First of all I want to aplogise to any of my readers or followers who suffer from arachnophobia — of course if that were the case I doubt you would be reading on in any event. I take the risk of lowering my look in stats as well! But, it’s only just this once, really, and the photos are at the end, if that makes any difference. Ah, no . . . well, then I hope you will read the next post.
Since I will be busy the next several days and may not have time to do another post before the end of the weekend, and I wanted to share my reflections about this amazing creature who has been living in one of my columbines, right outside my front door, for most of the week — well, I just noticed ‘her’ this week.
Don’t get me wrong I am not an arachnophile, I am pretty much arachnid neutral. If there is one in the house I catch it and re-home it outside. I do not court their presence. And, unless of course they are of the gianormous wolf-spider variety when do get a bit twitchy, will calmly do what needs to be done for all of us to live happily ever after. If it is a great big one I grit my teeth and get on with it. I never kill one.
For the record I found Shelob and Aragog to be completely revolting to look at, so for the most part I didn’t after acknowledging briefly the skills of the CG artists who created them.
I find this particular specimen to be quite compelling. I have seen lots of brown spiders. I have even once seen a black widow, its red hourglass marking reminding that should it bite your time is up.
To be honest I did not even see her until I was taking a photograph of the flower she was living in/on and picked her up in macro mode. I was instantly taken by her. Her beauty. Her delicacy. Her sense of presence. I felt some sort of connection to her, with her. I have always felt good about having a Guard Spider, as I call them, spinning a web near my front door. It feels like there is a watcher there. I have not seen any sign of her web. I don’t know what kind of spider she is, what her proper scientific name is, and it doesn’t matter. She is White Spider to me and that seems to be fine with her when I speak to her each time I’ve left and returned home this week.
I am concerned as her flower is beginning to fade and pull back into the next part of its journey. It has been rainy today and I admit I have not looked to see if she is still there, though I will when I finish writing this.
What she has caused me to do is to think about how we let fear rule us. Fear can be justified as a rational response to a particular situation and totally irrational at the same time. That paradox doesn’t make the fear any less real, nor the often visceral response to the trigger an easier to overcome or assess. Fear can be a warning not to do something or go into a certain situation — it is well to listen to those. I have experienced that kind of fear and had my own fears of the other sort. I know whereof I speak.
Whilst I’m not afraid of White Spider, there are those I know who would be, people I love and care about who would not even engage the notion that she could be possessed of a beauty because her very form is found to be revolting, dredges up terrible childhood memories or just is something unidentifiable about her that is squeamish making. It occurs to me as I write this that fear in some ways is not unlike prejudice, in fact the former often feeds the latter. Both fear and prejudice diminish our opportunities for engaging with the world around us and those with whom we share it – spiders . . . immigrants. . . .
I guess I say some of these things to remind myself as much as anyone else that fear is limiting. I am/have been struggling with certain things that I have been afraid of and the journey to overcome them has not been easy. But, as I move away from the place in myself of fear into the not-fear place I can say the journey has been and continues to be worth the effort, the pain and the struggle. It isn’t just one time thing. I know I will have to remain vigilant. However, the rewards of the new way of being me and perceiving my reality are so amazing I know I can’t return to the fearful me. I missed so much. There so much more I won’t have to miss in the future.
Here are some photos of her, and you can see why I might have missed her without the camera lens:
I love the color she is that blends in so well with the flower. I have welcomed a few spiders in my room that are quite small, They stay for awhile, and make their way elsewhere. Spinning a small web inside I have seen them catch a few small things. I can’t say I love spiders, but I respect them, admire their web making a great deal. I would rather not a wolf spider in my room but I’d get a big box and get it out alive if possible. I hate killing anything. I loved Hagrid for loving all creatures so much.. would not have wanted to keep them as he did however….!
Thank you for sharing your spider experiences. I’m sure you’d succeed at re-homing a big spider, you could always ask St Francis to help if the need arose.
I do have an update: White Spider and her flower are gone. When I went out for my walk late this afternoon I saw that the flower had shriveled up and she was not to be seen. It made me sad as I walked down the street to know that she was no longer there to greet when I left and returned home. I am amazed at how such a small creature could have such an impact on me. I hope that she has made her way safely elsewhere. Maybe she came to prompt this reflection and so her work with me was done. I know wish her well on whatever journey she has taken from the columbine by my door.
Wherever her journey takes her, she has made a mark on us here.
Wow! What a perfect synthesis of spider and flower. Great photos, and thoughts. Thank you for sharing.
I hope wherever White Spider is now, and was she perhaps a Spirit Spider as much as a physical one, she knows/senses/ has some awareness that she gave a gift to me that I shared with others. That her life had a different sort of meaning than she might have expected. Sometimes it is the smallest things that have the greatest impact.
These are great pics. I used to be really scared of spiders. I’ve reached the point now where I can look at them up close and share a room with them, but I still freeze instinctually when they run and I couldn’t touch one.
It’s good you can look at spiders and share a room with them. I’m not keen on touching them, so i don’t do that, for me it comes from being bitten by them as a child, we had biters in the states — they weren’t all deadly, but I was a reactor like with mozzies. It’s good they don’t bite here.