Continuing our theme of Spider Web, this week Mo Henderson shares her childhood experience of communing with a spider. It seems that all our contributors, thus far, on this theme, have had similar relationships with these small, eight-legged friends. How wonderful!
As a child, I was always fascinated by watching little creatures and despite the huge differences in image, size and behaviour, my imagination worked in a way which opened a whole world of mutual relationships for me. I remember one particular spider who lived in the corner of my grandmother’s bathroom. Before school, I used to stand on a wooden support made by my grandfather to clean my teeth under the watchful eye of the spider, I would tell her about my morning and future school day.
I was horrified one day to hear my mother was going to remove the spider webs from around the house and, sure enough, the next morning my friend the spider had gone! How she would miss me! Would she understand why she had to move? I certainly didn’t but was reluctant to mention the loss to my mother. For some reason the secret was just between the spider and me; relationships like that were in my heart and I needed it not to be lost from there too! Over my childhood years, I had many more friends who were also very different and on reflection, I learned a lot from those silent communications with the natural world.
Last week my brother sent me a photo of a ‘Cross Orb Weaver garden spider’. He had received a delivery of smokeless coal and the spider’s web was covering the space where it was normally stored, “So I’ve had to find a new space for the coal bags” he wrote. I was quietly pleased, knowing the spider was staying where it presently was. I looked closely at the photo and thought the web looked quite tattered and weathered, yet there was this beautiful creature sitting there, watching and waiting with such dignity and vigilance in the centre.
‘If thus restrained, freedom original: Is like a tiger that has tattered ears or like a hobbled horse’
The Most Excellent Mirror Samadi