I hate spiders. They are creepy. However, I have always been fond of Charlotte, the kind spider in E.B. White’s classic children’s story Charlotte’s Web. Perhaps I set aside my dislike of spiders in Charlotte’s case because she was such a stellar model of what a caring friend should be.
While I was trying to think positively about spiders this morning, I recalled the exquisite art piece they create. As a young girl living on a farm, I often saw these delicate silky webs shining on corners of the barn or in trees. Sometimes I poked the webs with a stick not to destroy it, but to see it vibrate.
Now, as an adult, whenever I see a lacy web, I still think of Charlotte, and I still stand in awe of the web’s beauty. Today, a web also reminds me not of spiders (still creepy!) but of one of my favorite metaphors for life.
So, a New Year’s challenge for me is to set the web a-tremble each day by acting with kindness. I resolve that like Charlotte the spider, to tell at least one person each day, that they are: “Terrific, “or “Radiant,” or “Humble” or another choice of a positive, descriptive word. When we affirm a person, we release positive energy. And who knows . . . maybe the person receiving our compliment may pass on an affirmation to someone else, and on and on “until who knows where the trembling stops or in what far place and time your touch will be felt.”
Will you join me?
I still don’t like spiders, but I do like their webs.