As I was waiting for my dinner date friends to appear, I stood outside under the tree on a warm early-summer day and appreciated the warmth, the breeze, the anticipation of trying a new restaurant, meeting up with a friend and her sister in a girls-night-out, everything. And as I was looking up into the very large tree blanketing shade, I noticed a very large spiderweb swaying in the breeze; strewn all the way from the tree to the building; then noticed the cloud of gnats circling above causing me to react around my fears.
Later at home in bed, Adrian, my daughter, squawked because she almost stepped on a big spider. I question her definition of ‘big’ but didn’t get out of bed to rescue her, since she’s 21 and should be able to handle it herself. I mean, what did she do during the last 4 years across the country in her dorm room? So I didn’t move from my cozy spot. But apparently the spider got away as she left to retrieve the fly-swatter. After a few minutes thinking about whether I should get up and hunt that damn spider down, I decided to stay in place and succumb to sleep.
I already have a habit of scanning walls and ceilings as I walk into a room because, in a previous house, I sometimes killed up to 5 spiders a day (definitely a bad buddhist). But this house is on a fairly steep slope, which means that most of the house is actually on the 2nd floor, so I don’t see nearly as many unwanted and suicidal visitors as before.
However, when I awoke the next morning, I thought about Adrian saying the ‘big’ spider ran into the bathroom, so I really inspected the walls and ceiling before using the toilet. With tangerine walls, a black spot should be easy to spot. A black floor, however, is automatic camouflage and makes it near impossible to see a deft spider on the run.
Though, spiders are less of a fear than they used to be. I even bought some steel-handled flyswatters off the web that don’t easily break under my heavy-handed determination to annihilate and positioned 3 swatters strategically throughout the house… After I’ve squashed my foe, the buddhist in me apologizes to the bug as I clean it up. Full disclosure, I haven’t come up against a wolf spider or something bulbous and I would likely run screaming through the house and call a neighboring male to aid me. I have had to battle grasshoppers, crickets, bees and wasps, much the same way as spiders.
My realization is that I’ve made it to bug maturity, I guess, in understanding that I’m bigger and it’s my house! I no longer cower in doorways hastily trying to open the door before a mosquito eater floats toward me on a breeze I created! I no longer dread the top of the ceiling corner where spiders instinctively go to protect themselves and are damned hard to flush out.
I did stop in the middle of watering the plants when I saw a green insect on one of the leaves, so there is still much to be overcome outside. Maybe not quite fearless, but definitely I fear less.