In 2014, I spent part of the summer living with my in-laws in the mountains of Hiroshima. I already shared about the frogs and the wild boar. Today, I have a story about a special spider. This story heads up the chapter on Animals & Nature in 365 Life Shifts: Pivotal Moments That Changed Everything, a book by over 250 authors now available on Amazon. I never imagined I would be sharing the story of Spider with such a wide audience. If I had known, I would have taken better pictures. Scroll down to the bottom, if you dare!
I went upstairs for the night. Dinner was finished, the dishes were done, and my father-in-law was already asleep. I was staying with him while my mother-in-law recuperated from surgery at the local hospital.
It was stuffy upstairs. Back in the city, I would have switched on the air-conditioning. Here, in the mountains of Hiroshima, opening the windows was enough. I loved falling asleep with the cool breeze and earthy smells.
As I pushed the curtains aside to open the window, I was startled by a large spider, the size of my fist, right there in the middle of the window. After recovering from my initial surprise, I was thrilled because Spider is my totem. Inching closer, I realized that Spider was building a huge web outside, spanning the full width of the window frame.
In the morning, Spider was gone. I wondered about her all day, and after dark, raced upstairs to check. To my delight, she was there again, tending her web. Three nights in a row, I marveled at how she returned and systematically restored her web through a series of small repairs.
Then the news reported that a typhoon was headed our direction. Like everyone in the area, we closed all the windows and even the metal shutters. I worried about Spider. The window frame had once seemed ideal, but by pulling the shutters out over the window, her web was destroyed. I sent her a warning and prayed that she was listening. The rain poured, and the wind howled.
The next morning was beautiful. We opened the shutters and windows throughout the house. The air was crisp and clean. I wondered what happened to Spider. Assuming she was gone for good, I appreciated how she had shared her work and wished her well into the next life.
Later that evening, I spotted Spider again near the window, building a new web – this time under the eaves. I whooped, laughed, cried, and thanked Spider. Seeing her at work again, I realized her lesson: It’s important to spend time every day rebuilding our web and equally important to be mindful of where we build it!
If you enjoyed this story from 365 Life Shifts: Pivotal Moments That Changed Everything, be sure to order the book so you can read my other 2 stories. And, if you love spiders as much as I do, check out contributing author, Lori Thomas, a spiritual entomologist!