I don’t know too many people who love the sight of one of these eight-legged creatures either encountered on the floor or in surprise meeting on a walk through a near-invisible web in the woods. They scare me, too but I will save one out of a puddle of water.
One recent evening I opened my back porch door so my rescue dog Lily could complete her end of the day ablutions and caught a slight movement out of the corner of my eye. Just beyond the opening of the door was a long silvery strand. I looked above and left and there, moving methodically, was a large brown spider carefully and rhythmically attaching the cross-strands to its web.
I was transfixed.
The only thing I could imagine the other ends of this web would be attached to were the eave of my house and a tall pine that stood just outside the door. This was a span of 4-6 feet each way so I could see this was a massive spider web. As I watched this spider I was a little jealous. Here is this creature sharing this planet with me. The spider comes into being knowing what it will do its entire life. Make webs, catch and eat insects (in some cases with some spiders, small birds), make egg cases and ultimately die. It goes through its life doing exactly as it is meant. It has no ego. It has no higher aspirations. It does not want to be the highest order of spider or become jealous of other spiders for their more beautiful markings or various different webs. It simply exists in and of itself serving the purpose it was born to.
Is it the lack of ego? Absence of fear or other emotions? Is it the presence of these that so inhibits us, sometimes to the point of emotional paralysis? We come to these walls, these blocks. Then somehow we have a breakthrough. We move smoothly, then stuff accumulates. Repeating many times, different circumstances. It’s the journey we are told. Not the end, but we are moving toward… ?
So I watched this spider, long after Lily had returned to the house and her comfy dog bed. Proverbial in movement, graceful almost. Gratified that there are some things over which we have no control and which move on with their lives, small though they may seem.