I watched a bumblebee the other day….

…and was enthralled because it was the first big bumble I’ve actually seen on the deck. It was interesting to watch it as it checked bloom after bloom, dipping in to some to sip nectar, rejecting others after a quick hesitation and hover. I was struck by the fact that it showed absolutely no interest in the dinner-plate sized blooms of the hibiscus moscheus, surely a triple super-sized pizza from a bug’s perspective. The bee ignored the cascade of white petunias over the railing, and even the profusion of jewel-coloured nasturtiums spilling over the deck. It even ignored the flashy pink and white Martha Washington geranium positioned right in its field of vision. The bumblebee’s entire attention was focused on the small, insignificant-looking flowers on the herbs: mint, oregano, catnip, and basil.

Ordinarily I snip the flowers off of the herbs, thinking that perhaps the leaves will lose their pungent flavour once the plant goes to seed. But seeing this fat bumblebee value most highly the least of the blooms on my deck, I was glad I had let this particular chore slip. He reminded me that it’s easy to miss the true beauty and worth of small, decidedly humble things, unless you take the time to see the world through a different set of eyes once in a while.