Intricately spun with precision. Moving diligently with perfection and grace as it crosses, then descends. It is an unequaled masterpiece. I stop to gaze; amazed by the ability of such a small creature to weave so beautifully. Elegantly trapping her dinner…the Martha Stewart of nature. Perched high on my toes, I tilt my head to the left, and then the right, analyzing the design nestled between two trees. All while keeping watch on the moving spider inside.
Twice this week, while walking through trails, I’ve passed two colossal banana spiders. Often painted with brightly colored bodies, stripped leggings, and spanning the width of my palm, they are quite the sight. Scary because of their size, they command attention. I willingly give it to them, watching with childlike curiosity.
Both weavers ironically were in the same predicament. Working feverishly, you could see the anticipation as the web bounced with movement. Wrapping, spinning, scurrying up and down the silk lines they drew the day before. No doubt, salivating over the meal they were so hungry to devour.
As I watched from a distance, a twinge of sorrow swept over me. For all their effort, they deserved a meal made for a queen. But it wasn’t there. It wasn’t in their web.
No. A fallen brown leaf, had become tangled. Twisting in the wind, it gave the impression of life. She worked as if it were true.
Both times I thought, “I wonder if they know they are working on a leaf” Surely not.
Shrugging, realizing I was unable to assist…If I tried, the potential of damaging the web was high. Pulling her farther from her only goal, satisfying hunger. She would have to rebuild, spending even more energy…No, that wasn’t fair. I could only watch with the hope she realized her mistake quickly.
With nothing more for me to do, I continued my walk wondering how many times in our lives, —- read here < In my life > — , are we working so hard to accomplish the things we think we need? What we think we want? Putting in long hours, wearing ourselves out, spending time fruitlessly, going into spiritual debt….working….spinning….
Only for someone, with the clarity of distance to say, “I wonder if she knows that is just a ….leaf?” Having the same realization that we must do this alone. Forced to watch as we flounder, expending unnecessary energy in an area that will not serve us. Prayerfully they are hoping we “get” it sooner than later.
Simultaneously I was aware that I’ve felt this way many times watching my children…If only I could make their path straighter, clear of debris…easy…Yet I know…I know… it doesn’t work that way. They are better equipped for their next bump when they muscle through today’s struggle.
I wonder how many times God looks down at our choices and responds the same way?
“It is only a leaf dear girl…move along. I have greater things planned for you.”