As I sit in my backyard, bare feet nestled in soft blades of thriving green, the hum of your wings fades in and out while you take the time to visit one bloom and then another, pressing your faces into the little purple trumpets for a taste of early spring pollen. You wander inches away from my unprotected skin, leaving me to my own devices as I leave you to yours. We are both content.
I'm not sure if I was ever afraid of you, as little girls often are. Perhaps there were times I was worried by the small, quick insect capable inflicting pain that at times unexpectedly circled my head, but I recall holding still for the occasional sweat bee traversing my nine year-old arm. When my sister was stung beside Great Grandma's gooseberry bush, I was more fascinated than horrified. You've never stung me, except, of course, the time I stepped on one of you, which was entirely my own fault. Some days, when the sun warms my skin and you seem to be everywhere I turn, I rather wish I were more like Beatrix Potter, able to render you soft and intricate in watercolors. Maybe English bees are simply more willing to pose for portraits.
Your friend always,