The Power of Holding On

A spider is a strange inspiration in uncertain times.

Posted in , Oct 30, 2020

Photo by S Ciancanelli

A spider built her web between two rocking chairs on my front porch. I discovered her one morning outside my living room window. She wove an impressive net just as the sun rose. Google confirmed her to be a common garden spider—though there is very little that seems common about her. The chairs rock back and forth in the breeze but the spider sways unphased, she bears the wind.

Over the last three weeks, I’ve grown quite fond of her. I check on her when I open the curtains in the morning and once again at night when I close them. I say hello when I walk past her with my dog in tow. Once, my heart dropped at the bare web, I feared the worst and then I spotted her hidden behind the handle of one of the chairs. “You scared me!” I told her—which is probably something spiders hear a lot but not because someone worries for them.

Yesterday when the mailman came, I was walking the dog and said, “Be careful, there’s a beautiful spider there. I’ve been watching her for weeks.”

“Weeks?” he asked.

“Yeah, she’s only caught one fly so far. And she ate it in less than an hour. She’s really quite amazing.”

I could tell by the corners of his eyes he was smiling beneath his mask. “Looks like she found a good home.”

I read online that female garden spiders can live for years if they survive the first hard frost. Patience and perseverance. I think we all need a little of both right now as we enter a cold winter with uncertainties abound. Like my spider who built her web on two rocking chairs, in the midst of what might feel like the whole world is shaking, we have to simply hold on and wait.

Dear Lord, thank You for making beautiful creatures that remind me to be still—to hold on and have faith.

Sabra Ciancanelli is a contributor to Daily Guideposts and editor of 60 Days of Prayer magazine.

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