There used to be a spider outside my door. A big, scary, stripey one. Its legs looked like candy canes. Before I walked by, I always made sure I knew where it was. And then I made a break for it. It was usually enthroned in the center of its web, and I swear it was ready to pounce. I never saw any bugs in its web – I’m sure it devoured them all by morning.
And then there was another one. This one was bigger and uglier, gray and kind of scaley looking. That one moved around a lot, and blended in with the paint; you never knew where it was.
I almost took down the webs a couple of times. But no way would I try to kill them – I’d probably just make them mad and then they’d charge me. But mostly I didn’t want to hear the crunch of their exoskeletons… and the squish. Blech!
Then one night I came home and they were gone. I thought I’d feel relieved and safe and be glad that I didn’t have to hold my breath when I walked by or have to work up the courage to go out my front door. More than anything I just noticed the big hole in the balcony where the great expanse of their webs had been. And I felt a little sad.
I hadn’t realized that I’d grown a bit used to their presence and that looking for them in the morning had become a ritual sort of greeting. And I kind of missed them. And I wondered, if I can accept the presence of these scary arachnids, and learn to coexist with them – if we can agree that they won’t jump on me and I won’t knock down their webs – I wonder what else might be possible.