What a Spider can Teach You

The father of our god children once said that with all the Steve Irvin doco’s that his kids watched they are pretty scared to visit Australia, because they expect the crocs, sharks, red backs, and killer snaked to welcome them as they step off the aeroplane.

Sounds similar to the children in a primary school class asking a South African teacher whether all of us lived in mud huts and whether the lions and giraffes are roaming the streets freely.

All of us live in some kind of jungle, even if the place where the celebrity show, ‘Get me out of here,’ is not a jungle but a veld!

For the past almost 7 years I have learnt to live with quite a few of the creepy crawlies and critters that the Australian shores have to offer. The cockroaches here are on steroids! Or maybe my home is just extra dirty and they have more than sufficient food to build up their bodies. And they take forever to die as well! (I am giving you insight into the cleaning schedule in my home.) Our bathrooms are cleaned once a week. The floors are done once a week in those areas as well. My men can aim. And should Mr. Cockroach find himself on his last legs in between those days, he will rest in peace for the duration. It has happened many a times that I was sweeping them out after a good 5 days of resting in peace and one of the antennae would be waving a final bon voyage before he got dumped in the great waters destined for the ‘other’ side.

When we just arrived I learnt about bombing our homes. Fumigation of our homes that is. I would do it religiously once a year and some times even twice a year. It did however bite me in the @#$ when I tried to have silkworms for my kids and they could not survive the fumes, six months or more after our last fumigation. Made me think about the influence it has on me and my family.

And so we moved to Perth. We have yet to fumigate this place. We keep saying that this will be the weekend it gets done and this weekend comes and goes and it’s not been done.

This omission of ours have however created an unsuspected peace treaty with a very scary critter. Enter the spider! I have adopted the mantra, not to an all encompassing effect, that if you leave me alone, I will mostly leave you alone. Let me clarify – if it is a black house spider and it is outside, or where I can not see it, I will let it be. Let me see it inside and it will most likely drown in what ever poisonous(even Eucalyptus oil is poison to them) method I have available. I am not particularly fond of the sound of crunching spider legs, but am not averse to using my size 8’s to make it as flat as a pancake.

The other day we saw a beautifully spider web spun from the filtered water tap, that we do not use any more, and attempted to photograph it. It did not work. We sprayed it with water to see whether the sparkling drops dangling from the threads would make a difference. It did not. It did however bring out Mr. Red Back. He also drowned painfully. A dead Red Back (my apologies to the environmentally friendly folk on here, it is not my intention to offend you) in my opinion is a good Red Back. The many Daddy Longlegs in my home are a testament to my environmentally friendly approach to dealing with Red Backs, those they miss, I will get.

Am I trying to scare you or gross you out because my house is dirty? No, not at all. (The house issue you will come to experience yourself this side – wait and see.) No one has died from spider related bites in ages. (I am not taking chances however.) You are relatively safe from that. The crocs and the sharks…. hmmm… you swim in their waters, you know the risk.

Dear Migrant to the Great South Land,

you can however learn lessons from the spiders that you will share your life with, once you step ashore.

Look at a spider’s web and remember that life is fragile and beautiful. Do not let words of love and appreciation be left unsaid. Say it while you are with your loved ones. Those you will leave behind, and those you will bring on this incredible journey with you.

The web is interconnected threads spun to make a piece of art. Remember that no experience is ever wasted. It will play a role, no matter how small, in things to come.

It takes roughly an hour to spin a web, but the spider will often have to start from scratch every day or have to repair big chunks of it every day. They persevere and they keep going. Have patience, Rome was not built in a day – but it was built.

A spider is a spider, it can only be true to being a spider. You do not have to validate your reason for wanting to migrate to any one. This is your story, your journey, your adventure. They do not have to be accountable for being true to you, only you have to accountable to your loved ones and you being you.

Spiders do not over think things. They start. Just start. Every one had to begin somewhere.

Now, before you drown the spiders you encounter this side, or that side for that matter, stand back and think of the life lessons that it taught you, and evaluate whether it is really necessary to embark on a massacre of ‘epidermiese porporsies,’ or if you could just for once say, ‘you leave me alone, and I will leave you alone.’

Much love


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