Tonight I was out with my mates at the local. The Royal is within walking distance. I’ve always thought of it as a pretty good pub, but it has recently become an amaaazing pub with the introduction of the new smoking laws. Previously, people were free to smoke on the balcony. But the new state provisions ban smoking in all commercial outdoor dining areas. This means that the balcony, which overlooks one of the local bush valleys I have written about previously, is now a safe haven for the weak-chested and short of breath. Yes, people of questionable lung function can now sit out in the fresh air, enjoy the tops of the trees, and slurp down a bottle or two of locally-made Bilpin or Hillbilly alcoholic apple cider. Slurpy slurp slurp. Except this evening. Because it was 40 something degrees celsius during the day and even sitting around quietly on that balcony drinking cold drinks poured into tumblers full of ice was going to force us to sweat. So we sat inside where the air was conditioned, the ice melted more slowly, there were lashings of bistro food available for hungry souls, and the band was just setting up for the night.
We had a good evening of cider, nosh and friendship until the musicians informed us in a loud, musical way that they could not get no satisfaction. We realised that there was probably not a lot more discussion to be had indoors in the yummy air-conditioning, and we had the choice of moving out onto the balcony or meandering off on our separate ways. We wandered home.
Web spinning occurs every evening in our yard, and much of the time my husband and I walk through the silken traps either on the way home from a night out, or in the morning on the way out again.
And when we got back to our place it was dark and we walked through the yard from the side gate, past shrubs and trees and hedges to the main entrance. We walked through spiderwebs in the dark.
And we get into the hall, turn on the light, check ourselves and one another for spiders and tonight, for the first time ever, there actually is an eight-legged friend, measuring about four centimetres across, gripping onto my skirt, no doubt wondering a few things:
- Who turned on the sun again?
- Could this walking wall of humanity be the catch of my life? or
- Would this be the right time to have a small, spidery panic about the situation I now find myself in?
As for me, I reminded myself, as one needs to in Australia, that the spiders whose webs you walk through in the dark are not the spiders that are capable of killing or maiming a human. (As it turns out, that is only mostly true as explained in this Australian Geographic article on the 10 most dangerous Australian spiders.) We flicked the little fella/lass onto the floor and out the front door.
And now I hear you asking, what is the significant, blog-worthy message of this anecdote?
Could it be: Walk through enough spiderwebs and you will eventually get a spider on you? Well yeah, maybe.
But it is more likely to be: I’ve spent my whole life worrying that walking through spiderwebs would end in a spider on my body. And yet it took over 40 years for what I had dreaded to eventually come to pass.
Maybe we all have a dark, cobwebby yard that needs to be crossed to get where we are going in life. How much energy do we put into thinking about the spiders we might come across when we could be focussing on the delight of our final destination? Sure, you might collect a spider along the way, but probably not. And I can’t guarantee that you won’t find yourself stopping momentarily to pick off some sticky lacings of web from your clothes once you reach home.