What A Wasp Can Teach Us About Interbeing

 We all know the saying: appearances can be deceiving. And of course, the corollary, don't judge a book by its cover. 

Cliches are usually either completely meaningless or so very true that we forget about them and thus need to remind ourselves over and over. 

For example, notice your reaction to this wasp:


When it appeared outside our back door, on the air conditioning vent, we all hesitated to get too close. We were afraid.

Wasps are mean. Wasps bite and sting. 
But wait. Is that really always true?

Not in this case. This wasp was merely crawling around on the vent, in circles. It showed no recognition that anyone had come out of the door. 
I went in closer. (And once again thanked my love for the gift of my awesome macro lens.)

The wasp is so beautiful.  


After I went back insid I did a simple google image search and learned that this wasp is probably a cicada killer.
Harmless to humans. Beneficial, even. (Cicadas can become pests in gardens.) 

Nothing at all like a yellow jacket. Although those are beneficial as well, when they don't see us as food competitors.

Dig deep enough and there is a benefit to everything. 

We are all one. 

As Thich Nhat Hanh says, in his beautiful book, "Touching Peace: 

"When we look deeply at a flower, we can see that it is made entirely of non-flower elements, like sunshine, rain, soil, compost, air and time. If we continue to look deeply, we will also notice that the flower is on her way to becoming compost. If we don't notice this, we will be shocked when the flower begins to decompose. When we look deeply at the compost, we see that it is also on its way to becoming flowers, and we realize that flowers and compost "inter-are." They need each other."

When we can see that we "inter-are" with wasps and yellow  jackets and bees and all other living and non-living things, then we can truly begin to appreciate the beauty and awesomeness that surround us. We can even begin to appreciate how we ourselves are beautiful, because we exist as part of this web of life.
We start slowly, by noticing that appearances are deceiving. And we go on and on noticing and cultivating awareness. 

You don't have to be Buddhist (I am not, although at times I semi-jokingly refer to myself as a BuJew) to see how interconnected we are. This is just deep noticing. All religious paths lead here. And all secular scientific wisdom does, too. Interconnectedness doesn't need faith. And it doesn't need belief! 

You just need to realize that without everything else on this planet, you wouldn't be here. Plain and simple. We are all made of the same material. And everything is recycled, endlessly. 

Including, if we let them, our own bodies after death. 

But that is a thought for another day. 


[A meta-blogging note: I am noticing that my rss feed is showing my posts being published twice. This may be because my url has changed from alexisyael.blogspot.com to alexis-yael.com. I will try switching my subscription to the new feed and see if that resolves my problem. If my posts are showing up twice in your feed, could you let me know? And also let me know if switching to the new feed fixes that issue? Thank you.]