Well, at least until the next day when I forgot it was there and face-planted myself into it. Fortunately for me, the spider was holed up in a protective nook above the web at the time.
When I went back onto the porch later that night, the spider had re-emerged and was hard at work, re-weaving the web into one that was even bigger and more striking. That’s a photo of it above.
It made me think: Aren’t we all a bit like the spider?
OK, so it’s not a perfect analogy and it might be stretching things a bit. But I think that we can learn from the spider.
Let’s start with this: We’re all very good at weaving plans for our lives. We decide how we want them to go, line by line, conforming to our schedule. Then something comes along and face-plants itself right into the middle of our plans.
Things get shredded.
And that’s not necessarily bad. Maybe the web we’ve designed isn’t very strong or doesn’t really suit us. Someone might be doing us a favor by face-planting and forcing us to remake it into something better.
Sometimes enough of the web is left so that we can simply patch it. Other times, we’re basically starting over. Occasionally, we feel like we’re hanging by a thread.
It’s time to start weaving again.
Whether we like it or not, life is constantly challenging us to spin something new.
I know that this spider analogy can take us only so far. In a significant way, we’re very different from that solitary spider on the back porch. We don’t spin our webs alone.
We’re meant to weave with one another.
And this is where the whole web thing gets really interesting.
Someone invites us to leave the security of our little nook and to weave with them. To fill that big, empty space on the porch with a beautiful, glimmering display of hope and life created together.
And our response?
Often, we balk at it.
We know that the invitation will involve hard work. It’ll take us out of our comfort zone. We’ll have to weave according to someone else’s patterns. We’ll have to allow someone else into our space. We’ll have to learn to work together.
If we accept the challenge, we’ll fashion a web that is far different than if we’d done it alone. And far better, too, because it will have taught us how to spin a web with others.
I know that this isn’t a popular notion, especially in our culture. Many people roll their eyes when you start talking about love. They cynically dismiss it. They insist that everyone’s on their own. They glamorize the myth of the solitary web slinger.
There’s another way.
The spider has an inexhaustible supply of silk. Each of us has an inexhaustible supply of love. We can leave the suffocating safety of our nooks and weave with those who want to make fantastic webs together.
We’re living in a great web of life that stretches across the universe and beyond. Nothing in this web is static. Everything is being created and re-created, including us. There’s a lot of weaving and re-weaving going on.
And the Weaver of Life is looking for partners to spin something new. Something bigger. Something better. Something more beautiful.
Stitch by stitch. Strand by strand. One line of love at a time.