Friday, June 27, 2008
A sudden, swift move~
I was young-- maybe 8 or 9-- when, while taking a bath, I allowed a spider to build a web from the wall to my arm. The spider was intent, single-minded, and even as a child I knew this spider was determined to build a web to capture food. I wanted to be part of its success. Its survival depended upon it . . . and on me, I'd thought. I remember wondering why it chose such a barren landscape as our tub, and such an insubstantial anchor as me. Didn't it know? Couldn't it see?
I was fascinated, and somewhat horrified, to realize that I was allowing a spider to use my body as a connecting point for its web. That was a responsibility I couldn't live up to, and when my father knocked on the door and said, "Time for bed. Let the water out," I yanked my arm hard and the spider scurried away. I tried not to think about it as I crawled into bed.
Decades later, I hesitated for a few seconds before ruining a web a spider had built from the lamp post beside the driveway to my truck's door. I had to get to work. But it bothered me to ruin the hard work of this arachnid with a sudden, swift move it hadn't bargained for. By now I knew the strength of gossamer was five times stronger than a steel fiber of the same size. The web had strength, but I had greater force on my side. The next morning, the spider had rebuilt. And again I applied my force. Didn't it know? Couldn't it see?
Lately the news is full of the devastation of peoples' homes-- tornadoes, earthquakes, floods, fire . . . sudden, swift moves. Like spiders, people build homes trusting they'll endure, trusting in their strength. But they don't endure, not always. And I think of the spider, its determination, its desire to survive.
The fragility of humans is on a par with the spider, I think. There are forces larger than our strengths. We feel in charge; we use our brains. We and plan, and consider, but yet, all it takes is a sudden, swift move. We think it won't happen, but it does. Not always, but enough to show our vulnerability. Don't we know? Can't we see?
We see, but somethings are bigger than us. So it becomes a matter of determination, a desire to survive. And that we humans have. Like all of nature.
“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.”~Winston Churchill