I was standing in the shower, the warm water cascading over my head. Then, I saw a spider at the other end of the shower. It was just below head height on the brown tile on the left-hand wall, opposite the glass door.
It was a big spider, about 5 cm across, and it wasn’t even stretched out. A heavy spider, one that if you got close enough you’d be able to see hairs growing from its legs. Ok, so that may be my overactive imagination but not necessarily. It had big black clumps at the end of the stalks that I can only imagine where its eyes were. I wasn’t planning to go near it.
It was one that you’d feel with a thud and make you jump out of your skin if it fell on you. I know this from experience when a couple of years ago a cousin (I imagine) of said spider, had taken refuge in the cloth which I wipe down the glass shower screen. When I pulled it down, from inside the shower, in my birthday suit, only to feel a thud on my shoulder to then see the mammoth spider heading for the safety of dryer climes. I wouldn’t say I’m scared of spiders, wearier, or aware of perhaps, but this made me shudder and sent my heart racing!
Back to the present-day spider. It gave me a start. As I said, I’m not really scared of spiders as such, but I’m not really comfortable being in close proximity to one this big. However, my shower is large, thank goodness, so being soaking wet I decided to leave the spider where it was, and finish my morning ablutions as quickly as possible, leaving it well alone with one eye on it. My anxiety level had certainly risen but would have risen more had I tried to catch it.
So I continued my shower only to see it leap off the wall. Then, it abseiled down on its silken cord about 50 cm! It moved so quickly and I could see its trusty line of web glistening before it rejoined the wall with a whack.
My heart was now firmly in my mouth! I continued to watch this mischief maker lest it made any fast movements in my direction. What I saw surprised me.
It had moved down to the part of the tile that was wet from the condensation of the shower and it was having trouble gripping the wall. I could see it was planning and testing whether to go down – negative, it was even wetter, so it began trying to go up, which it did, but it was now a challenge due to the condensation.
Then, I realized the fear and anxiety in me, transformed into curiosity and compassion and my whole perception of the spider changed from seeing an intimidating invader of my space, to a fellow living being going through the challenges of life, taking just the next right step. I palpably relaxed. Knowing that it couldn’t move too quickly on the wet tile probably helped!
It got me thinking about how for all of us, life is a series of things going to plan or not going to plan. And us, navigating our way through this series with more or less grace.
I’m sure this spider was never planning for me to join it in the shower. I did, so it course corrected and threw itself off the wall to get out of my line of sight.
I’m sure it wasn’t expecting me to turn on the water and fill the place with a stream making it difficult for it to walk, but I did so it had to take its steps with more intention.
Often in life things happen seemingly beyond our control. We have to navigate our way through the new environment with new information. Although this can throw us challenges, it can equally throw us gifts. Either way, knowing how to re-evaluate, course correct and take just the next right step is an invaluable skill and art worth mastering.
Spider to me represents creativity and creation. They weave their web and soon where there was nothing, a beautiful glistening, life-protecting structure is evident.
When we create our vision and plan, then implement the said plan by taking just the next right step, we take ourselves from nothing to something, from an idea or dream to reality.
I have no idea what happened to the spider. I’m kicking myself that I didn’t take a photo of her. My fleeting observation of and reflection on the spider, passed as quickly as it came, as I continued on with my day. But I know, just like me she’ll continue on with her life. She’ll be planning and implementing with more or less grace, reaching or updating her goals, and setting new ones. Taking just the next right step, regardless of what life throws in her path. Transforming her perceptions as she garners new information.
Life is a mirror and I appreciated the reflection this sizeable spider brought to me this bright morning.
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