... in an argument with a spider

Published on 25 Sep 2020
Spider web and girl looking at it

Last autumn, around this time of year, I discovered that a spider was weaving its web across the back door. Having walked through the web a couple of times by mistake, I waved a broomstick and remonstrated with the spider. Look, I said. Just weave your web somewhere else, I need to get through the door!

This year I shouldn't have been surprised to find that exactly the same thing happened. But after one attempt to wreak destruction to the web again, a second time I discovered he/she had weaved its web across the door itself, instead of the doorframe, which meant I could open the door and get through. Unfortunately, a couple of days later the spider had returned to its original position, right in the middle of the doorframe. By this time I was finding it funny. After this (I began to feel that I was on first name terms with the spider, and that it had a personality) I decided it was kinder to leave the spider in peace for a few days. 

Today I looked again and found the web had naturally fallen apart, the spider has moved on, and I can get through the door again. A happy ending, and I hope a happy ending for the spider too. 

The spider's resilience was a message for me about nature's resilience in the face of our attempts to intervene and even destory its habitat. After a while, I began to learn from the spider instead of thinking I was superior, and began to respect it, even admire it. It had started from scratch and rebuilt the web several times over, hardly a trivial task.

Sometimes I think I am much less resilient or determined about my own gifts, my own work, than that spider! Humans can be hurt by criticism and disappointment. It is worth remembering that spider next time humankind or fate intervene in something I am working on. Keep trying.