I went to Dragon Hollow today. Climbed up the stream bed with two bags, filled them both with stones. Carried them down again and put them in my car. When I got home, I lined part of the garden path with them. Garden photos later.
First I want you to know what happened in the depths of the hollow, in a very private spot where none but birds and trees and forest critters go.
I sat down on a stone to meditate, placing my water bottle in the crook of my legs, and watching the trees and the stream, listening to the wind. I did my mantras silently, tuning them to the rhythm and melody of the woods. When I was done, I looked down and this gorgeous little creature was resting on the surface of my bottle.
I watched her for some time. She was mostly still. When I was ready to take my leave, I held the bottle near a fern leaf, and encouraged her to go to it. She startled back, away from it. After a while, however, she moved forward and investigated the leaf, though without stepping onto it.
Then, she reared back, and in a moment had leapt… PAST the leaf, and onto my hand.
Though I’m rather fond of spiders, this action startled me so that I shook my hand, throwing her down into the leaf litter, where she was too camouflaged to be found again.
For some reason I couldn’t have named, I didn’t leave immediately. I felt sad, like I had let a friend down.
But a few minutes later, I discovered my friend had climbed up the fern and into sight once more. Delighted, I watched her, feeling that she held a message for me, waiting for it to unfold. Then, as I watched, she leapt again, from the leaf of the fern, onto my leg.
This time, I allowed her to investigate unperturbed.
To prevent her getting out of my sight (which would run the risk that I might inadvertently hurt her), I placed my hand in her path and she once again leapt onto it.
We played together for some time in this way, she exploring various parts of my body, I offering my hand as periodic transportation.
After a while, she jumped away, back to the fern. I thought perhaps our visit was over but, to my surprise, she soon leapt back to my leg again. Then to the fern. Then to my leg.
And each time, she trailed a piece of silk.
She was building a web between my leg and the fern.
She had found me worthy.
Or perhaps she simply didn’t want me to leave.
Either way, she was literally weaving me into the forest.
I don’t know how to close this story. Is there a moral?
Do not fear.
Believe in the profound and divine sentience of all who cross your path, no matter their size or shape.
Expand your definition of love.
Take your pick.
(And please stop killing spiders.)