"Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?" ~ Mary Oliver

web of life . . .

Last week, G. pointed out a spider web that could be seen outside our kitchen window as he was making coffee in the morning. I was reading my email and answered absently. That evening, as I was measuring out the coffee for after dinner, I glanced out the window and was astonished to see a perfectly symmetrical web with a queen spider in the center putting on the finishing touches.

This spurred me to look up what spider totems mean. Here is some spider medicine language:

“Spiders are very delicate creatures that play an important role in the myths and lore of many peoples as the teacher of balance between the past and future, the physical and spiritual.To the Native Americans, Spider is Grandmother, the link to the past and future. In India it’s associated with Maya, the weaver of illusions.
With its gentle strength, Spider spins together the threads of life with intricate webs. Spider knows that the past affects the future and vise versa. It calls us to make use of our creativity and weave our dreams into our destiny. For many Native Americans, “spider woman” stories are important creation mythologies. One of the common feature of those are wisdom symbolized with spiders’ webs (for example, she taught the human how to weave). Also generally accepted are the ideas that her “thread” connects the human world and the world of spirits or the “above world” and the “below world”. Spider Woman also weaves the “relationship” of the Web of Life and all beings.”

So, I guess the appearance in such a prominent place might be some kind of “sign.”

Coincidentally, its presence appeared the same day as I launched a new website that I have been thinking about for a long time: “A Life Of My Own” ~ a place for women to tell their stories in their own words. My hope is that it will be a place where anonymously or not, women may reflect on meaning in their lives, write from the heart and share their thoughts with other women around the globe.

I don’t know if it will catch on or not, but it’s out there now as a part of the web of life.

follow-up photo of spider tending her two-week old web!

birthdays . . .

Yesterday, my mother-in-law and my husband G. celebrated their birthdays. He was born at five minutes to midnight and just made it under the wire on her birthday long ago. Among his other five siblings, his mother has always had a special place in her heart for him. We brought over the glass flutes for chilled Minuetto Prosecco along with some sparkling white grape juice to toast the birthday folks.

Six of us sat down to a lobster dinner, cooked and served with well-honed ceremony: testing that the lobsters were done by the sniff test taken on the landing looking into the kitchen. Expert chopping up of the cooked lobsters so that the meat was easy to extract from the shell. Boiling water was poured into bowls set with dishes on top containing warm, melted butter for tender morsels of lobster.

Afterwards, we were joined by more family and shared a birthday cake from a favorite bakery and then, taking turns, opened birthday cards. This is a family where cards are read aloud and savored. They are more important than anything, including gifts. Gram turned ninety-four yesterday and was in good spirits surrounded by her family. Nothing makes her happier than that. G. was in fine spirits too, taking good natured ribbing as everyone joined in the fun of getting together and telling stories about when they were kids.

More and more as time goes by, I am struck by how simple life can be. It almost feels like some kind of bell curve where things settle down to the essentials sooner or later: putting aside differences to be present at a celebratory dinner while birthday cards are read aloud. A good time was had by all.