Here in SoCal, the long, hot days of Summer always bring out the spiders. Seems like every time I look out the window, another bunch of webs has cropped up over night. They’re hanging from the tree branches to the box hedges, from the post on the patio to the potted plants, from the tomato trellis to the Rosemary. I’m constantly finding tiny bodied, long-legged creepers in the bathtub, and their bigger cousins in the window sills. And while I don’t particularly want to share space with those that occasionally find their way into the bedroom, I know it’s just that time of year and they’re just Spider’s doing their spidery thing.
And I, without malice, do what I have to do to keep the house and yard from looking like something from the Addams Family. Sorry, Spidey.
Anyway, I see the handiwork of these little guys even more than usual, me being a homebody these days. Because I’ve worked in office environments for almost 40 years, spending time in my “nest” is something I’ve grown to treasure. Crave, even! Oh, give me a three-day weekend and I’m all about the Staycation! Why would I want to leave after being GONE all week? Home is my healing place. My sanctuary. I can’t tell you how many “sick” days were actually used for Mental Health days so I could
As it turns, one of the hidden gifts of this journey that I’m on is that I now have days and days of solitude and quiet in my home. Even though many of them are spent not feeling that great… when feeding myself, taking care of my body, and feeding the animals is all I can really manage…there are other days when my energy is up and I enjoy it more. These last few months, I’ve had the time and space to create a few new daily routines and catch up on some long put-off (albeit small) projects around the house.
I’ve also taken up crocheting, of all things! Who knew? It all started with the thought that I wanted (needed) something to do to keep my hands busy while watching TV (something I’ve not done this much of in forever), or in the middle of the night when I can’t sleep and don’t want to wake anyone. Sewing came to mind, but that involves noise and equipment and stuff that I may or may not have the energy to deal with long enough to actually finish something.
But one day I started thinking about “Granny Squares”. I’m not sure why, exactly. Maybe the inspiration came from wearing the little crocheted cap my daughter made for me. Turns out that once my hair fell out, my head got cold in the mornings, and I didn’t feel like Wigging Up. (I had no idea how warm my hair really kept my head and neck!!!)
Whatever the inspiration, the idea just stuck. Granny Squares – like a flash from my 70s past. it turns out they are the perfect hobby for me right now. After a quick run for some yarn (not too much, in case I didn’t like it), I found a really cool YouTube channel called, “Jayden In Stitches“, and learned how to make them.
Each square is like a mini project in itself…something I can complete relatively quickly, and get an instant gratification fix. And it doesn’t matter if they aren’t “perfect”. Depending on where I am in the chemo cycle (a new one starts every 3 weeks), some of my squares may be a little less symmetrical, but no one will notice or care. Things created by hand are intrinsically perfect because their imperfections.
The other morning, after getting up with a restless mind at 2 a.m., it occurred to me that crocheting is a lot like weaving a web. I’m using a hook to connect strands of yarn this way and that to form pretty patterned squares that will eventually be connected to form one big Web. Granted, my web isn’t for trapping unsuspecting food, but it IS trapping a whole lot of stuff right now.
Stuff like my hopes for the future, and my immediate needs for the Present. It’s catching tears, and fear and some anger. My hands move faster or slower, depending on the topic, as I’m working things out. And prayers. Oh, lots and lots of prayers are going on while I work. I find myself talking to my Heavenly Mother quite a bit these days – much more than in times past. I still talk daily with my Heavenly Father…It’s just that She is the one I feel the most need of right now. I need a Mother’s soft breast to lay my head on, and to feel Her gentle hand smooth my brow and coo to me and tell me, “Everything is going to be alright.”
Turns out I might be channeling Grandmother Spider, as I sit weaving up my Granny Square webs.
“Spider Woman’s themes are magical charms and growth. Her symbols are spiders and woven items. Spider Woman appears in the myths of the south-western Native Americans as a resourceful helper who spins magical charms and each person’s fate. No matter what problems or obstacles you face, Spider Woman creates the right network of energy to put you on the road toward accomplishment.
In metaphysical traditions, all life is seen as a network within which each individual is one strand. Spider Woman reveals the power and purpose of each strand psychically and keeps you aware of those important connections in your life. To augment this, get a Native American dream catcher, which looks like a web, and hang it over your bed so Spider Woman can reveal her lessons while you sleep. Or, carry a woven item with you today. It will strengthen your relationship with this ancient helpmate and extend positive energy for success in all you do.
(Patricia Telesco, “365 Goddess: A Daily Guide To The Magic and Inspiration of the Goddess”.)
Here it is…my little work in progress. I like to lay the squares out as I make them, to help me feel like I’m getting somewhere.