We live in a magical world. If you don’t think so, just look around you; look at the intricacies of a spider’s web (Her mother dies giving birth to her – so how does she know how to create that? Where do the designs come from?) Look at the glory of a sunrise; at the intimate dance of sunlight and shadow across the surface of a pond; at the delicate ecological balance of life taking place just beneath the surface of that water.
Truly, mysteries abound. The secrets of fierce nuclear fusion that give birth to the life-giving warmth of our sun, the cycling of our stars and the complex combination of interlocking chemical and biological systems that make up the human body.
But probably one of the most amazingly mysterious and magical concepts is the fact that each of these mysteries; each of these intricate layers of creation is connected to everything else around it. Like the spider dancing across the strings of her web; we too are connected to everything around us. We share our energy with that spider. We dance to the sinuous music of the wind in the trees and in our hearts burns the same fierce brightness that fuels the sun itself.
You don’t believe me? Go out into your yard before dawn some morning; go out in your bare feet and feel the dew on the grass beneath your toes; close your eyes and let the silence soak into your skin; feel the stirring of the wind; feel the power of the earth soaking into the soles of your feet. Listen as the birds begin to welcome the first rays of sunlight; then open your eyes and watch as morning breaks and then tell me that you are not connected to everything around you.
It’s just that sometimes there is so much to take in. Sometimes it is too much to take in. Sometimes it feels that if we try to take it all in our hearts will burst with the sheer beauty of it. In fact, chances are that the last time you truly took the time to let yourself connect to everything and everyone around you was when you were a child; when you could still comprehend the vastness and the mystery of it without needing to understand why.
No, for most of us there comes a time when our openness and willingness to accept our connection to everyone and everything becomes too much to bear. Usually this occurs when someone or something within our web lets us down; when we can no longer see the beauty of the connection because of the pain of disappointment and dashed hopes; when even trying to see this connection hurts us too much and we withdraw to a safer, less vibrant level of reality where it won’t hurt so bad because we are no longer as open to life.
And it doesn’t end with our first step away from openness. Most of us spend our lives narrowing our connection. For most of us, our webs of connection to the world around us get smaller and smaller over the years; our connections fewer as people and circumstances fail to live up to our expectations. And instead of dealing with the pain we simply narrow our focus; spinning smaller and smaller webs until finally the last filaments of our once glorious web drift away in the evening breeze because of our neglect and we sit forlorn on the fencepost; alone and unconnected and waiting for the end. But it doesn’t have to be that way.
That talented spider with her delicately spun web does not let a little thing like a disappointment or discouragement –or even failed expectations keep her from maintaining her glorious web. She spins and spins and spins and spins again. And even when her web is broken by struggling insects; by gales of disappointment; by the careless actions of others; she quickly re-creates her web, continually opening herself back up – yes, to the pain and the disappointments – but also to the beauty and the wonder that caused her to choose that particular place to spin a web in to begin with.
So what is keeping you?
What is keeping you from re-spinning that web; those connections that you had in childhood; those connections that bound you with awe and reverence to the wonder and the mystery that surrounds you?
The only thing that is keeping you from once more opening yourself up to the joy and beauty that could be yours is your fear; the fear of disappointment; the fear pain; the fear that once your web has been torn apart you won’t have the strength to spin it out again.
Funny thing that, because the spider doesn’t even question whether or not she has the strength; she simply chooses to spin; stretching herself out to catch every subtle drop of beauty and possibility that is her birthright and accepting the pain as part of what it means to be alive.