i do not know how tightly i guard the borders of the body until an attentive & curious little spider demonstrates it to me. i am so intently aware of her that i feel like i'm vibrating. the net of the mind is held tight over one alert spider: we study one another for long intense intervals over the day & a half that she is here. she takes periodic rest breaks & retires into the dark havens of shadows & i maintain vigilance about where i place these large human feet when i walk. i examine my whole environment carefully so i won't inadvertently harm her. i am akin to a guitar string pulled really tight for the span of the spider's visit. only after she takes leave & departs do i realize how very powerful & concentrated the energy has been during her stay. i am not at ease with insects or spiders at all, so i had been in emergency alert mode for the entire time my visitor is here. as days pass by & the energies mellow, i realize at last that the little spider who stayed & studied me had left a barren place in my life. it is rather like the silence of an empty house after the beloved guest has gone. i miss the presence that had brought me such focus. she is more to me than merely a spider. she is a visitor who has come through Shiva to teach me. my sadhana is to pay attention. i love how miraculous life is! she had only a walk-on role, yet she made a very deep impression on me & has left me pondering. i know that everything is of value in the divine ecology. Shiva, all of us serve a vital function as part of a vast wholeness. since we all are important, i can't know if a spider is an angel, an arachnid or an alien, so i am grateful for all beings. beyond the surface appearance: we are holy, we are blessed, we are one.
i am sitting on the toilet when i see the spider watching me from the corner of the room. she is not large, yet has my attention. i am carefully tracking her since i can't go to her at this time. she moves to sit in front of the door & now my attention wanders. when next i look, she is gone. when i rise from the toilet, i check out the corners & crannies of the room: i don't see her. i carefully, slowly, alertly return to my room, searching for her. here she is! sitting in front of my recliner! we examine each other from across the room. i talk to her, explaining that i would like to take her carefully outside where i am fully convinced that she would be happier. i speak in a sweetly soothing voice & go to get my spider-catcher, a clear plastic drinking glass with poster-board lid to slide over the opening. i return to see her yet sitting by my recliner. i move slowly toward her, still speaking soothingly. when she sees the glass in my nearing hand, she quickly scurries away, out of sight. i sit in my chair, transferring the glass to the little table in front, still talking to the spider. she slowly emerges from hiding & returns to sit in front of my chair. i simply talk companionably to her & slowly reach for the spider-catcher, calmly rising with it in my hand. again, upon seeing the glass, she scuttles rapidly away, disappearing from my sight once more. i apologize to her for causing fear & explain that outside truly is better than in here, but she does not show herself again to me. hours later she returns to sit by me, seemingly still curious. i am determined to safely remove her, but she won't permit it: whenever she sees me with the glass in hand, she speedily departs. the next day i ponder this wonder-filled visiting spider event. she seems as intent on watching me as i am on watching her. she does seem to make certain that i see her, so it seems that perhaps she is giving me a message. an exchange of energy does take place: i can feel the connective charge between us, the mutual regard. slowly, like the sun rising over the far horizon, i begin to understand more of this event. Shiva, You teach me by coming as a spider to awaken me to the great holy realm of small earthly life. oh! didn't i just write a poem about maya's web? that's a spider-friendly image, & the lesson is to do what one must with conscious awareness & with kind & full intent to bless, while safely navigating maya's alluring situation set-ups. there is no judgement involved. it is all too vast & mysterious for heavy-handed words or confining concepts to seize & capture. i set my pen & paper down as i prepare to rise from the chair. wait! what is this? again my gaze lights upon the intrepid spider who taught me so very much, sitting here once more at my feet right now! a flood of wonder rushes all through me. the spider moves aside to sit nearby & i grab my smartphone to take her picture. she poses calmly. i move to get the spider-catcher & she moves too, swiftly gone now. this is no ordinary spider, accepting the smartphone held in my hand, yet fearing a glass held in that same hand! does she know my thoughts? i can't help but laugh in amazement at this glorious, outrageous display of divine playfulness! what else is there to do in the face of such events? anything is possible: Shiva can play the role of a spider. all life is holy & blessed in the midst of this pure sacred rising toward the endless glory of the light of being. all life is included in this abiding divine downpour of love.