Lessons in Cobwebs

The things you learn when you let the cobwebs gather.

Our bedroom gives a picture-framed view of Arachnid Dining 101. Intricate lairs are built in an afternoon, their trappings either wrapped or wriggling.

I wrote about the Enlightened Spider back in August (“Not Caught“) that wrestled with a wasp for supper. Though I do not wish death on any living thing, I found myself rooting for the spider (note, if it would have been a butterfly instead of a wasp, I may have felt differently – exploration for a future post, perhaps). When the wasp broke free and fell ten feet, my instinct (as I had suddenly become that spider) was to unravel my filament and go chasing my dinner. It would not slip away!

However, Enlightened Spider knew more. He/she had spun this yarn before. And instead of pursuit, it chose acceptance. It simply braced itself, all eight legs open and connected to the gossamer weave that blew in the breeze and rocked its body, gently. That spider’s life was literally hanging by threads. It would eat another day.

But what happens when you get the catch?

Still studying at the spider school, I learn that patience isn’t only practiced when you lose your lunch. Yesterday, Enlightened Spider reeled it in. A large beetle-kind of insect, plump and prime for any hopeful web-in-waiting. I felt empathy as it struggled in the sticky lines. As its predator held watch, demise was inevitable. Searching for a bright side to the circle of life reality before me, I was at least happy that the spider had a meal.

This was no fast food, though.

Six hours later, I pass the window and check in on wild kingdom. Sadly, beetle friend is still alive and moving beneath thickly wrapped threads. Patience exudes from the delicate limbs of Enlightened Spider who holds sentry nearby. Thin legs make small and deliberate movements, no rush about it. Clearly, this is a process. No instant reward. Calm composure is required, even when the catch is snagged.

Oh, Enlightened Spider, you offer the patience lessons. Reminders that even when our dreams come true, we need to work with them as they unfold. These things we imagine, then bring to form, are not quick meals to be devoured. They are gifts to be savored in a process. All of the risks, just a thread away. All of the promise, plentiful with potential.

That spider at my window knows that dinner’s in the bag. It’s just a matter of time.

There is no hurry.

Besides, what else is there to do?

courtesy of Leland Francisco
courtesy of Leland Francisco

3 Comments

  1. I love watching spiders also – one lived at my dacha (i.e. country house) under the roof. S/he was a big one – with a fat… ‘back’. We call such spiders ‘krestovik’ b/c they have a cross-like ‘picture’ on their ‘back’ (‘krest’ means ‘cross’ in Russian). Btw they are also called “cross spiders” (or “European garden spiders”) in English: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/European_garden_spider.
    P.S. I gave him (?) an oldschool Russian male name “Kuz’ma” lol

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    1. Our ‘black and yellow garden spider’ (Argiope aurantia) actually make zig zagging crosses in their webs, though the photo I chose to accompany this post doesn’t show it. Living in the country, we dwell in interspecies, communal living. Here in Hawaii, house mates are often spiders and geckos. Thanks for checking out the Archives and sharing some Russian arachnid information. Aloha.

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    2. We have hedgehogs and frogs instead of geckos. My dacha is near Moscow and I live there in summer but it’s autumn now, so I moved to my Moscow flat. My pleasure! Best wishes and udachi (i.e. good luck).

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