Spider web in the Redwoods

A noiseless patient spider,

I mark’d, where  on a little promontory, it stood, isolated;

Mark’d how, to explore the vacant, vast surrounding,

It launch’d forth filament, filament, filament, out of itself;

Ever unreeling them–ever tirelessly speeding them.

And you, O my Soul, where you stand,

Surrounded, surrounded, in measureless oceans of space,

Ceaselessly musing, venturing, throwing, –seeking the spheres, to connect them;

Till the bridge you will need, be form’d–till the ductile anchor hold;

Till the gossamer thread you fling, catch somewhere, O my Soul.

-Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass

I almost just want to say . . . “nuf said,” as this poem perfectly captures both the photo and my own journey right now, but . . . I can’t.

My daughter took this shot on our vacation to the California coast and the Redwood Forests last week.  I hadn’t seen the shot until I uploaded the pics off the camera when we got home.  Not only is it an amazing photograph (at least to me –  her completely unbiased mom), it reminded me of Walt Whitman’s poem, “A Patient, Noiseless Spider.”  I almost cried when I re-read the poem.  I hadn’t read it for years, but as soon as I saw the photo, I remembered the last line of the poem.

It’s interesting how our memories work.  Right now, this poem has far more meaning to me than it did the first time I read it as an undergrad twenty some years ago, and some little part of my brain remembered it, dredged it up for me to re-read when it actually means something to me.  I had it all figured out then.  Now?  Not so much.

Unlike the spider, I am not so patient or quiet, despite my best efforts.

Like the spider, I too am ever unreeling and speeding out threads, “musing, venturing, throwing – seeking,” praying that they catch, connecting me to my purpose here is on this earth.

I am on the right path.  I am writing, I am creating. I am exploring, spinning threads, and I will keep throwing them out there until I have created something as lovely as this web in the sunlight.  And maybe, just maybe, somebody else will think so too.