Parker Palmer on the Beeline Metaphor


“From autumn’s profligate seedings to the great spring giveaway,
nature teaches a steady lesson: if we want to save our lives, we cannot
cling to them but must spend them with abandon. When we are
obsessed with bottom lines and productivity, with efficiency of time
and motion, with the rational relation of means and ends, with pro-
jecting reasonable goals and making a beeline toward them, it seems
unlikely that our work will ever bear full fruit, unlikely that we will
ever know the fullness of spring in our lives.
And where in the world did we get that “beeline” metaphor?
Just watch the bees work in the spring. They flit all over the place,
flirting with both the flowers and their fates. Obviously, the bees are
practical and productive, but no science can persuade me that they
are not pleasuring themselves as well.” – Parker Palmer