Be a spider and let your creativity out

I walk early in the morning, and I walk with “Gracie.”
I head out the lane and turn up the neighbour’s hayfield, heading away from the rising sun.
I look forward to this particular morning responsibility. I contemplate a lot of ideas, worries, and hopes on my morning walks; letting my brain waken as I strive to keep the pace at 130 steps for minute.
Some rules do apply.
On Monday of this past week, as I headed out, the grass and plants were laden with autumn dew—heavy even as the taller plants were bent over with the accumulated condensation.
I paused to admire some Goldenrod and Rose Hips, some Queen Anne’s Lace, and some other odd weeds that I have no name for, then continued on my way. Gracie romped—the air full of smells that seemed to speak to her.
After about 20 minutes, I retrieved Gracie with a couple of short whistles (my impression of a meadowlark, an impression that won’t win me any awards in the bird song category). Gracie galloped to me from her imaginary hunt, abandoning her following-her-nose adventure.
As I turned for home, the spectacle I beheld stopped me short in my tracks; my mouth flew open and I sucked my breath in sharply. I even may have gasped and, undoubtedly, my hand flew to my chest.
In front of me, stretching out across the hayfield, was an orchestra of cobwebs—the sun glistening through each and every strand, illuminated by the dew balancing on each fine thread of silk.
The sight was breathtaking.
I stood in one place for a significant amount of time as I took in the beauty of each cobweb. Some large and grand, like the orchestra’s tubas and tympani drums and cellos; some webs delicate and small, like the piccolos and flutes and E flat clarinets.
Some were perfectly round while others were of a more random design; every shape in between. Their beauty was magnificent and there were so many of them, all supported by the mature grasses, that I could hardly take them all in.
Gracie and I ran the rest of the way home, where I grabbed my camera and headed back to the field before the sun got too bright. Though I snapped about 63 photos, I knew none would capture the texture, the moisture, the silk flickering gently on the breeze; the spider resting now from the massive effort required to complete her masterpiece.
None of the photos would capture her dedication and passion and her single-mindedness.
Why does she work so hard? Because she must; just the way Beethoven had to or Da Vinci, their skill involuntary, innate, necessary, automatic.
Creation is in each of us, is the best part of us, the unblemished innocence in our very souls.
Life gets in the way; fear and self-doubt turn into procrastination or hesitation. And where we so eagerly picked up an orange crayon to draw a sunset or a snowman when we were little, without pause to consider our skill, as an adult that urge is squelched by the thinking the garbage should go out first, or we must listen to the news, or empty the clothes dryer.
Nature is full of evidence of the absolute necessity for art. Honey bees and their waxy hexagonal cell walls, honeycombs that require tremendous precision to create and appear in perfect form as if by magic.
The delicate paper of a hornet’s nest, layer upon layer laid down carefully by these tiny engineers.
We turn the hose on wasp nests and bomb them with pesticide to keep their stinging habits away from us. What do they do? They start again. They can’t help themselves; giving up on their art is not an option.
Spiders are a good reminder to let our creativity out; to be artists of any kind, whatever direction our heart leads us. Our collective art could very well save the world.
Paint. Write. Sing. Sculpt. Or do it all. But do it. Be a spider.
wendistewart@live.ca

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