Sunday, July 6, 2008

Spider therapy

I took a long hike this morning along a trail that's always deserted. It's a beautiful trail, but a little out of the way for casual walkers. It's narrow and descends into a hollow that's a popular hangout for woodpeckers and turkeys. It's also got a sizable population of mosquitoes and aggressive flies, which is another reason I usually have it to myself. Running the gauntlet of insects is worth it for the solitude, and there's another reward waiting once I get past them: a little lake where I can sit and watch the sunrise. The lake was covered in mist this morning and could not have been more beautiful.

As I got up to head back down the trail, I saw a large spider web just at the tree line. It had been invisible to me until the sun was high enough to illuminate it. The little orb weaver was still expanding it, so I stopped for a while to watch her. There is something hypnotic about watching a spider at work. Observing the combination of grace, strength and perfectly ordered instinct focuses my mind like nothing else. A spider web is ordinary, insignificant, ephemeral, and yet it's a revelation of the essence of animal existence. It's impossible to be anxious or angry in the presence of a busy spider.

I can't capture that moment by the lake for you but here's a nice video of a web in progress. Watch and admire. It just might make Monday a little easier to take.


chayaruchama said...

I never tire of spider therapy- thanks !

Anonymous said...

Lovely essay.

BitterGrace said...

Thanks, Bozo, and you're welcome, Chaya.

If the brown recluses would just learn to weave, I'd welcome them in the house.