Ive never been a fan of spiders. Well, except for Charlotte in the childrens book Charlottes Web by E.B White. She was very likable, but most of the spiders Ive encountered havent been nearly as friendly. I know they serve a very important role in nature, but I just wish theyd serve it without messing with me!
I must have passed along this fear of spiders to my son, Blake. While we were on vacation recently, he recounted a story from his youth involving a large spider and a big sticky web. He was riding his bike on some wooded trails with a friend. He looked back to see how far his friend was behind him. As he looked forward again, all he saw was a huge spider web stretching from one side of the trail to the other. In the middle was a large, mean looking spider.
It only took a split second for Blake to realize he wasnt going to be able to avoid it. Into the web he flew, causing him to run off the path and flinging him from his bike. He came up screaming and thrashing his hands around. He just knew the spider was on him. We laughed as we heard him tell it, but he assured us it was not funny at all at the time.
For weeks now, Ive wanted to root some clippings from my angel wing begonias. The large plant had become leggy and desperately needed to be cut back. I didnt want to waste the cuttings, so I decided to root them in clay pots using a rooting hormone.
I also couldnt bear to throw away the cascading clusters of red blooms still hanging from the stalks I was trimming back. I rushed upstairs and placed the blooms in a vase to enjoy them inside. I learned from my grandmother many years ago to never waste beauty!
I store all of my unused terra cotta pots behind a gate on one side of our house carefully stacked and propped upside down. Surveying my unused pot collection, I noticed it had been a while since I had used any of them. They were covered in dirt and debris and no telling what else. I didnt have on my gloves but opted to go ahead and choose the ones I needed. I must admit I was a little scared to move any of them. I could only imagine what creatures had taken up residence in them since I had abandoned them a few years ago.
Upon closer inspection, decayed leaves, green moss and splattered dirt covered the pots -- almost causing them to be one with the earth. I nervously reached for the top pot, grabbed it and quickly jumped back to see what I had unearthed. Worms wiggled, bugs scurried and something I didnt even recognize flew out and landed on a nearby limb. My heart pounded as I continued this process until I had secured all the pots I needed for my project.
I quickly left the terra cotta burial ground with my pots and began to wash them off with the water hose. I felt like I was home free!
Holding my thumb across the opening of the hose causing the water to spray with force, I washed all the pots. I thought every living thing that had been on them or in them had been evicted, but the water encouraged the ones still hiding to run for shelter!
When I was certain the coast was clear, I placed the pots in a row on a brick wall in our backyard. I slid the heavy bag of potting soil over closer to the pots and used a pair of scissors to cut a straight line across the top of the bag so I could easily and securely close it back when I finished. As I dragged the bag, I noticed a small hole on the side of the bag was allowing a little of the rich, black dirt to escape onto the driveway. I thought nothing of it.
I used a small cup to scoop the dirt I needed out of the plastic bag. Before I could even finish the first scoop, out of the blue and totally unexpected, a large brown colored spider dug his way out of the dirt. I dropped the cup, spilling dirt everywhere and jumped back at record speed
When I got a little courage, I carefully walked over to the opened bag to see if it was still there. I stared at it! It stared back at me! I knew I had to get rid of it before I could go any further with my planting.
I didnt want to kill it, just to relocate it. But it was a feisty thing and every time I attempted to scoop it up with some dirt, it lunged at me. The spider was definitely winning the battle since there was more dirt was on my driveway than in the bag.
I had to face my fear to complete my project. I finally took a deep breath, reached into the bag with my cup, scooped spider and dirt up with the speed of lightning and flung both into the grass. I breathed a sigh of relief. But the rest of the time I planted, I was looking over my shoulder. I just knew it was coming back.
As I always do, I try to use every day experiences to learn life lessons. Later that night, I thought of all the things we struggle with every day that stand between us and what we want to accomplish. We mustnt be scared or stop.
We have to tackle these obstacles the same way as I did the spider. Be brave, get rid of whats hindering us and proceed toward our goal. Whatever the spider is thats in front of us, just remember, theres always a way around it!
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