Still half asleep, I stumble down my 21 log cabin steps every morning around dawn, getting to the ground level to let my chickens out for the day. And every morning I twist and turn my way through a new sea of spider webs. I think of them as annoyingly protective insect gates across the wooden stairs, purposely keeping me from reaching my very important chores. It’s not that I necessarily dislike (most) spiders. I just don’t want their creepy, sticky, icky webs and bodies decorating my face and hair. So no matter what the weather or the temperature, I’ve taken to putting on a hooded jacket, body covered, head covered and kept low, to squeamishly fight my way through the webs and down to the coop to begin my morning routine.
This morning after chicken chores were done, I sat on the deck with a cup of coffee and my three dogs, enjoying a gentle summer breeze and a beautiful rising sun peeking through the trees, leaving light shadows dancing around me. So peaceful. So grateful for this quiet moment. And then I saw them. Literally hundreds of spider webs, across the deck, on me and around me on the rocking chair, in the trees, blowing in the wind across the yard – eek!
How could I have not noticed before that I was in the midst of a spider web entanglement? How many times have I sat here, unaware of the danger of getting spiders and webs in my unprotected hair and on my clothes while I peacefully drank my morning coffee? Fear rose, my thoughts raced, and my peaceful morning was shattered!
Then I stopped and took a deep breath. And another breath. And looked again. I sat still and quiet while I watched the webs, illuminated by the morning sun, reaching and blowing and criss-crossing in the breeze like golden threads, connecting me and everything around me, connecting all of us together in this amazing dance of nature inspired by spiders, a rising sun and a gentle breeze. And I felt the fear fading.
There is much to be fearful of in this increasingly crazy world. We’ve seen a lot of terrible violence, meanness and bigotry played out in a culture that at times seems to have somehow lost its way. To protect ourselves from the dangers we know are out there, or are told are out there, and all that we imagine is out there, we dress ourselves in our “hooded jacket” and fight our way through the day, letting the fear dictate what we think, who we are, how we behave, who we let in physically and emotionally, and how we manage our lives and relationships.
But the truth is, however we try to keep ourselves protectively in the illusion that we will surely be safe if we isolate, keep our head down, or sometimes reactively lash out in fear and in pain, we are all here, human, plant, animal, insect, air, wind, earth and beyond, bound together in this dimensional matrix and inter-connected by brilliant golden threads of light, loving, safe and supportive energy. We don’t have to let our fear overtake us and obscure the beauty that is right here, just on the other side of whatever difficult experience we are in the midst of. When we feel angry, or annoyed, or afraid, we can take a couple of quiet breaths, giving ourselves time to notice that even in those moments when we would like to run, scream, hide or lash out, that there is beauty and goodness quite near. And then the fear fades.