As I sat writing on my porch this morning I noticed an insect with a hard-shell lying on his back and flailing to right himself. I was absorbed in the story I was writing and went back to it. A few paragraphs later I glanced down to see if his determination had paid off. He had rocked himself close to one of our old metal chairs and looked as if he were about to succeed to when a spider dropped from her home. At first, it was a battle as the larger insect continued to struggle and the spider slowly dropped closer. Then the spider reached the insect. He fell lifeless instantly. I assumed she ended it with her venom.
I couldn’t take my eyes off of the drama. She worked until she had him in the right spot then quickly pulled him up into her web, hungry for a meal I imagine because her belly was clearly filled with babies soon to be born. If someone comes to join me on the porch I’ll have to tell them not to sit in that chair for I will not be the one to destroy the home of such a resolute creature.
My recent interview with Jeannie Kirkhope of the Appalachian Catholic Worker Farm in West Virignia reminded me of how much more magical life is when we truly live with nature. It’s one thing to tend the garden but it’s quite another to remember to look for the same sort of life and death cycle on my front porch, my outside summer office.