Tuesday, August 30, 2011
I came across this beautiful spider's web this morning when I was down at the pasture. It was strung so perfectly between the handles of the manure wheelbarrow and the green waste bin.
I needed to go clean the pasture, so I had to move the wheelbarrow. But the beauty and fragility and amazing strength and commitment of this spider's web made me pause.
Things are never black and white. People are rarely only fragile or only strong. Sometimes we pour ourselves into an endeavor and yet we find in the end we've chosen the wrong place or time or moment for it. Life is full of contradictions. Doesn't a spider's web capture that perfectly?
Scooping up manure is my meditation these days. There's something about the fog, the quiet of the country, the animals quietly munching on their hay. There's something meditative in the repetitive action of scoop, lift, heave, scoop, lift, heave. I do some good thinking out there.
But first I had to deal with the web. There really wasn't a choice. Silly spider, didn't she know I was going to have to move the wheelbarrow? What a choice...to construct her net between two transient objects.
I really didn't want to destroy that beautiful web. So, I moved the wheelbarrow slowly and slowly the web unhinged from the handles. Ultimately, it draped down from the green bin, useless, broken. The spider, luckily, was nowhere to be seen, so hopefully she did not witness the destruction.
I've been caught in a sticky web of conflict these days with some people in my life. Hurt feelings, silences, tears and rage. It's so easy to make blanket assumptions about people and to forget how complex they can be. It's so easy to destroy something beautiful, something that took much effort to build. It's also so easy to spiral down and down into a pit of anger, crushing the forward progress you've already made. Out in the pasture, my thoughts kept spiraling to a conversation I recently had and the things I wished I'd said and the things I'm relieved I didn't say. My anger bubbled up and my heaves of manure got pretty rough.
I stopped and breathed deeply and shook my head to clear it. My heart was racing. Again.
If we storm through, without taking in that quiet, without those moments of meditation, we're sure to cause damage. What I want now is to move through this, to carefully disconnect the sticky web, gently put it aside, yes broken, but gently, and move on through.
For some reason though, right now it seems to be about the destruction. I wonder when we'll get to heal?