If you open my back door right now, this is the sight you’ll see. A huge yellow spider crawling in its much-too-well-established web. When my son saw it, he immediately ran for a broom to knock the strands apart. I was literally five seconds away from the potential demolition, but I caught him in time, and made him stop. I’m sure that seeing this Halloween beastie you’d think I’m crazy, but yellow spiders and I have a long history, and a memory I couldn’t possibly hold against them.
Rewind back to my Freshman year of college. It was October, and I was homesick. I was overwhelmed. And to top off the misery, our dorm had this curious infestation of yellow spiders and they were everywhere. The showers. The hallways. The walls. Each place you looked there’d be two or three to spot. Their mustard-color impossible to miss. While the resident advisor swore it was being taken care of, I remember nearly losing it when trying to fall asleep on my lofted bed to discover not two, not three, but four yellow spiders on my ceiling.
In desperation of a new perspective, I called the one friend I knew would always be there to offer it to me. The person I’d been friends with since sixth grade. The one I’d gone through all of my awkward stages with. The one I couldn’t ever scare away. My favorite thing about him was that he never tried to fix things, he never tried to change them … he just always helped me accept whatever was, looking at it in a light I’d never have been able to see without his vantage point.
I can’t honestly remember what he said about the spiders that night, but I do remember that he talked to me until I fell asleep on the phone … it was still clutched tightly in my hand the next morning.
Tonight, hundreds of rotations around the sun later, I felt homesick. I felt overwhelmed. Life in its busyness took hold of my “keep-it-together” attitude and rocked me. I’m not the kind of girl who yells, but I yelled. And I’m not the kind of girl who cries … but I cried. I was inconsolable, belligerent and illogical. I heard my rant about being tired, and tired rolled into unaccomplished, and unaccomplished rolled into aging, until all of my old demons of self-doubt and deprecation came out to play. But in that moment of too many commitments and not enough time, of too many jobs and not enough hours, I recognized my desperation for a new perspective, and called that same friend I knew would be there to offer it to me.
He answered. He listened. He understood, and then helped me do the same. He let me laugh. He let me cry. Then he gave me the honor of sharing his struggles too. He didn’t try to fix things, he didn’t try to change things … and once again I found peace in the assurance of having someone so genuine in my corner.
J.K. Rowling once said, “We all have magic inside of us,” but I guess I’d like to think that some people, have just a little bit more. Because I know that someone who is able to turn yellow spiders into reminiscent smiles – someone who can make the worst of the worst seem not-that-bad. If you have magic like that in your life, embrace it … make time for it … and never let too much time pass before you tell that person just how valuable they really are.
The newest member of the yellow-spider-protectorate,