In the Oregon woods, a vast number of spiders spin threads that link meadow grasses and tree branches. Here, the world wide web has nothing to do with computers.
Still, spider webs remain almost invisible until fall’s morning mists highlight them with dew. Then, the webs become illuminated. It’s stunning to see how many silken strands stitch the forest together. So many levels of quiet life are near us, between us, within us to be celebrated.
The webs in the mist remind me that we’re not so different than spiders in the webs we weave, as we spin threads linking each other and the life beyond us. Our webs are far deeper than electronic; their strands are primal, soulful and familial.
Spiders also remind me how essential small lives are in the web of shared life. The entire food chain is balanced on the health of bees, spiders, insects and even smaller cellular creatures. It’s humbling, to be dependent upon the life of the tiny, despite being giant in comparison. It inspires my desire to be mindful in motion, and to celebrate life too small to even see.
It’s also humbling how many webs we break, despite our best intentions of care. People are too large for spiders to ensnare, but we can follow no forest path without destroying what some spiders have built. As I walk, I apologize for the accidental impact of my heavy footsteps. It’s parallel elsewhere, where our daily interactions with each other often fail our intentions of grace. Breaking webs deepens my compassion for ones who break mine.
It’s even more humbling to see what spiders catch. Some beings need to be caught for life to continue. The simple purpose of being food for another is not only valid, but vital.
I celebrate the reminder that this life is not about us as individuals, but about the grace of the greater weave. We have our essential part, but in the end it’s the transcendent life beyond us from which our webs are truly spun. When the mists arrive, I remember. I celebrate every drop of illuminating dew, before I too disappear into winter as all spiders and webs do.