While having lunch outdoors yesterday my friend and I were visited by two wasps. The wasps in our area rarely sting you if you let them be, but “letting them be” usually involves them hovering around or crawling on both your food and yourself.
We kept hoping the wasps would go away but they persisted. It was too nice a day to eat inside and swatting the wasps with our forks was not going to be effective.
While we coexisted with the wasps we noticed that they liked my friend’s Caesar salad more than my Greek salad, so my friend got to spend more time with the wasps.
But at one point a wasp flew slowly over my plate, very low – about an inch above the plate – and I saw the pepper and dry spices on my plate move around. The wind from the wasp wings was actually strong enough to create a tiny dust storm!
I had never thought before about how strongly wasps need to beat their wings in order to fly. But I realized at that meal that it is equivalent to a person blowing very gently – just enough to shift some pepper from an inch away.
It is a subtle reminder that everything we do can have a secondary effect, both on our world and on others around us. People are much bigger and noisier than wasps, and how we drive, walk, and behave have effects beyond just moving us around or getting our things done.
What we do affects our world, far more than the wind beneath wasp wings.