From the Spider’s Web: A Tenacious Tale of Transformation
Among the tall nettles dwell many small reptilian, insect, feathered and winged beings. Each sings a song so unique that the morning air is a symphonic cacophony of music. One can focus on a single voice (perhaps singing of a spring morn) or on all of them, singing a delightful musical, with all the players dancing across the stage right before our eyes. Sometimes the song is not sound, but movement, flight, or emergence.
I had come into the dawn seeking a song of guidance; a way through the health challenge that had recently been revealed to a loved one. It was a dismal diagnosis, and the medical world was doubtful at best, and dire at worst. Yet I could not accept this as the only truth, for truth is a relative state of mind and has many faces. Besides, I believe in miracles, being one myself.
I sallied forth into the early dawn to listen for the song of hope to reveal itself to me, asking silently the outcome of the path I felt drawn to. It would not be easy or fast, and it would require time, tenacity and faith. There would be unconventional methods, uncanny coincidences, doubts and tears, but at the end, healing. My loved ones were in despair; the encroaching future crashing into the present all to quickly and emotions were tense.
Sitting near the nettles in a small patch of widening sunlight I breathed in the dawn and waited. Bees buzzed, lizards crawled, and butterflies became one with buds and flowers. The peaceful presence of all this life brought an immediate sense of serenity and renewal. Smiling, I watched a Painted Lady (Vanessa atalanta) butterfly flutter to a particularly tall nettle. Suddenly a flash of yellow and jerky moment just behind the nettle caught my eye. A large and noble grasshopper was hanging upside down and struggling, wrapped in a dreadful spiders web.
The yellow was no lovely blossom but a very large and carnivorous garden spider who was now turning the grasshopper round and round, entombing him in her web. Encased already the hopper still struggled, calling out silently to the universe, knowing somehow his song would be heard.
He was beautiful, brave and bold and though certainly already injected with paralysis venom he fought bravely instead of accepting his fate. His song struck a chord in my soul. I knew fully and without thought that his fate would be that of my loved ones. Without hesitation and not knowing how, a pecan branch suddenly appeared in my hand and I raced to the unfolding drama and broke the web.
The surprised spider, her breakfast interrupted, retreated annoyed, and dove deeper into the nettles.
I lifted the edge of the web and carried the hopper to safety. I thought he would slip away from this world but at least he would rest peacefully near a beautiful plant as befitting such a noble grasshopper prince, rather than struggling alone and in fear.
I laid him on a glass top of green and ever so gently removed the sticky web from around his body. He was still and I thought his time was near. Some fairy surely guided my hands as I was able to remove all of the webbing, even the sticky silk strands wrapped around his delicate legs, without damaging him. Rejoicing in this, I gently stroked his back. He was still, but showed signs of movement. Raising his head, he wiggled his antennae at me and I felt his song in my heart. I gave him a wee bit of a petting and laid him gently in a potted plant.
After a few hours he was much more lively, clearly fighting the venom and moving his legs. He gave a week hop and I felt his joy song. That night I sheltered him in my room in a small tank with lots of grass. The next morning he was hopping in the tank, hungry and raring to go. Placed gently on sweet earth he turned, doffed his antenna and hopped away to his breakfast and day.
What were the chances of being by those nettles, on that day, at that time at that moment?
The Painted Lady (Vanessa atalanta) butterfly knew. She sang her song of transformation and led the way to the grasshopper’s freedom and healing, so unfolding the path my loved one would walk. We humans are but part of the natural order of life on earth, and all of life are vessels and channels for spirit. Whispered answers come to those with open hearts.