Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Spider's Visit

Years and years ago, my son-in-law told me a story about how a person could swallow Spiders whilst sleeping. 

I didn't think I was concerned about this phenomenon one way or the other. People either believed or not; there are endless stories for and against here, in the UK Guardian newspaper.

And I like Grandmother Spider.  I wrote about her in a former post entitled Weaver of Dreams. I know what she represents and what her message is. I only wish she wouldn't take such extreme measures to give it.

My sleep has been disturbed, these last few days. I am fighting a virus, I think...and so I went to bed early one night, remembering the old mantra of plenty of rest and fluids in battling the flu.

I fell into a feverish sleep. I swooped into a dream about Grandmother Spider...in my dream, she wore a huge, slightly malicious grin, as she spun her web around my head.

I awoke, feeling dreadful. It felt as if my braid had draped itself over my forehead, and I moved my hand to move it...but my hand encountered Spider instead.

Involuntarily, I swept her off.  It was very dark; I felt ill...and I felt sure I had dashed Spider to the floor, where no doubt she had scurried for cover.

Settling myself once again, feeling very hot, I left my arm out from under the covers. It was not long before I felt Spider's quick crawl up my arm, back to where she had begun her web...which happened to be somewhere in the vicinity of my head.

Irritated now, I once more swept Spider off into places unknown, into the dark. And then, I turned on the light...enough was enough.

And there was Spider, quite brazen and bold, on the coverlet, once more heading, very quickly, towards where my head had lain. The light stopped her, and she hesitated.  And then she stood up!


Here's a video of a Spider standing up.  Although my Spider wasn't as big, she looked very similar to the Lady Spider in the clip. My Spider was hairy, too.

Spider was feeling threatened. As was I, if I'd had time to think about things. It seemed to be a stand-off for a small moment in time.

(How can Graham sleep through all the commotion around him, these last few weeks? This never ceases to awe and amaze me.)

I remembered my dream...Grandmother Spider had been grinning,without humour, in that dream...this Spider showed a lack of humour, as well.

The split second stand-off over, without really thinking, I dashed Spider to the floor with my hand.  Had I taken a tissue and deposited her outside, into -8C windy weather, as I do during the normal course of events, I would not be in the predicament I'm in now.

I did not have my glasses on.  Feverish, sure I would succumb to the nausea that threatened, I searched myopically for Spider.  

She was gone. Nowhere to be seen. This Spider moved faster than any I had ever had contact with.

I have not found her.  I have vacuumed every inch, I have changed the bedding, I have dusted throughout.

My son-in-law may have been right...One thing I am positive about is Spider could easily have moved into my mouth, probably climbing out again, given her size.

Unless I had swallowed. 

There is always that to think about.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


Time passes so quickly these days. Have you noticed? One day melts into another, phasing quickly into weeks and months.

As I look back over the events in the past, the difficult times are easier to remember.  I wonder why this is so.  There has been much joy in my life as well and yet...

I learned more lessons from the vicious times.  The joys made me grateful and happy and I may have taken them for granted.  An eternal optimist, I felt life was supposed to be full of joy. It wasn't supposed to be full of anguish.

When travails happened, as they surely did, no matter my optimism, I became confused.  Why? What did I do to incur the wrath of the Universe?  And surely, surely...there would be no more sad moments. I was done with that.  Wasn't I?

I read somewhere most people have at least one life crisis, during their lifetime. After my first marriage broke apart and I weathered that Storm, I pledged to do and be the best I could be in my second marriage. Surely I had learned my lessons, had I not?

Time passed...one day melting into another.Two decades of days and months and years. Many joys occurred during this long period of time... these memories are where my mind lingers today. They bring a fullness to my heart and a smile to my face.

There was anguish as well. Alcoholism became a crutch, for a few years, which at the time felt like a forever sentence. The death of a daughter and the death of a marriage...one Storm of anguish melted into another. Days, months and years were spent trying to find healing, trying to find where I had gone so wrong.

Time, once again, came to the rescue. Time and excruciatingly honest, hard work on the deeply buried inner me. But time, during this period, moved so slowly.  I remember. I remember counting the minutes, the hours, sometimes.

My mind no longer lingers on this period.  I worked hard. I learned. I held nothing back, taking each part of myself and examining it minutely. And finally, I understood.

Now, I feel as if the past was all a very hazy dream. As the rest of my life...the future...is, today.  And if I dream well from here, if I take the lessons learned from the nightmares and apply them with gusto...well, then, doesn't it follow the dreamed future will be less difficult and more joyous?

During the nightmare, I dreamed of a future very similar to the one I am living now. I had Time, after all, to do so. It was a very specific plan, and I never deviated from it. Faith in an unknown future, where the World gave happiness instead of pain, became uppermost in my thoughts.

I am happy, today.  And so, it seems the days pass quickly. It is only when I obsess wildly, or am upset about a thing, that the minutes seem to crawl. Crawling minutes are alright, as well, if I learn something from them.

I find it strange.  When I want to hold on to times of happiness, they pass so quickly.  When I want to move on, when I am anxious or upset, those times go so slowly.

Living in today, however, I don't need to remember the horrors of the past. They have shaped me...and here I am. The joys I celebrated are tucked in a very accessible area of my heart. I revisit them often.

And I don't need to worry about the future, because my dreams project contentment and happiness and wonderful joy...and because, really, only time will tell.

In the future, if the Universe throws a curve ball my Way, I will remember it is possible to find joy, always, once again.

And now, today, I will grasp each fleeting miracle, each small joy, and shelter it within my heart, as fuel for Hope during the less than times.

Pericles said..."Wait for that wisest of all counsellors, Time."

Guess he was right.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

First Snow Storm

It snowed during the night...and the temperatures dropped to -5C.  

This morning, as a weak Sun filtered through the Trees, I decided a first Snowfall was worthy of a few photos.

I suited up.  I have many layers of clothing to put on each day, in order to keep from pushing up the thermostat. All those layers...they keep Arthritis at bay, a little.

It took awhile to grow accustomed to all those clothes...at the end of the day, I feel somewhat like a stuffed sausage. Long underwear seems to get tighter as the day passes. But I wouldn't go without...the extra clothes and underwear are comforting, when Wind howls and Snow blows.

We are expecting another Storm this afternoon. I fear I will no longer, this year, at least, be able to build garden beds. I left my tools under a big Tree, convinced I would have a few weeks left to work...but it's not to be.

Snow which falls will freeze, over and over again. Eventually, I will walk on  built up frozen Snow...last year, there was three feet of it.  It gives a different perspective to the land.

As I take photos, meandering about in the soft, powdery stuff, I remember my vow to learn to snowshoe. Our property is great for it...there are game animal trails throughout. It is an extremely pleasant hike during the gentler months, but will be largely unavailable during the rest.

I have trouble imagining myself snowshoeing....however, there is a first time for everything. I say this rather defiantly; my vow to snowshoe brings laughter or, at the very least, a gentle smile, from those to whom I have divulged this vow.

My camera lens fogs up...and Wind from the West is rising.  The feeble reminders of a Sun warmed land dissipates...gentle dripping stops.  It is time to sit by the fire with a cup of tea, and watch the Storm.

And what a Storm it is...the thermometer on the deck drops impossibly quickly. Wind howls through the Trees, taking hunks of icy Snow and hurling them at my windows. The house stands strong against the blasts of the swirling Wind, but I can feel when a particularly large gust hits...there is a muffled booming sound when it occurs, as well.

It would be impossible to take my camera and shoot photos, at this point.  Sometimes, I can't see the Trees for the driving Snow. The Boulders and Stones I am attempting to find a common ground with will be covered in softly rounded mounds, which will grow as more Snow falls and freezes.

I suddenly take in, for good and all, the fact that gardening is over for this year.  I take another sip of Tea and reassure myself I will find other creative pursuits...inside.

Graham's Mother has given me a sewing machine...a Janome Quilter's Companion with a Quilting Table attachment.  The last time I used a sewing machine was close to forty years ago...my mother's.

This one...this machine which sits on the dining table eyeing me with reproach...this one will take some getting used to.

I look at it balefully. The machine brings back memories of sewing clothing which rarely lived up to my mother's idea of perfection...she was a seamstress par excellence...and I was not.

In my youth, I did not have the interest...I wanted to get from A to B without all those seemingly unnecessary steps. Impatience...a trait I have not yet mastered...held sway, at the time.

However...however, as the Storm rages, as Snow finds crevices in the landscape formerly unseen to my eyes, I think of the feel of linens and cottons as they flow through my hands to the machine...I remember how soothing it felt.

And there are newer materials out there now...materials like hemp and bamboo I would like to work with.

It no longer matters, if items I have sown are perfect, in another's eyes.  If I am satisfied...I will be happy with its imperfections.

I take another sip of tea...still comforting, still warming my hands and soul.

There are revelations to be found, during a rattling, bone-chilling Snow Storm, when I am held captive inside.

A cup of tea, a Wind and Snow Storm, a warm fire and a sewing machine...I believe it might be a great day.