respect the gifted who are hidden

“Wouldn’t it be great to be gifted? In fact…
It turns out that choices lead to habits.
Habits become talents.
Talents are labeled gifts.
You’re not born this way, you get this way.”

Seth Godin


(Green Lynx spider hiding amongst the chives / Julie Cook / 2019)

Those of you who know me, know I have an inordinate fear of spiders.
Yet…
that doesn’t mean that I don’t have a healthy respect for them
nor does that mean that I don’t give them credit where credit is due…

And so I was poking around in the yard yesterday…
Poking is about all I’ve done all summer because it’s just been too miserably hot
to do anything else.

We’ve had 78 days of temperatures on or above 90 degrees…
add to that very little to no rain.

Things are both dry and hot.
Normally this time of year our high temps are in the low 80’s…
But we seem to now enjoy an average of 95…
who knew?!

Note that the calendar tells us that it is mid-September…

Since it’s hot and dry, everything is sadly shriveling up.
Heck, I am shriveling up!
Air quality is poor, schools are canceling or rescheduling after school practice
times for sports…it’s just pretty much miserable and has been for months.

But this is Georgia, we’re used to hot, right?
Well yes and no.
This time of year we’re usually tasting small snippets of fall.
Yet there have been no snippets thus far this year…

So I’ve pretty much given up the fight for the yard.
The fight to water and keep things alive…
I water when absolutely necessary but I’m no longer fanatical about it…
What’s the point?!

So when I was checking out what was and what wasn’t living, I was inspecting a pot of chives.
The chives are going to seed and upon a closer inspection, I noticed that I was not the
only one checking out the chives.


(green lynx spider / Julie Cook / 2019)

The spider, a green lynx spider, had blended in so well, I barely saw him…or her…

And what a pretty spider it was…
However, I doubt the bee or fly the spider was dining on would agree…

They are amazing are they not…

If I can keep them at a safe distance, I’m good…

“But ask the beasts, and they will teach you; the birds of the heavens,
and they will tell you; or the bushes of the earth, and they will teach you;
and the fish of the sea will declare to you.
Who among all these does not know that the hand of the Lord has done this?
In his hand is the life of every living thing and the breath of all mankind.

Job 12:7-10

Opportunistic

“He had learned the rare secret that you must
take happiness when you find it–
that there is no use in marking the place and coming back to it
at a more convenient season,
because it will not be there then.”

L.M. Montgomery

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(a spider making the most of what flies to the light in the night / Julie Cook / 2016)

The spider, not caring whether the web is elaborate, elegant or showy,
chooses the path of least resistance.

Why toil elsewhere when what you want comes
easily your way with little to no exertion on your part?

How quickly we make ourselves available…
to him who is lurks in the shadows, waiting.

Waiting like the spider who sits and watches,
waiting as we begin to circle the lights.

Drawn in by the allure of all that is,
yet it is caution which must be exercised.

The mindless moth or bug is mesmerized by the light
flittering and jittering precariously near a waiting web..

A trap has been set.
Yet no one seems the wiser…

Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love me,
for I have come here from God.
I have not come on my own; God sent me.
Why is my language not clear to you?
Because you are unable to hear what I say.
You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires.
He was a murderer from the beginning,
not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him.
When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.
Yet because I tell the truth, you do not believe me!
Can any of you prove me guilty of sin?
If I am telling the truth, why don’t you believe me?
Whoever belongs to God hears what God says.
The reason you do not hear is that you do not belong to God.”

John 8 42-48

Dressed for Fall

The spider’s touch, how exquisitely fine!
Feels at each thread, and lives along the line.

~Alexander Pope

There he goes, in his long russet surtout, sweeping down yonder gravel-walk, beneath the trees, like a yellow leaf in autumn wafted along by a fitful gust of wind.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

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(a golden orb weaver spider hides within its home / Troup Co, Georgia / Julie Cook / 2014)

Wandering, Seeing, Discovering. . .
A heavily wooded path leads nowhere in particular
Hickory nuts fall, bouncing off leaf and limb as gravity works its magic

A flash of movement
the rustling of leaves
a single deer darts across the path, vanishing before being seen

Brilliant sunlight dances magically on invisible suspended threads
Stretching ornately from one limb to another
Delicate and seemingly fragile–concentric with deadly appeal

Dressed in Autumn’s finest shades
yellow, orange, magenta
she wears a dazzling display offset by the leaves she calls home

Hidden from sight, eschewing direct observation
She waits and watches
Has someone come knocking?

The diligence of time

“The time will come when diligent research over long periods will bring to light things which now lie hidden. A single lifetime, even though entirely devoted to the sky, would not be enough for the investigation of so vast a subject… And so this knowledge will be unfolded only through long successive ages. There will come a time when our descendants will be amazed that we did not know things that are so plain to them… Many discoveries are reserved for ages still to come, when memory of us will have been effaced.”
― Seneca

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(portion of a massive spider’s web / Troup Co. Georgia / Julie Cook / 2014)

Woven and spun in the season of lengthening shadows.
Strength in the most delicate of thread.
Steadfast, determined, ever diligent to the task.
Over and under, in and out, loop and hook.

Easily broken, laboriously repaired
Each day passing as the day before
Stretching, giving, taking, bending
Up and down, side by side, criss then cross

Luminescent, translucent, barely seen yet keenly felt
Holding fast and tightly firm
Beauty in the tiniest detail
Master weaver ever toiling without complaint

Assailed and assaulted come tempest wind or driving rain
Victim of ravenous foe who vie for hungriest claim
Never deterred, never wavering, constantly steady
Spinning and weaving without delay

Intuitive skill or mindless action
Eons of time have witnessed no change
Beauty found in necessity of action
Survival in the most delicate thread