Diamonds in the Holes of her Chews

Rain pelted the dining room window.  Erratic gusts of wind created pools of wavy water on the outside deck. Giant evergreens swayed and bowed to one another as black rolling clouds created an eery warning that this was a foreign wind.  It blew from a strange direction.

I gathered my lunch dishes from the table and walked into the darkened kitchen.  An unease settled across my shoulders.  I had to return to the dining room and hold vigil where I could watch for branches turned into threatening projectiles.

As I set up my laptop on the table, I noticed a huge spiderweb beaded with raindrops, eye-level, just outside the window.  A corpulent, beige, speckled-bodied spider rode the turbulence as she clung dead center on the web.  “Where did you come from, little one?   I haven’t seen you before.”  I’d been sitting in the same chair for weeks and had not seen this web.  Her choice location, normally untouched by wind, rain or sun, kept her aerial pantry a secret.

Typical of our West Coast, the raging downpour stopped within a half hour.  The sun came out.  I could re-open patio windows to receive aromas of a cleansed earth.

She has diamonds in the holes of her chews. Photo from:

I noticed the web again.

Water droplets clung to each strand of the web.  The spider moved from the center toward outer pathways, droplets falling as she made her way.  When she arrived at the outside she reached out for the strand in front of her and shook it.

Then she moved along the cleared strand and took hold of the next one.  Shake, shake, shake.

“My gawd, you clever little spider!  Look at you!”  She continued making her rounds swiftly and thoroughly.

No damned raindrops were going to prevent her from having dinner.


Do I need a storm to see these exquisite wonders in life?

77 thoughts on “Diamonds in the Holes of her Chews

  1. “At the end of the storm
    Is a golden sky
    And the sweet silver song of a lark”

    Your story reminded me of the song above. Even spiders can walk on with hope in their heart that all may someday realize you’ll never walk alone.

    “Walk on through the wind,
    Walk on through the rain,
    Tho’ your dreams be tossed and blown.Walk on, walk on
    With hope in your heart
    And you’ll never walk alone,
    You’ll never walk alone”

    michael j,
    doing the spider walk

  2. You are so very observant and respectful of the majesty in the most simple elements of the natural world–a spider and her web, the rain.

    You describe the scene with such clarity, grace, and emotion. I’m awestruck, Amy.

    • Appreciate your comments, Lorna – very much. Sometimes these simple elements bring uncontrollable tears. The beauty of life can be indescribable. If I were a poet, I’d attempt a poem about knowing that a human is moved by my existence.

  3. I love watching spiders at work. As long as they are outside, or at least out of my sight if they are inside! They are truly fascinating! But your story is unique in my experience! I love it! I have taken lots of photos of the dew on the webs around our house in the mornings. I take them when I take princess out for her first morning walk. I’ll have to post one or two some day.

    I love the photo you have here! Did you or a friend take it, and is it a photo of the web you were looking at? It’s gorgeous!

    • When I take time to watch Nature, it’s amazing what I see. Nature’s intelligence puts me in awe.

      That is not the spider’s web I observed – this experience happened before I had a digital camera. I checked my subsequent spider photos on my external hard drive, but I couldn’t find one that fit. So I went to the internet. I noted the source under the photo. It deserves the attention it is getting! Thanks for your comments, Paula.

  4. I love this so much that I shared it on FB. I hope you don’t mind.
    I love:
    The title
    The opening paragraph….such a vivid description
    The photograph
    The fact that you stayed to observe Mrs. Spider cleaning house
    The fact that you so skillfully shared this bit of wonder with us.

    I must master my arachnophobia and observe spiders more closely.

    • Hey, many thanks, RW! You know, when I was writing the post, I thought about arachnophobics. I decided since the photo was without a picture of “her”, it wouldn’t be too bad. They are amazing little creatures. If you are curious about how they manage to get those long strands of web bridging from one tree to another with only air in between, check out “ballooning”. These are smart little creatures who know how to have some fun! Don’t scroll to the bottom if you don’t want to see a spider portrait.

  5. Congratulations on a great piece of storytelling. The way you started I thought it was going to be about a dreadful storm (the wind coming from the wrong direction) and that it was going to blow over some old tree, but you took us to a spider clinging onto her web and half an hour later the aromas of a cleansed earth, and the spider cleaning her house after the storm. Lovely.

  6. Hi,
    Fantastic photo, the rain drops on the spider web is certainly an interesting and beautiful pattern. Who would of known that spiders shake of the raindrops, very clever indeed. I enjoyed the post, it really was fun to read. 🙂

    • Amazing that one little insect could be so diligent, Mags! If she hadn’t continued around the web, I would have thought it was just coincidence. But it was obvious that she was on a mission.

  7. the world is an amazing place and I love that you take time to notice that and share it so beautifully with us. Spiders are amazing creatures and have always fascinated me. One of the thrills of my life was watching them hatch one year – in the blink of an eye, a hundred baby yellow spiders spread out across the side of our deck. What a thrill to watch that.
    walk in beauty this day.

    • When we make the time to be still, we really can see how amazing life is. There are times, however, when nature comes to us. One year, in my office, I was dive bombed by many baby spiders. Miniscule babies were dropping on me – I was continuously putting them outside. A clever mother did a great job of building her nursery where I could not see it. Turned out the light fixture in my very high ceiling had an angle that I could not spot. Joss, I love your blessing. Thank you.

  8. Wow, that’s really cool. In spite of my abhorrence for spiders, I’m so taken by your ability to sit and watch and see. There is so much purposeful behavior in the insect world and so little of it in the human world!

    • Hi gifted artist! You are remarkable for being able to appreciate the beauty of that spider in spite of your fear of them. Because of that, SDS, your comment is doubly appreciated.

  9. Thanks for sharing this beautiful piece. When we take the time to see the extraordinary in otherwise ordinary moments, we are really living.

    • Suzicate, from your writing, it’s obvious that you know the honour of seeing the extraordinary in the ordinary. We are confirmed of being truly alive – we are energized from the inside out.

    • Aha Granny! And what a human you are. I feel very close to you these days. My thoughts go frequently to you as you care for your friend Wendy. To give even the tiniest gesture of love and comfort to a friend who is so full of fear is to serve Divine Love. You have gone to great lengths to provide this serving. You mentor me.

  10. “Giant evergreens swayed and bowed to one another as black rolling clouds created an eery warning that this was a foreign wind.”

    I wish I could write like that. But since I can’t, I’m glad you can. Thank you for this beautiful essay, Amy.

    • Hi Charles. Congrats on being Fresh Pressed. (For those readers who are not bloggers, this means that was given the spotlight because it is an excellent site! Take a look.) New Yorker: I knew him before you even had a whiff of him! Or, is it Time magazine that is starting a new section called “Humanities”? Whatever, Charles – I knew you wouldn’t forget your old blogging buddies!

      Seriously, many thanks for your comment. It means a great deal.

    • Thanks, Tammy. Now I’m intrigued by the title. I will wait… 😀 BTW, Tammy, this summer our local hotel started a huge garden so as to produce its own veggies. They find they produce so much they will sell it to the public next summer. This thrills me to no end. Also, someone just went ahead and set up a little kiosk of fresh veggies on our street. We don’t even know who did it, but the veggies are wonderful! I think of you whenever anything like this happens.

  11. Wow that’s an impressive photo. And wow that’s a story that makes sense to me….muchly so.

    In the meantime–how can you not love that persevering, determined, patient little spider. She’s got the right moves and the right attitude. I love her!

  12. What an exceptional story you have written. The mighty power of the storm and the incredibility of a tiny little spider. Both of these things remind us of the higher power that exists in our lives.

  13. Beautiful photo and great allegory about keeping things shipshape, acceptance of the current situation, focus and determination all rolled into a juicy little slice of wonderful. Thank you for a real treat this morning, Amy. 🙂

  14. Time to publish and I want a copy! I still think about the story of the shoes and the story about “should” and “should not”. This is SO MEMORABLE!
    You give so much through your writing, Amy. Stories like these I can share with my grandchildren. Thank you.

  15. ‘Do I need a storm to see these exquisite wonders in life?’

    I’m not sure if your question is rhetorical or sarcastic or whatever Amy. But I think you know the answer to your question is yes. Actually, I believe storms are brought so that we may see reality.

    • Yes, Poch, the storms do provide a sharp contrast to where we want to be. Hopefully, storm or not, I learn to go within for answers patiently waiting for my attention – in that place that we share with the Divine that each of us have been given.

  16. This is equisite writing, Amy, and a perfect example of awareness and using the sense of sight to create beautiful prose. Would you consider linking it to the writing prompt I posted on Wednesday…there is so much within it. I will do it for you if it’s okay with you.

  17. I love your closing thought…do we need the storms to see this beauty? My colleagues and I have been in the middle of an unpleasant situation and it has brought us closer together. We were just talking today about the good that was born of something bad…our own storm.
    Both your words and the photo are simply beautiful.

    • Hi May. Delighted to know your colleagues and you are healthy and mature enough to let differences be part of the evolutionary process. Am on my way to your blog. Thank you for visiting!

  18. This is priceless… both the picture and the post.
    You really drew me in with your wonderful and vivid description of this tiny little creature… so determined… and then at the end, you had me thinking of all the little things in life that we take for granted….
    I was really moved by your observations! Thanks for sharing.

    Oh, and I like the play on the song title: Diamonds On The Soles Of Her Shoes courtesy Paul Simon and our very own Ladysmith Black Mambazo.

    Popping in from WOE weekend linky.

    • Thanks for another visit, Mish! I was just over at your post enjoying an exquisite old photograph with an elderly, memory-ridden soul! Thank you for your comments – you were the only one who referred to the song. When Paul Simon gathered Ladysmith Black Mambazo into his repetoire and taped it, I was in awe! The music, the people, the gesture, the connection – all of it captured my soul. As soon as the CD was available, I bought it. I took it to the office and put the CD into the player which meant the whole School Board office would hear it (about 12 people). I’m afraid the music didn’t do much for productivity! Everyone had to congregate around the player, study the CD cover and marvel over the incredible voices. One woman who was typically negative said, “That’s not office music!” So I said to her, “Well, you better tell the world that! This is going to be very famous!”

      • Which turned out to be prophetic words!!
        You are either psychic or have an excellent ear for good music (or both) because as you know, it’s a Grammy-award winning piece.

  19. That was a great post. I loved your imagery; you took me right there. We get so distracted, it often takes that kind of drama to get our attention…at least, it does for me!

    • Yes, Kathleen, it often does take that kind of drama for us to have our senses turned on! Funny how we humans dislike tough times so much, but they are the very thing that help us evolve into our higher selves and living. Thanks for coming by. I just tried to comment on your blog – I couldn’t but will try again.

  20. How beautifully you describe the breathtaking majesty of nature…from black rolling clouds to water droplets clung to each strand of the web…awe inspiring imagery…thank you for such a wonderful post!

  21. Hi Amy .. lovely words for the spider – they are amazing aren’t they – and how they cling .. just beautiful. Fascinating that you saw the spider methodically shaking each thread to relieve the weight of the raindrops, so they didn’t tear her web.

    Beautifully told .. storms – as long as they don’t damage – are refreshing for us all … great read – thank you .. Hilary

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