2021 Summer Creative Writing Contest: “Honey Bees”

the palisade post curates a selection of winning pieces from the 2021 Pacific Palisades Library Association Summer Creative Writing Contest, which featured the theme “Help!”

The following article was written by Parker Keston, who won third place in the High School Writers category.


It’s a bee story. But it’s also a story about me, trying to help myself but finding a way to help the world instead. A story about the way things are versus the way things could be. But I digress – this is the end. Let’s start at the beginning.

When Covid-19 took hold about a year and a half ago and I had to accept that things might be a little different for a while, I started feeling a bit bluesy. My mom noticed that I was depressed, but didn’t want to give me false hope that things would be back to normal anytime soon. So she suggested I try to see the world through rose-colored glasses. Pink glasses? How would we see the world through rose-colored glasses?

She told me to think about it and when I found the answer it would be simple. And she was right. It was easy. The answer was to stop looking outside of me for things that weren’t there anymore, and instead find something inside me that I already love and develop the passion that is already there.

It was good advice. Covid has had a big impact on everyone, and while it can be hard to guide ourselves with optimism right now, there’s never been a better time to see the world through rose-colored glasses. Once I put mine on, I saw a way to start channeling my energy into helping others, without acting too big or small. As I struggled to see people with rose-colored glasses—their negative energy mostly blocked my view—I realized I couldn’t see anything better than a swarm of giant bees.

Bees you ask? Bees don’t talk or judge, they just pollinate and live their lives. Everything is positivity all the time. While that might not seem like much, bees have been better than any human in the pandemic, still thriving, creating food for everyone and sustaining the entire ecosystem on which our lives are built. They work with each other, and they work with us.

Without bees, we as humans wouldn’t even come close to surviving, as virtually all food contains a bee element. Take a look at a hamburger for example. Although it might look like pure junk food, without the bees, the perfect burger – stacked with lettuce, cheese, tomato, onion, pickles, a patty and bread – wouldn’t exist at all. just not. Everything is impacted by bees.

And don’t get me started on the honey. It’s sweet, and when you get it straight from a hive, there really is nothing better. When I’m feeling a little down, a spoonful of honey pushes out the good vibes and blows out the bad ones. And if you’ve never eaten honey straight from the hive, I’m here to tell you that it’s just as good on its own as it is in tea or on cakes. Honey is even useful for burns and cuts, with a long history of healing, so if you spill a little on that cut on your arm, don’t worry, it’s actually better than fine. Do as bees do today, the same thing they have been doing for hundreds of thousands of years, evolving and improving to fit perfectly into the flower garden in which they were born.

There is a Jewish expression, Tikkun Olam, and it means to fix the world. With the help of my mentor Melissa at SBBA, over the past year and a half I have learned to rescue and care for bees and beehives. Although I don’t have my own hive yet, I’m preparing one so I can help the bees a little more. Getting a hive is a big step, but here are a few things you can do at home: don’t use pesticides or anything related to it, keep dandelions and the little flowers we call weeds for bees to munch on, and plant local and native plants and flowers. Bees are so important to our lives and our ecosystem, that any act, big or small, that can help save them means so much.

Now, finally, it seems the world is starting to look up again. Everything begins to reopen, and life returns to “normal”. However, I will keep my rose-colored glasses by my side for as long as necessary, no matter how long I need them. Whether it was a month, a year, ten years or even twenty years, I decided that I liked to look at the world in a positive way. I will continue to do this until I learn to see the positive on my own without them. Until I taught myself to look for those shining stars in the sea of ​​heaven, and to look for the good in everything.

Life is meant to be joyful. Yes, there will be bumpy roads and those setbacks will feel like they could impact the destination in the long run. The truth is that sometimes they will. But positively, I will see these setbacks through the lessons they teach me and how those lessons help me grow. It may sound corny, but COVID has definitely taught me that it’s really the journey, not the destination. And if you don’t believe the rose glasses, just listen to the bees.