Sunday, July 5, 2009
FIELD NOTES: America's got talent....
Red, White & Blue
...so much so that I found myself entertained late in the evening with choreographed bungee jumping, intuitive engineering and delicate balance, not on the television, but across my front door. Determined to have my new front door painted bright red for Independence Day (my favorite front door color), I had locked the storm door with the top screen down to let the paint dry overnight and, in the light of the hanging lantern, discovered at work a sizable spider…more sizable than one usually cares to have inside the home. To be repulsed or impressed, that was the question, but lucky for me deep fascination trumped instant rejection and I was treated to a free show. My fifth grade teacher gave me the wonderful gift of E.B. White in Charlotte’s Web…insight and judicious writing all in one place…and now this night, some forty years later, I could reap a benefit. The spider’s dramatic downward dives caught my heartbeat, popped my eyes and canted my head. She moved with such complete confidence, determined and adept in weaving her own safety net, that she took my amazement to some level of envy. She instantly responded to a vibration and from the center of the web, speedily sidled out on a spoke and shrink-wrapped a meal for herself in a matter of seconds. As I prepared myself and the house for sleep, I kept checking on Charlotte and saw that her web spanned the entire width of the door. I left the front light on for her and the new American flag I had hung to go with the new door. In the morning, the flag was briskly flapping in a beautifully crisp breeze…at last, a break in the weeks of daily rain storms…but alas, the web was pathetically disheveled like the morning after a wild party. But, come nightfall, Charlotte climbed down from the gutter and saw opportunity…again. I texted my younger son to use the basement entry instead. In the morning, I found a sticky note on the kitchen table from my daughter that read “There is a big ass spider in the front door!” and she explained she had to turn the light off because it “grossed” her out. Her younger brother on the other hand, just walked through the front door as usual. But, Charlotte keeps working, after all, she has to make a living…and this is America …and America’s got talent…naturally. Today’s sticky note is from my oldest son: “Spider made a new web. Don’t destroy it this time.”