It rained today: oh, how it rained….a penetrating rain with staying power. Good for the garden, not so great if you’re dodging drops in an ever dampening T shirt under an umbrella. Even worse, it appears, if you are a bumble bee.

There it sat in the torrential rain on an already overburdened lavender flower. If we are to believe Bee Movie (only the best sources for this blog) bees simply can’t fly in the rain. I’m guessing the first fat drops took him by suprise and landlocked the dapper little fellow. Pop quiz, bee-guy, what do you do? You’re caught out in a shower, bees hate showers, how do you handle that tricky situation?

I’ll tell you. You clamp your intricate little legs as tightly as you can around your mooring post. You hang on through the deluge. You might utter a few well-chosen bee prayers to the Great Bee God in the sky: let me get through this one rainy day, Lord, and I swear I’ll never touch another drop. Or something to that effect.

And if you can just hang on long enough, the rain stops. The gentle drying effect of the Sun on your wings soon dries you out. And you’re free to go, Sir.

Which is just what happened.

As I watched him lurch shakily away, I reflected there are many times we just have to hang on for grim life. When my dad was seriously ill, everything except the essentials shut down for me. I could look after my kids, but became unable to do simple things like catch the train home from hospital. In the face of adversity, it’s rarely fight or flight. Because we can’t fight it, and we can’t fly away. We just hang on.

And as teachers reel from the effects of the insane demands of another year, it appears here may be a chance to warm through their wings. Maybe, in a week or two, they might even try a little flying away.

That bee was caught in something much bigger than itself. It wasn’t evil: it was chance, a piece of adversity which arrived, and he handled it, and it went away, and he went on living.

Adversity happens. And next time it happens, it’s worth remembering something Winston Churchill once said. “Keep buggering on”.


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