Sometimes I have been fortunate enough to see the moment a spider launches outward into incomprehensible space, spinning out a thread and trusting the wind to carry her on to some distant new world where she can re-anchor, can start building her bridge between known and unknown. I have often thought of spider strands as prayers, cast outward across those chasms between myself and the world’s pain, or the aching heart of a friend. This morning, however, a new thought arises: The spider travels with her silken strand. She anchors herself to a branch or a wall and she leaps, undaunted and fearless, into the void between.
What does it mean to commit to our prayers like spiders, throwing ourselves outward, trusting our anchors, sending something of ourownselves with our words and our thoughts and our dreamings?
1. August Gold: The sunflower fields that surround Liza’s house, how they lift their golden faces to the sun. Also, the emerging goldenrod blossoms along the roadsides. Did you know that if you are an August sneezer, it’s likely not the goldenrod? I always thought it was until I heard about ragweed. Goldenrod leaves and buds actually make a tasty tea that can help to lessen the symptoms of seasonal allergies to ragweed.
2. Feathers. Wings. Wind.
3. Going to the Hellam Carnival with the family. We finally convinced the boys to stop longing to play the games where one in a thousand people wins a gigantic ugly unicorn. Instead, we played a game near the food concessions, where a local church had set up one of those tables with glasses and bowls and vases. You stand around the ring and try to toss dimes into the items, which you can take home if you get a dime in them. The boys loved it, and we now have an interesting assortment of wine glasses and ice cream dishes. Cheap fun. Plus, we bought used books at the library stand, and I met a local family who does T-shirt design, and I want to see if I can use them for my school club T-shirts rather than some company far away.
4. How everything connects. Your heart and mine. The hummingbird and the vulture. Poems and stories and art. The thin spidersilk of prayer, spun out across impossible chasms.
5. Time. I need to stop fighting it, stop racing it, stop seeing it as my enemy. We live in it, swim in it, exist in the arms of time. Children grow and change, sleep happens or doesn’t, the work will get done if we trust and engage in it.
May we walk in Beauty!