The Web of Life – A Huge Life Lesson I Learned This Summer


My summer was a murderous one.

Strung across the softness of a Globe Cedar in my back yard, a web had been spun. I came outside that beautiful dog-days-of-summer afternoon and, not giving any thought to what I was about to do, I plucked that spiral with my bare hands from its home nestled there in my cedar. I continued on with my day without giving the spider nor, his web another thought.

I expressed a fundamental lack of compassion in those moments, a villainous disregard for the better choice. Why? Is there an instinct within us to destroy something without reason? Without consequence? Was I thinking that I was destroying that web in the interest of health and cleanliness? Or was it that dark mystery that wraps itself around nature herself?

Whatever the case, when my child came in later that day, he marched into the kitchen and demanded to know if I had done anything to the spider web in our back yard. Feeling as if I had been caught with my hand in the proverbial cookie jar, I somewhat sheepishly confessed to my destruction of the wee little home.

For the most part, I do not understand this child of mine. He genuinely loves people and he knows and talks to all our neighbors at great length. Yet, this wonderful soul does not get the social cues that most of society adheres to. The nuances of the English language seem to totally escape him. If I kick him under the table in warning to be quiet about something, he will look at me and say, with everyone present, “Why are you kicking me?” He kind of reminds me of Sheldon from “The Big Bang Theory”… frustrating, while at the same time very endearing.

On this particular day though, my young man asked me if I would like it if someone came and tore my house down? I replied “No, I would not like it at all.” And, he was somewhat comforted by the fact that I did not actually foist the ultimate act of death upon the spider…

The next morning to my surprise and excitement, a new silken spiral had miraculously formed over darkness of the previous evening. That little fellow had worked hard throughout the night and I felt marginally better about my primal actions of the day before.

Later, my son came in to announce that “Hunter” had a new home and that he was alive and well. Hunter??!!! When had that creature become the new family pet? Apparently, as I was to learn, when my other son declared that he must have a name.

I vowed that I would never do something so unnecessarily cruel again. I didn’t bother to think. Henceforth, I would think first, then act.

In hindsight, I realized that what I was imposing on myself was a form of mindfulness.

And, my beautiful son, the one who does not comprehend the graces of society, gathered his family together around his understanding of the Universe… to honor all creatures great and small.

Huge lesson indeed!