Broken Threads

Spider-web-1“Will you walk into my parlour?” said the Spider to the Fly…
~ Mary Howitt, 1829

Even if you don’t like spiders, you have to admit the beauty in their work. Their webs are creations of invitingly dangerous intricacies. To a small insect, they are death’s door. To a human, they are simply ninja training (as so eloquently quoted by anonymous “why is it when you walk into a spiderweb, you suddenly turn into a ninja?”).

But take a step back. Don’t think about the trap itself, but rather the beauty it proffers to those who gaze upon it. Your first thought may be to look for the owner, but once you’ve done that and found none, you cannot help yourself but to get at least a little closer, to look a little harder at the design. The amazing details that seem so time consuming and tedious to us, but to the little guy with the silk-shooting butt, it’s just life. Or rather, life and death. The death of an insect is life to the spider. The death of his web can cost the life of the spider. It’s one of nature’s twisted little truths.

They are beautiful. Whether catching the dew drops or the glint of the sun, the patterns and hiccups in perfection are astounding to those that can let go of their arachnophobia for a moment and appreciate it. And that’s all life is, isn’t it? Letting go of any given phobia, for any given moment, and getting a little closer to something which may intrigue you? We are both the spider and the fly in this life. We weave our own webs while we are drawn to those around us. Some prefer to make (or are more attracted to) the larger more encompassing webs, other enjoy the small, almost hidden, gossamer mazes. Some like the fully shaped and perfectly spun, while others smile at those with zigzag lines and lazy loops. Each web is different. Each web offers something unique to the beholder.

And each must suffer the elements, the leaves blown by, the wind howling, and the rambunctious bits of nature that tear their webs asunder. But the spider doesn’t sit in a corner and cry about it. Even the tiniest interloper knows you cannot change what has happened, so you must adjust to it, and plunder forward—whether it be to repair or begin anew. By sunrise, there will be new lattice work to catch the dawn’s rays and hold fast to the morning dew. And yesterday’s damage will be forgotten.

Eventually, a camera may come along and capture in the abandoned broken threads, not the reflected sun or balancing dew drops, but rather, the dust which highlights the beauty that once was. And what was once forgotten, is found again. Not by the spider who has walked away from the past, but by a different set of eyes—which see a different form of beauty. After all, beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

“It is not often that someone comes along who is a true friend and a good writer. Charlotte was both.” ~ E.B. White, Charlotte’s Web

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