Sunday, August 25, 2013

Sitting out here with Spiders

Our balcony has an impressive amount of spider activity. We're up on the fourth floor, balcony looking out on the lake. It's pretty out here. It's no country porch, we are surrounded by an ugly empty lot, parking lots, a busy street, an alley full of trash, high rises lining the lake. But it's our balcony, our outdoor escape, our place to sun, to eat early breakfasts or sit out late at night, laughing with friends. I can't survive in the city with out some outdoor spot to call my own. If one can't have a yard, at least a porch or balcony will do. Just some space to breathe.

The spiders out here make it kind of creepy. They started appearing once it got warm out, and once Erin started growing some tomatoes and peppers out here. We think they like the plants. I don't know, they seem to love it out here. If I were to sit and squint around and count, I'd say there are at least thirty. Little ones, really big ones. Spinning and weaving their webs.

Most of us grow up so scared of these little arachnids. Granted, they are certainly eery-looking, and they do hunt and catch their prey in webs and inject venom to kill them. Then they suck their blood, or something, right? Charlotte's Web really did a stand-up job at trying to make spiders less scary. It worked. Sort of. Not really, though. We've all squashed a spider or two even in light of the sweet, talented Charlotte and the Amazing pig.

It just got me thinking, these spiders, and how they look so bad. How that's just what they are. And really, they're not bad at all. These balcony spiders aren't scary either. I've never had one crawl on up, and take a big bite out of me. I've never had one wrap me up in a web or catch me and kill me. We're the big, scary ones walking around and moving chairs, breaking their webs and maybe even killing them. Don't worry, I'm not a spider activist... I just think we could learn a thing or two if we thought about this a minute.

We could learn a thing or two or a thousand if we thought about nature, about the animal kingdom. Anyone that reads this knows someone that has gotten bit by a dog. Maybe not hard, or terribly vicious. But a aggressive action nonetheless. When's the last time anyone in the Midwest heard about the great attack of the spiders? Dogs are man's best friend and I totally get why. Even the ugly ones are kind of cute. A lot of them have that whole loyalty, unconditional love thing going for them too. While spiders might not be doing anything to make us feel better about ourselves, we don't have to treat them so badly either. They are just different. They just are. Why does that make them so scary? Just because of how they look?

I don't know, that's all I wanted to say. Don't hate on something or someone that has the appearance of something our culture has decided is scary, or creepy, or just weird. Our culture doesn't get a lot of these things right, anyway. I guess its like that old saying goes, you may have heard it... "It's what's on the inside that counts."

And from what I have found in life so far, it takes a long, long time to know the insides of a person. We may not ever really know them. So you should still love them, even if you're not sure. Just in case. Especially if they look creepy, because they are the ones who need someone to stand up for them. Just fightin' your cause, spiders. I'll try not to squash you anymore. I'll try to see things differently, or, for what they really are.

PS Please don't crawl into my mouth while I'm sleeping. I don't want to accidentally eat you.


Donna Boucher said...

"It is not often that someone comes along who is a true friend and a good writer. Charlotte was both.”
E.B. White

This one is better. I knew a lady who's blog was called Charlotte Was Both.
It almost makes me cry.

The other thing I was going to say people with tattoos.

Mott said...

Oh, Emma, you ask a lot! I am one of those people that freaks out when I see a spider. BUT I am learning when I'm working in my flower garden to try to look the other way and not squash them. All I ask in return is for them not to come inside my house. I just can't deal with them inside. To make matters worse, I have a 31-year-old son who's 6'4" and squeals like a little girl when he sees one. I think we both are getting a little better though as we age.

I will never forget you and am so glad I had the opportunity to meet you when I took your mom's photography class! You are absolutely beautiful inside and out! :)

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