It was a precious segment of a Saturday afternoon. Quiet and calm, just the Bohemian and I. We’d propped ourselves up on the bed, looking out the large bedroom window on to still trees, summer sky and cotton ball clouds.

Across one pane was an intricate spider web with detailed filaments that shown in sunlight. The Bohemian was the first to spot the action, as the spider had captured a good-sized wasp in its lair. Wrapping, wrapping, the spider worked at great speed, its delicate limbs moving quickly as the wasp wriggled and fought for life.

We lay enraptured at the scene, my empathy being with both creatures. The spider, very much in need of dinner. The wasp, quite clearly wanting to survive.

The will to live was strong with that wasp and it managed to free itself from some of the entanglements, putting off something (a sting?) that caused the spider to pause the wrapping frenzy.

There was the spider, hanging in its masterpiece, its life force fulfillment precariously hanging in the balance.

And there was the wasp, still struggling at death’s door to disentangle wings, hoping for escape.

The Bohemian and I were quietly mesmerized, watching this dance of life and death before us. Both insects had so much at stake. Which would be the victor?

We weren’t betting, but I had leanings toward the deft precision of the spider. How could the wasp really get out of such a sticky situation?

And then, in a moment, the wasp just fell from the web, dropping out of view towards the ground.

“Ooooh!” we both sighed.

My body tensed a bit. Animal instincts took over. Dinner! It’s getting away!

If I were that spider, I’d supercharge my webby thread and lower myself right down to the ground after that wasp. Wrap him up there in the dirt, right on the spot.

But no, that’s not what this spider did. I watched for reaction, but there was nothing visible. Only a slight and subtle reposition of its body on the web and then stillness.

What’s it going to do?

And what it did was nothing. No instant rebuilding of its snare. No frenetic pacing on the faulty lines. Just still.

Having been given the scent of a banquet, but not allowed to dine, the spider seemed to just be resting in acceptance.

A soft breeze came, and it gently swayed in the ripples of the movement, resisting nothing. Patience exuded from the illuminated lines.

I watched in wonder at the power of simply letting go.

photo courtesy of Frank Wouters
photo courtesy of Frank Wouters

2 thoughts on “Not Caught

    1. Thank you! I love the phrase you offer “must have it or I will simply die.” In this instance, one could argue that the spider has legitimate cause to utter the words. But it gives pause when considering all of us humans browsing those ‘must haves’ at the shopping mall. Thanks, again!


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