The bumblebee has its time

We rent a house in the countryside, in Dalsland, Sweden. Here you can sit on the veranda and drink coffee and look out over a freshly plowed field. A lark stands in the sky and trills in the spring sun. In the evenings, a moose trots and lays down next to the plowed field. It seems to thrive there. On the other side of the house, in another field, sometimes two cranes and trumpets go by in the dusk. You don’t have to feel alone in the countryside.

Yesterday I saw the first bumblebee of the year buzzing by, looking for somewhere to build a nest. Once she has raised the first brood of baby bumblebees, she will die. Then she has done everything that could be done in this life, and probably a little more.

I’m thinking about whether, like the author Björn von Rosen, I can become friends with a nutcase out here in the countryside? Or maybe some other little bird wants to be my friend. I’ve seen a small wren sneak past in the grass, it could be a candidate if things go well.

Under a tree, I find an old birdhouse that has definitely done its job as a home. It is full of cracks and its roof is covered in lichen. The entrance to the nest is worn and I suspect that at some point a hard beak has hacked the now uneven hole larger than it was originally.

However, the nest seems to harbor a small spider and some ants crawling around on its gray surface. It is therefore not completely worthless as a home. I take out the drawing pad and draw the nest in the grass. As usual, I am drawn to depicting the seemingly useless. One day I will also write about the useless, all that gives life meaning and content.

But everything has its time – drawing a birdhouse has its time, and moving to the countryside has its time. Even the bumblebee has its time on earth; “There is a time to live and a time to die.” I think she’s thinking as she hums calmly and meekly over the grass.

Mattias Kvick is an Author and Illustrator

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