Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Day 32


I took this picture last June...the green in the background is enough to make my heart flutter. This beautiful zipper spider was living under the grill on the deck which was completely out of my way so I left her alone, that is, until she moved her web to the upper corner of the door going out to the deck and I walked through it one morning. It was then that she had to be relocated to the woods. Charlotte's Web ruined me forever where spiders are concerned and I always choose to let them live. It makes me feel like a good person. I also assume that they will, in return, tell their friends and I'll be known throughout the spider community as "the lady that doesn't squish us" and I'll never be bitten. So far, it's worked out nicely.

Having said all that, I heard the children's song The Itsy Bitsy Spider on television earlier today. This led to a marathon of singing it over and over in my head. I've sung that song about a million times in my life. For some reason, today, it meant something different. It's a song about resilience. My brilliant, college-educated friends will probably already know this and wonder how I never got it before. Lately, though, I've been feeling much like the spider. The sun is out, I'm climbing up the spout and then...down comes the rain. So, I must wait for the sun and begin my climb again. Some can look upon the spider's plight and wonder why she doesn't just give up. Why put so much effort into something if it is ultimately going to end in defeat? Oh, I could just go so many directions with this theory but I'm going to keep it simple.

There is a scripture that I love. Isaiah 43:2 says

When you pass through the waters,
I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers,
they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire,
you will not be burned;
the flames will not set you ablaze.

I love that it says when, not if. We are guaranteed struggles. What I love is that we are also guaranteed protection. This isn't saying that the fire isn't scary, that it isn't petrifying to be in the middle of a swift and rising current. God is simply assuring us that it won't kill us. I grew up in the south and always heard things like, "get back up on your horse", and "pull yourself up by your bootstraps". And I did. I always have. There have been many a pity party, don't get me wrong. I've sat and wept over my misfortune and actually believed that nobody loved me and that I was too stupid to live. These spells, oddly enough, come around like clockwork every 28 days or so. I know what's happening to me but my reasoning is clouded by evil hormones and I can't think clearly.

Whatever the struggle may be, weight loss, money, marriage, children, spirituality, arthritis, hormones, it is all just rain. While it may wash me out and while I sometimes even consider staying in the mud and letting it consume me, I always begin my climb back up. Like an instinctual spider making her way to the top of the spout, I climb. And, not to sound too Miley Cyrus, it really isn't about what is at the top or what is at the bottom, it's about getting back up on your horse, pulling yourself up by your bootstraps and carrying on. It's about doing the best with whatever situation you're in. I really don't think there is anything wrong with falling, with failure, with being defeated. We learn our very best lessons by failing. The true test of ones character comes when the chips are down and we must choose. We choose to learn the lesson, or we choose to stay in defeat. Growth is tough, lessons are hard but if we all had the life we wanted, just think how boring life would be. I happen to like climbing the spout.

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