“I allow the spiders the run of the house. I figure that any predator that hopes to make a living on whatever smaller creatures might blunder into a four-inch square bit of space in the corner of the bathroom where the tub meets the floor, needs every bit of my support.”
If I were a spider, I’d hate myself. How to escape a spider attack takes a considerable amount of mental dexterity. When a spider charges you in the shower, you have approximately 3 seconds to decide what your course of action will be: Find something to smash it; drown it; call for reinforcements (aka little sister); pray to God to strike and then (hopefully–it hasn’t happened yet) watch it spontaneously combust and disappear in a tiny wisp of smoke. After the 3 seconds have passed, there’s no hope for rational thought. Pure adrenaline courses through your body and you become a mindless, flailing, instinct ridden entity.
I, personally, have been a victim of such circumstances. There’s nothing that kills your pride faster than the feeling of vulnerability you experience as a spider locates your position on the toilet.
But then today I picked up Anne Dillard’s Pilgrim at Tinker Creek, and there you have it. Spiders: the faithful sentries of the unseen and forgotten passageways and corners of our homes.
“The spider takes hold with her hands, and is in kings’ palaces.”
The spider, a hated creature, is extolled for her wisdom. Wise spiders. When’s the last time you ran into a spider bum? Little afternoon shadow showing, beer in hand, complaining about the weather and government.
I took a walk today as I talked to a friend about her eminent trip to London, where she’ll serve YWAM for 2 years at Holmstead Manor. I was strolling the neighborhood, enjoying the fading aromas of summer. People around here are delightfully dedicated to developing and landscaping their yards, so I often find myself walking beside giant lavender bushes, sweet, purple grapes overhanging fences, chrysanthemums, roses, you name it. Summers here are like paradise. I was walking past a a house were a woman was tending her yard, listening to Kaitlyn all the way in Pennsylvania talk about London, and something sunk in.
To me, life is a symphony. I’ve always felt like everyone but me was given a sheet of music, and I’ve tried my best to follow along with my own instrument, desperately watching the conductor in the center, the best, most remarkable musicians always catching at my periphery until I give in and turn to watch and mimic them just to keep in step, on tempo. Life is a struggle to play not too loudly, nor too soft, to be creative yet contained within the limits of expectation. Life is a symphony that I am designed to sing to, yet have never heard. I’ve racked my heart and brain so many days and nights wondering how people make other people love them. No, not love, enjoy. They enjoy each other’s company unabashedly, without thought. When one desires to sail the seven seas and live in a tent and have a cup of coffee, the other is there, too, asking to come with. To meet the expectations of countless different people has always seemed hopeless to me.
And that’s where the spider part comes in.
Be faithful, Lucy. Be wise. An epiphany from the Holy Spirit. You want to be respected and loved? Be faithful to the people you have in our life, and the work you’ve been given. Be like that spider in the corner of the king’s palace, working diligently with her hands, every day. Without fail. Do what needs to be done.
It was about that moment I shook myself free from my thoughts, heard again a girls voice speaking of distant lands, and kept walking.