, my solution is to be aware of where all of my food comes from. I eat elk my uncle slaughters and I eat eggs from my back yard. I grow as much produce as I can and buy the rest from reputable sources. Same with grains etc.

    I do eat burgers at restaurants and an occasional brat from Costco when I am pregnant and starving for it. I do the best I can but don’t have strict rules for always.

    I am thoughtful about what goes in my mouth with all of it. And, I feel good when I eat meat. I believe my body needs it.

    Are you a vegetarian? Why?

  4. Joan says:

    Ladybug ladybug fly away home, your house is on fire and your kids are alone. That is a little chant I learned as a kid and I always felt uneasy about the ladybug and her kids. Thus I always rescued ladybugs whenever they got into trouble. I have to say that I would not hesitate to kill an aphid. I have no tolerence for the aphid and its young. They are nothing but trouble. I also don’t care to find a spider in my tub. Those too get the axe. And the slug, hate the slug. I also cant stand horse flies. I have to stop now, I understand exactly what you are saying and I agree and will remember what you have said the next time the old shoe drops on that wasp that has entered my house without an invite.

    Love the water park pics, where’s margot’s coat? XOXXO

  5. Janine Evans says:

    I love this post. Great message. I try to save bugs when I can, too. Unfortunately I have a bee sting allergy that Sadie might have too, so they freak me out. And I’ve about had it with our pantry moths.
    My mother has major arachnophobia and I think I inherited some, but just yesterday (at her house) she killed a spider right in front of Sadie. I was really uncomfortable about it and wished I’d stopped her.

    p.s. I had to screw up courage to click on that hobo spider link, and I still leaned way back in my chair before I did. YIKES.

  6. Patia says:

    Nice post. Lovely pictures. I love the one of Bug feeding breakfast to Alice.

    With the exception of cockroaches and earwigs, I generally escort tiny creatures outside. But I have a personal rule: Once I get stung by a wasp or bitten by a spider in my home, all bets are off for the season. I’ll play nice as long as they do.

  7. I think we all have our thresholds…cockroaches the size of footballs might do me in. Aphids or flea beetles killing my edibles? No way. Bye bye (with insecticidal soap or pyrethran of course.) And, yes, Patia, I cannot believe how bad getting stung sucks. Takes a while to get over it.

  8. Joan says:

    Boy you have openned a can of WORMS so to speak. Who out there hates worms. Ya gotta love the worm.

  9. Melissa says:

    Happy Friday! How pleasant to find a new post from you while I finsih lunch of leftover Nepalese. Avi naps. Love the 4 day work week.

    I am glad you believe in karma. I do, too, but I feel wary of the good/bad parameters. I don’t think I am punished when I do “bad” things. I just think there is a cyclical nature to all of this randomness; to all things there is a season, you know? I suddenly feel self-conscious waxing on your blog. But I really appreciate you going deep.

    PS. had a play date with two friends who both had their kids close together and they were all encouraging me to get pregnant sooner that later. how is it going so far for you? i hate to say it but i am reluctant to give up my wino ways just yet . . .

  10. April says:

    thanks for the new post. i’m really lovin’ your blog. like how you put yourself out there. and the pictures, just icing on the cake. bug seriously is a cutie! and the nickname bug … too cute.

    oh about the creatures, i’m with you. my kids are frightened by a little fly, though. which drives me crazy! but they’ll learn, it just takes time.

  11. Beegirl says:

    Lethal hobo spider? YIKES.
    Love the picture of Margot feeding Alice. Reminds me of a photo my mom took of me as a baby feeding our dog. I was giving her what I thought were “chocolate chips”, but really they were bunny droppings. At least Alice is getting cereal : )

  12. TRB Holt says:

    As you know I have spent lots of time rescuing frogs and turtles from their certain demise; still do and I get a “high” doing so! Same for spiders, even in my tub GmaJ, cuz’ I think they are just thirsty. Not too many bugs freak me out…I will say living back in the Minneapple my dislike for the state bird here has been renewed ~ THE MISQUITO, they love me and this is not a good relationship. Last weekend alone I got 8 bites while your dad received zip. The itching keeps me awake, so they are in my radar to destroy!

    Oh sweet Margot! Love all these photos of you! Your pigtails kill me! Why not give Alice a bit or two…she takes them so gently.

    GREAT post Burb….here’s to kritter karma!

    xoxo, Mom/Gram

    ps..see you in 10 days,,can hardly wait!

  13. say it sister. i’ve been kicking around a post like this for awhile though i try to keep my “religion” and my “politics” out of my blog.

    we are rescuers as well. it’s something that was passed down to me from my own mother. all little ones get ushered out via cup or bowl.

    i am a great believer in karma as well, but in the sense that the choices we make decide what happens to us.

    like you i feel that every living thing, be it human, animal plant or the earth itself deserves kindness and respect.

    i was vegetarian myself for four years until my first pregnancy. it is a constant battle for me with my buddhist nature, but i have come to terms myself by eating less meat and buying from local farmers where i see the life the animals lead and how they are treated with respect.

    maybe one day (sooner than later) i will be veg again but in the meantime i think we are all just doing the best we can, aren’t we?

    i’m proud to see there are other, wee beastie savers out there as well!

  14. I resonated with your post. I love that you took the time to sit down and write it! gonna link up to it all over the place. You are a fine and fabulous person it seems to me. bye Funny Lady…
    from Vancouver Island where Karma is good.

  15. sarah says:

    love this! i recently rescued a spider from chaos’s water bowl, though i thought the rescue was in vain b/c i thought the guy was dead, but when i poured him into the sink he crawled away! it was exciting. i was actually going to ask the same thing as susan, because I couldn’t remember when and why you stopped being vegetarian, but i agree with your way of ethically eating, consciously eating, etc, if you are going to be eating meat. In my animal law class that was something i tried to impart (many of the students had never even heard of veganism before the class!) – i knew i wasn’t going to wind up with a bunch of veg converts, so instead I wanted them to get a sense of where the things that they do, and want to, eat, come from. i had them read some m. pollan articles, pieces about factory farming, and about why the current USDA regs make it effectively illegal for small family farms to slaughter their animals humanely on-site. but again, the underlying question of necessity comes up. what is really necessary, or justified…and how do we make those decisions and draw our own lines.
    love you!

  16. Kelly says:

    Oh, how I love those pigtails! I put miracle gro on Lily’s hair each night just to get to the pigtail stage! For now, I’m happy with the professor look (ala carin’s term)

  17. Sage says:

    Oh this post… so true and so worth the while to write it out. I am total agreement about saving the bugs when you can, respecting life, and passing those values onto my sugar plum. It’s a funny thing though Karma… sometimes it feels so easy, so natural, so right and the world sort of aligns with you. Other times, you just can’t figure it out. Why things so wrong happen, and why it is so hard to get it going in the right direction again. That is kind of where i am at. I tell you… I am so blown away with how your words resonate with me, make me want to be a better person, want to try harder, live healthier, better and with more awareness. It is some sort of karma that has brought me to you and this blog. Where it will take me I am ever intrigued.

  18. Sage says:

    oh also, I too love the picture captions and I saw you got hooked up on Soule Mama! Don’t you love that blog? I could spend hours just reading and re-reading her posts, but I don’t. Cause I want to be out living, but she is an amazing woman.

  19. FinnyKnits says:

    Yes! Save the creatures big and small so that they don’t crawl into your bed and bite you on the cheeks.

    Totally agree and I do the same thing – rescuing them from certain death and the like. Bees especially – given that I’m not allergic but Bubba is – I make sure to carefully relocate them if they’re getting pesky near his allergic self.

    I like the way you describe your faith. Much like the way we have faith around here, just you say it in a more graceful way.

    Our “religion” if you want to call it as much is just to “Try not to be an asshole.”

    It works out.

  20. smiling . . .
    sarah- writing from Col.Falls.
    Bass Creek – I’ve been up that trail :)
    love that you love the bees!

  21. jen says:

    love the captions … especially the one about there being no bees on the dandelion for margot because of something you’ve done in the past. perfectly silly and thoughtful thoughts. (which makes more sense in my head than it does in writing, sorry).
    and your mom and i must BOTH be sweet! those mosquitos have been searching me out too. i will not hesitate to slap a mosquito … that must be why they come after me. karma, huh?
    i was vegetarian for quite awhile too. and then i got pregnant and craved meat. and i figured my body was telling me what my body needed. and i try really hard to listen to my body. because we just have to do what’s right for us, no?

  22. Susan O says:

    I am a vegetarian, have been for about 40 years. I do it for ethical reasons, I love animals, but I believe it’s worth doing for health reasons as well, not to mention environmental reasons.
    I could never eat an animal of any species, no matter how good it’s life was, no matter how “humanely” it was executed.