Every morning lately, as I head out the door to walk around the yard and woods, I find myself wrapped up in the stretchy silk of a spider’s web. It is that time of year. The young spiders have grown up, and the orb weaver types are spinning their webs each night and day, capturing prey and making the most of these warm, muggy weeks of late summer. They appear in all their varied colors and shapes and make fall feel close at hand. (These cell phone pics don’t do them justice, but you can see the grand variety, at least)
Last week we had a reprieve from the stifling heat of summer, and it was a glorious teaser for autumn. This week we are actually getting a little rain, for a change, so the humidity meters are jumping up and down, and the late August heat has returned… along with mosquitoes – hooray (maybe)! On my walks I’m beginning to see those tell-tale first signs of fall – yellow leaves, caterpillars, beetles, beat-up butterflies, seeds, and the first blooms of fall-blooming flowers…asters, goldenrods, obedient plants, and mistflower.
As Thoreau implies, autumn arrives in increments, slowly and steadily, as an unimaginable point of time. Only by paying attention to the little changes, can we truly sense the transition from summer to fall. As I’ve said before, I love these times of transition. I’ve always welcomed change in my life (especially if I instigate it, ha!).
I’m still learning to embrace the impermanence of everything. These visible changes in our yarden and woods are tangible reminders of how fleeting life is in so many ways and how important it is to make the most of every moment we have. For all beings on this Earth, there is no going back to the way things were. There is no staying the same as things are now. There is only forward movement – flow into the cycles and seasons and lifetimes of the future. Yet, even as seasons, cycles, and patterns repeat themselves, they are never exactly the same as they were before. The players change, the conditions change, the intentions and outcomes change.
So, take a look around you. What is changing? Are there signs of autumn nearby? Does the air feel different, or are the monarchs flitting through your yard? Sometimes change is as quiet as an owl. Breathe a breath and look for the slow, subtle transitions happening around you.
Peace and spiders…