Humble (and hopefully humorous) miscellaneous, mindful musings of Mary’s mostly meandering mind. Hereafter known as “Hhhmmmmmmm”.
The musing of spiritual concepts crop up in some interesting ways in my life. In the early morning hours in which I was trying to sleep this morning, I found myself once again pondering spirituality and spiders. Since most of the other people around me at this time would not be ones to have a conversation such as this, I thought perhaps I could bring the spiritual spiders to the round table and let them crawl around there. I would love to have any input, insight, or stories shared here. Hopefully you will take this in the light, humorous way in which I attempted to write it, even though the significance reaches to some deep levels.
One spring morning, a few short months ago, I woke and upon opening my eyes saw a spider on my ceiling. Eeek. My standard operating procedure would be to get up and squish the spider with the reasons being that 1.) Spiders scare me. 2.) A spider on the ceiling might fall on me, and 3.) A spider on the ceiling in my bedroom – and almost over my bed – could mean it would fall on my bed and then crawl on me when I was sleeping! Now I know spiders usually don’t “fall”, or even live to chase people, but if you can humor me a bit… that is what my mind always tells me.
Since it was a spring morning, and a weekend morning at that, I took a little bit of time to look at the spider and think about the situation. I seemed to remember a bit of a spiritual story about grandmother spider – weaving the web of life – or something along those lines. I couldn’t recall the story or legend, yet it propelled my thoughts over to the spiritual significance of the spider on my ceiling. Hhmmmmmm.
I was mindful of the slight revulsion and fear I was experiencing inside my being, due to the fact that there was a spider – on my ceiling – in my bedroom – very, very close to being directly over my bed. And so I sat (or rather laid) with that feeling for a bit -- Never taking my eyes off the spider. (If it would have made any moves towards me I would have had to revert to the standard operating procedures outlined above titled ….. "squish".) I contemplated the spiritual fact that “we are all one” in regard to the spider and thought, “Who am I to decide it needs to die?” Maybe we could live together in peace. I sent my thoughts out to the spider wondering if perhaps it would understand that although I was afraid of it, I was willing to try a different behavior. And asked it to please not crawl on me. Communing with the silent spider was interesting.
That spider stayed on my ceiling – in the same spot – for three days! I was a little proud of the fact that I was able to turn off my light at night, knowing there was a spider on my ceiling. After three days, I almost felt I knew that spider. On the third morning, upon opening my eyes, I saw the second spider. Hhhmmmmm. This new spider was directly over my bed… yet still down by the foot of my bed. And so I sat with some new feelings of discomfort for a couple days. I was always grateful in the morning when they were still in their places – because it meant they hadn’t fallen on me, you see.
This was springtime – a time when we in the northern climates tend to see much more activity from the spider species. So I wasn’t really surprised when I began to see them show up at my work too. At work the spiders are much bigger though. They are called “wolf spiders”. (shudder). I’ve been told they don’t make webs, as they are “hunters” and they roam around looking for their food.
Now, my boss is not afraid of spiders, and if I would alert her to one, she would do what she could to “get it” and put it outside – alive. That was fine, except she usually just ended up succeeding in helping them find some crack in my area that they could firmly entrench themselves in. Great....
I was a little grateful of my victory in watching a somewhat large wolf spider go across the floor (away from me, mind you) in my area and crawl over behind a cabinet. I blessed him on his way…. still wondering about that “we are all one” concept and trying to fit it around spiders. Could I perhaps grow and mature enough to change my thoughts and feelings about spiders? Maybe get to a spot where I don’t feel a need to have to kill anything?
Another day I was walking down the hall to the restrooms when I encountered a spider in the hallway. It was pointed in the direction toward my area and I thought that perhaps I would just “scare” it in the other direction – and specifically towards the offices of people who aren’t afraid of spiders - and stomped my foot in front of it. It barely twitched. I noted my failed attempt to control the spider and proceeded down the hall. I figured it must have known my intention was not to kill it – and therefore was not “scared”. When I was returning up the hall, back to my area a few minutes later, the spider was nowhere to be seen. I found that "not knowing" where the spider went (when it had originally been headed in the direction toward my office) was more disconcerting than seeing it the first time!
The final straw came on the day that I was sitting at my desk, and out of the corner of my eye I detected movement on the floor. There was a particularly large “wolfie” coming across the floor, directly towards me. I watched for about 3.456789 seconds before getting up – and at about two feet from my chair - I stepped on him. My mind trumpeted to me “See? We are NOT one – the spider is very obviously squished on the floor, and you are still standing here breathing shakily.” (I will admit that my “mind” is not very enlightened and was happy to have some action.)
Since that incident, I haven’t seen very many spiders, but that is normal throughout the summer months. The ones I did see should still be living, though. Now it is fall. And as I was going around and taking my co-workers trash bags out of their trashcans on Friday afternoon, I happened to see – there behind a couple of the trash cans – a spider –hiding. (I work at a small company who only employees the “pick up after yourself” janitorial service. It is kind of a poorly operating service, in my opinion.)
I realize this could all be taken care of by teaching my co-workers to be more conscientious of taking their own garbage out on Fridays, instead of waiting until Monday when the fruit flies fill up the office from the food they threw in their garbage cans the previous week. Then I wouldn’t have to see the spiders lurking behind their garbage cans. But something tells me that perhaps I have more to learn about spiders and spirituality.
If you made it this far, I thank you. I had fun putting this down on paper (or should I say, the screen?) And if you happen to know the story of grandmother spider I would be glad to hear it. Your stories or comments are always welcome.