Monday, March 18, 2013

Lessons Learned from a Spider

In my perfect world I would have taken a wonderful picture of the post I'm about to share.
A spontaneous experience, with no camera in hand... 
so here are my "a thousand words".  
May you see the picture within them!

I don't like spiders. 
There, I've said it. 
Let me say it again with more emphasis... I don't like spiders.

Spiders have never been invited guests to my gardens. I have actually formed an alliance with all garden snakes, whom I don't really like either:   

"All garden snakes may live here 
as long as they eat the spiders."

They do quite a nice job, as I rarely see spiders in my garden.  But on occasion I do. 

One such occasion happened last week as I sat on the grass, carefully removing the debris from the garden's edge. Little children often roam my gardens, so at times, I  find all sorts of hidden prizes among the crackling leaves. On this occasion, my eye spotted a curious looking quarter inch bead.  It was easy to spot as its brilliant blue seemed to shout "I do not belong in this garden." 

I scooped it up with the surrounding debris with my gloved hand for further inspection.  I was intrigued by the pattern of indentations on the surface of this little bead, somewhat like that of a golf ball.  I brought it closer to my eyes to view the tiny details. As I shifted the handful of debris in my hand to view it more carefully, I quite suddenly became aware that there, in my hand, next to the bead, was a spider.  I could not empty my hand fast enough! 

As the contents of my hand fell to the earth, I discovered that the spider was actually connected to the bead.  "How curious", I thought.  As I strained to look closer from my now safe distance, I soon realized that the bead was not a bead at all, rather it was the spiders egg sac.

My first instinct was to step on it... fair consequence for all spiders who enter This Grandmother's Garden.  No sooner had I thought the thought when a wave of unexpected compassion spread over me. I found myself pausing... "You can live," I said to this little mama with her expectant babies. I gently replaced the cover of debris in which she was hiding.  "You can live." I repeated aloud, somewhat surprised with my actions and I slowly walked away.

I've reflected on this experience several times since its occurrence and each time a smile comes to my face as I feel a sweet connection to this little spider family... to all things living, all creatures great and small, the Lord God loveth all.  Hm-m-m... not so sure I can love spiders, but I've certainly taken a step toward tolerance. Is there a greater lesson to be learned here? 

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