Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Mama On: Bumble Bees

"Do it right the first time and you won't have to go back and repeat it."

I already hear you. Yes. This quote makes all the sense in the world, but does that mean that we pay attention and follow through on it? No, it doesn't. And that, of course, leads us (read that as me ... okay, maybe you, too) into all kinds of trouble.

Yes, I'm having One Of Those Days, and I have to admit that the Mamaknologist who raised me taught me all of the Right Stuff. In fact she placed special emphasis on things like honesty and integrity, and if you catch me on the right day and at the right time, I will spout the cherished phrases verbatum. Yes, word-for-word, I will tell you all about how saving money for emergencies (that don't include One Day Sales at Macy's) is a good idea. I will tell you that you are what you eat, and that that should not be limited to red velvet cake. And, yes, I will tell you why we should all be glad that our knees bend and our fingers interlock when we bow our heads to pray.

But, dang! Can you tell me how it is that we forget all of that when it comes to our real lives? And worse, why do we insist on not applying the Mamaknology, then wondering how we wound up in the mess we were warned about? Doesn't that parallel the notion that madness is doing the same thing repeatedly and expecting a different outcome?

Why we (in this case me) continually fall into these little life snares is a mystery -- even when we think we've girded our fiscal, physical, emotional, and artistic loins, we step into the mess. Maybe some of this is why my mother thought that doing something right the first time would make it easier when you had to deal with a similar mess later in your life -- just because of the general life madness.

More than likely, though, this was a point of remedial Mamaknology and you've heard it couched in other language. We've all heard that, "what does not kill us makes us stronger." And we've all heard that the reason a butterfly must struggle to be free of its cocoon is to build strength for its life. But my mother, the original Mamaknologist, liked to tell me about bumble bees. She talked about their big, round, unwieldy bodies, and their fast-fluttering wings. She told me that because of the way they were built, there was no way in the word that they were supposed to be able to fly, and yet they did. She said that the reason they flew high and far was because they either didn't know, or didn't care that they couldn't.

She told me that people and bumble bees had a lot in common. Hmm... So, the Mamaknology here is simply to serve the general life madness with prayer, and do the best that you can the first time around.

As for me? I'm gonna bumble like the bee!