I’m inclined to look out the glass door
that leads from my home office
to a little deck,
which overlooks the valley
through which Pena Creek is meandering,
on this wickedly warm Summer Solstice Day.
When I say, “inclined”
I don’t mean, “I’m of a mind to…”
I literally mean
that I am tilted at an angle in my easy chair,
taking a wee nap.
And that inclination has made all the difference,
for it allows me to see the enormous web
which a very industrious spider
has constructed overnight.
She is the mistress of opportunity,
using any and all available props
to secure her emerging domicile.
She has coopted the head and wingtip
of my angel statue
that stands on the handrail to my left;
and the branches of a great climbing vine
that rises from ground level
up past the eaves of my house on the right.
In between is a masterpiece
of concentric silken polygons.
But from my inclined posture,
I can’t yet see them.
What I do see
appears to be a single silver strand
with a large object in its center,
and littler objects
strung out along its length.
It’s like a necklace of precious stones,
with the biggest gem in the middle.
I realize with a start
that I could be gazing at the plane of the ecliptic
- the solar system -
which is basically a flat disc
with a diameter of 60 AU (Astronomic Units).
In the center is the amber sun.
And the necklace consists of eight planets
- and hundreds of moons –
that showcase giant sapphires, topaz, beryl,
emeralds, rubies, lapis lazuli and aquamarine.
Scaling up the fractal,
I am looking at the entire Milky Way Galaxy,
which also, from the side,
resembles a giant disc with a great bump in the middle:
huddled solar systems clustering together for protection,
desperately trying to avoid the Black Hole,
with its insatiable appetite.
Nap be damned,
I have to get up to investigate this further.
I open the door
and step into the 103 degrees furnace.
The big sun in the center of the web
is, indeed, the spider;
and the planets
are the bodies of captured insects
of various sizes and hues.
Like an eight-fingered harpist
she is strumming the strings
to locate the positions
of the many courses on today’s lunch menu.
Conscious of her health,
she prefers to eat live food.
No Burger King for her.
A little breeze sends the entire web aquiver
but the food is thoroughly secured.
As I return to complete my nap,
the spider is praying (preying?)
a “Grace Before Meals.”
Tír na nÓg
Fr. Seán ÓLaoire, PhD
2nd: Children's — All are welcome!
3rd: Extended Homily, Q&A