i don’t know when it started.
maybe the day – when i was about fourteen – when i was laying in bed, having just awakened. i was on my back and curled next to me was my sweet miniature-collie-german-shepherd-mix missi. before jumping up to get out of bed i opened my eyes and stretched. dangling right above my face – merely inches away – was a gigantic spider. gigantic: of monumental proportion.
stifling a scream, not wanting to open my mouth, i limbo-ed my way out of bed, my eyes fixed on that spider. once out, i ran down the hall to the kitchen, never thinking about the fact that it was likely crawling on my pillow after my departure.
needless to say, i have a thing about spiders.
i don’t like them.
this may be problematic as we thru-hike some day. i’ll have to wave my trekking poles in front of me as we hike. and i’m not sure what i will do in our tent. i’ve camped before, though it has been a while. and my fear-of-spiders has grown through the years. i must have spider-trauma.
the first years i taught school in florida, my classroom was a small building they called “the music shed”. it was tucked into a swampy area of the school campus and they didn’t mention, on the day of my hiring, the banana spider population lurking inside that little building. inches across, these are not for the faint of heart. he brought a shop-vac one day to rid the room as best he could, but every day part of my attention was always looking for something moving – on the walls, on the floor, on the ceiling, on my desk, in the cabinets. just writing this post makes me feel a little squirrely.
so when this big ole spider was walking on the bedroom screen the other day (fortunately, on the other side of the screen) i flicked at it and was relieved to see it gracefully fall and scurry off.
i suppose there are many people who are afraid of spiders. we all try our best to avoid them, even as spiders have virtually no interest in us. they are just going about their business, unlike mosquitoes, who are seeking us out, to torture us. i read that most spiders are as harmless as ladybugs and goldfish. somehow those don’t terrify vast numbers of people.
but spiders, like snakes, get a bad rap. we think of them, creatures that do their best to get away from us, as scary and dangerous. while in reality, it’s the mosquitoes and ticks and no-see-ums and mites, stalking us, that should be the target of our ire, their elimination our focus.
funny how that works. pests quietly, deliberately, going about making our lives miserable. there, often unnoticed, often underplayed. eating away at our comfort, the freedom of our existence, bringing disease.
i don’t know why this makes me think of today’s political arena.