There is a spider living at the bottom of the metal stairs that lead up to my apartment. He doesn't hide the way some spiders do, but hangs out right in the middle of his web waiting with his legs spread wide letting the sun bake him. Every time I walk on that step I stomp really hard just to watch him scramble. I feel very Rogeresque in the sadistic pleasure I take from his hasty retreat. (A brownie point to whomever figures out THAT literary illusion.)
But today I paused for just a moment when I did it. What is that like for the spider? Does he just feel the motion, or does he also hear the sound? Do spiders hear? And when he feels the vibration or hears the sound does he think or does he just react? And how does he know he is moving away from the source of the fear instead of toward it?
I wondered some portion of this thought aloud to my hubby as we lugged the children into the house. He said nothing for a moment and I wondered if I actually had spoken aloud or if such a thought wasn't worth a reply. He put the baby down and said, "Leading a solitary life, forever on the prowl, that is what it is like for the spider." And, I'm telling the truth here, I heard the barest hint of longing in his voice. I think there is some part in every man, probably every WOman too, that resists taming.
But what makes us like the spider? When we somehow find the will deep inside to keep going up the drain even as the rain washes us out time and time again. There is an eternal hope that the sun will come back out.
In the mean time, I'm going to keep stomping on that step. Opposition makes us stronger.