A bee’s wing is delicate. It’s fragile like glass figurines in a china cabinet, the kind you see in stores accompanied by signs that say ‘you break it, you pay for it.’ A heart is fragile too. It can be carelessly handled and then shattered, lying in shards on a cold floor. But a heart doesn’t come with a ‘you break it, you pay for it’ sign so it seems easier to get away with breaking a heart than it does with breaking a glass figurine. Maybe because a glass figurine has a price tag attached to it and a heart is just a heart.
When I was a little kid, I used to collect the skeletons of leaves. I remember tracing the exquisite designs with my fingers, the lines so thin, so intricate, so frail. Maybe the frailness is what made it so precious to me. Maybe I cherish things that can be easily broken. Things like the brittle page of an old book or sleeves made of lace.
Maybe that’s why I like mornings. Dawn is serene and quiet, as if the whole world is holding its breath. The tranquility doesn’t last; of course it doesn’t. But in those precious moments before a siren wails, an engine churns, a door slams, there’s a vulnerable calmness in the air. Then gone, without so much of a warning. But while it existed, you felt something. Maybe that’s the appeal of delicate things: they make you feel something.
A bee’s wing is fragile like eggshells, and silence, and flaky pastries that crumble at the slightest touch.
‘As fine as a bee’s wing:’ that’s how I feel when I’m sad. Frail, as though I too can be stomped on. Tender, as though everything hurts. Fragile, as though I’ll shatter like glass at any second.
‘As fine as a bee’s wing:’ that’s what happiness feels like too. Be careful, don’t drop it, don’t hold on to it too tightly, don’t make any sudden moves that will cause it to slip through your fingers and smash onto the floor.
Delicate things scare me sometimes. I’m still learning to trust myself not to be clumsy, not to be too rough, not to be negligent. It’s like the way I find myself shaking with trepidation when holding a newborn baby. Suddenly, this little life is in my care. Suddenly, I have responsibility. Is that a good thing? A bad thing? It’s simply a thing.
A heart is ‘as fine as a bee’s wing.’ Maybe that’s why hearts scare me. And maybe that’s what makes them so precious to me, too.