The writing spider

There’s this writing spider, she’s known as a “common garden” spider and she has taken up residence in my flower garden. Now, please keep reading because like many of you–I don’t like spiders either. I’m the one who found a large water spider in my closet–the size and resemblance of a tarantula. And in my panic and infinite wisdom, I ran and got the bug spray and drenched the spider with the poison until it fell to the floor. And me, feeling much relieved looked around and my clothes–every piece of clothing in my closet had to be removed, washed, and the closet aired out. It took days.

Over the years the daisy mum has grown almost to the size of a bush rather than a flower–stems large and the bush, so weighted that it split to the point of making this wide ugly hole in the flower garden. My plans were to cut the flower down even before it bloomed but the rains came and the blooms, well, I decided to wait until the cold set in.

One day I was out in my flower garden I noticed a spider had spun its web in the hole like a bridge joining and pulling the oversized bush of daisies back together. And I remembered a few years ago a good friend of mine told me the spider was called a writing spider–harmless she said. So I did some more research and it turns out there is nothing “common” about this garden spider and I would later learn the writing spider who made a home among my daisies has a story all her own.

Writing spiders are orb-weavers and they spin their webs from the softness of silk that is said to be strong and more pliable than steel. Their webs are beautiful, very detailed, formed in circular formations, and have zig-zag patterns. And they make their homes in places where they will not be disturbed, where they can find rest.

I have been watching her for several weeks now from a distance standing afar through the lens of my camera. And one afternoon I noticed the spider has lost two of her legs on one side of her body since she first came to the garden. But what I saw even more surprising was this–on her back are two of the tiniest of hearts. And God, only He can create a creature as small as a spider and adorn its back with the yellowest of hearts.

At first glance, from a distance we only see a small portion of someone’s story or think what we see–and there we are often quick to judge and tear down. But when we take the time to lean in close with less judgment and more compassion and kindness, we may just be amazed of what we will learn about another’s story, and of ourselves.

And the writing spider, she’s still in the garden and research says her egg sack she has carefully woven and protected, very few of the eggs have a chance of surviving to adulthood. She, herself was one of those predictions–a slim chance of survival–and here she is fighting against the odds for her children. And no matter how broken she may seem, the “common” spider with the two yellow hearts on her back–made by God–she’s weathering the storms, writing her story among the daisies.

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