Spiders in September

September is here at last. Spider month. I love all the little spiders hanging about in my garden. They seem to string themselves up any old where. When the sun catches them just right or the wind jiggles them about, who isn’t touched by their magic.

This morning I had the double luxury of listening to Beethoven’s Romances while watching a spider spin its web, carefully attaching its snare between the leaves of my peonies and the roses just outside the door of my Magic Cottage.

Spiders and their webs always bring me back to an experience that David Abram’s describes in his book The Spell of the Sensuous.

While taking a stroll in a canyon in Bali, Abram spots a cave in the canyon wall. Curious, he climbs into the cave and settles himself down for a little chanting session (as I recall he likes to chant) comfortably nestled by the lush moss growing on the floor and walls.

After a time, it begins to rain. It rains so hard that the entrance to the cave becomes screened by the water and he is cut off from the outside world. It is the first monsoon of the season.

Soon, he becomes aware of a little spider spinning a web inches from his face. The spider meticulously weaves round and round checking every now and then to ensure that its web is firmly attached to the cave’s walls.

It is only a little later when Abram realizes this was not the only spider working away. Multiple spiders were hard at work all on their own planes, weaving their own webs, claiming their own territories.

Unwilling to move, Abram remains still, entranced by these spiders. He writes that he ‘had the distinct impression that [he] was watching the universe being born, galaxy upon galaxy…(p.19).’

He watched these spiders until darkness prevented him from seeing any more and he fell asleep.

When he awoke the next morning, the rain had stopped and the galaxies of spiders had disappeared.

Abram tells his spider tale so intimately that every time I see a spider stretched out on its web, I am nestled in the moss, in the cave, the rain cocooning me while galaxies are bridged across my being.

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