As I was approaching the shore this morning, a young wasp was blown onto the surface of the water next to me. I watched it struggle. Without thinking, I lifted my arm beneath it and brought it up above the water. I continued to swim with my left arm, and I watched the tiny creature tentatively wander along first one finger, then another. As it grew bolder, it began the journey from hand to wrist to forearm.
We carried on this way for a few minutes, when I lost the ability to keep my right arm up and it splashed into the water once more. Horrified, I surveyed the surface, searching for the wee wasp. Had I drowned it? I was only trying to help. Most humans have the best of intentions when they muddle in the lives of more feral beings.
I was about to give up hope, when I noticed it once again. Determined to bring it to shore, I lifted my hand beneath it once more and swam as quickly as I could. As soon as I could, I dug my toes into the sand and walked on tiptoe with my arm in the air. I placed the wasp tenderly on a boulder and nudged it a bit to help disburse the excess water.
It curled into itself, so I spoke to it. I went to get my towel and came back, and nudged it encouragingly with the tip of my index finger.
“Hang on, little one,” I said. “You will be ok. You just need to dry off.”
Brrr. I was freezing! I went back to my cache of clothing, looking back periodically as I dressed to see how the wasp was doing.
All dressed and starting to thaw, I walked over and knelt down.
It was gone!
Panicked, I looked around the rock at the water to see if it had fallen in.
I looked at the gravel on the shore.
Had I imagined the whole thing?
Maybe, the wasp was a fairy and had disappeared as mysteriously as it had arrived into my world.
I may never know, but I will endeavor to remember.