The Wisdom of the Humble Spider
For the past few weeks, cradled gently in the center of a modest web, an arachnid has hung in my writing window. I have watched him, day after day, week after week, setting upon the prey that flies unwittingly into his net, or rocking in the breeze. I have seen the dew drops hang from each glistening strand in the growing sunlight. I have watched the great care with which he tends his home, strengthening and expanding it diurnally with fresh threads of silk, or carefully cutting loose fallen leaves that drifted to his front door.
But I have also witnessed the hardships which he endures for his precious homestead. I have seen it torn apart by wind, only to be reconstructed and reinforced. I have seen him repairing the damages made by globules of rain. Perhaps most impressive was the rainstorm that hit us last night. The rain was torrential, and when I went to bed there was neither sign of silk nor spider, and I was afraid the poor fellow had finally given up the ghost. I did not expect to see him again.
But when I looked late night morn, there he was, nestled with great pride at the center of his largest, strongest and most ornate web yet, each strand glimmering majestically in the sunlight. I think there's a lot to be said for this little crawly who might not, after all, be quite so creepy. And I think he says it all himself through his valor and perseverence.
Though difficult his task be; yet he does it anyway. Though it will all have to be done again; yet he does it anyway. Though delicate his dwelling be, though perilous his life be; yet he never desponds and he never gives up. He just keeps on working with great personal esteem for what he does. And after each job well done, he revels in the simple glories of the sunrise and sunset, the simple joys of each meal when the wait for it is over. To him his web is not a bane, but a pleasure; a source of great happiness. It may be the life allotted to him, it may be the only life he knows; but does that not mean, consequentially, that it is the only life he loves and enjoys?
I think from the conduct of this small creature there is a great lesson to be learned in many ways. And I think that, when next we roll up that newspaper or brandish that fly swatter, we might all do well to pause and reconsider the action we are about to take. How much more magnanimous it would be to fetch a glass and slip of paper, and to carefully relocate the creature to the outdoors, where he will be out of our hair, and we out of its. After all: if we cannot be kind in the small things . . . how can we be in the big?
Postscript. The most ironic twist of fate has just been played on me to further ingrain in me this lesson. After writing this whole entry, with a few mistaken clicks I deleted in its entirety, along with quite a bit more work that I had done. At first I was very frustrated, but as soon as I realized the hypocrite I was being, I could not help but laugh at myself. And you know what? It was my pleasure to write it all the first time, and it was to do so again. That--that is the wisdom of the humble spider.
Sincerely, Nuile: Lunatic Wordsmith