Planting Spiders

My life partner, Tarn, is the consummate gardener. She loves doing the the little stuff with which I have less patience. Transplanting, pulling weeds, pruning, and dead-heading blossoms are all elements of her delight. She even plants spiders among the leaves that fall, even in summer.

There are so many life forms that live in leaves: spiders, snails, worms, beetles, millipedes, mites, and more. An extra thick layer of leaves is welcome protection from the elements. At the end of summer, mated queen bumble bees burrow only an inch or two into the earth to hibernate for winter and extra leaves help keep the hard freezes at bay.

So, Tarn plants spiders and other insects by placing random piles of leaves here and there. One has to overcome the habit of tidiness to do so. We both are tidy gardeners, we like to primp and preen the landscape, but we are learning how to cooperate with nature’s urge to naturally create habitat. I have to admit Tarn is better at this than I. Even so, I am learning to appreciate leaving things as they are, without following the compulsion to rake too much, dig too much, or otherwise be too fussy.

I think the term wabi-sabi sums it up best. Wabi-sabi is a traditional Japanese world view centered on the acceptance of transience and imperfection. It is an aesthetic based on the three marks of existence  from the Buddhist perspective: impermanence, suffering, and emptiness. From this point of view, we learn to appreciate beauty that is naturally imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete. After all, it is our human filter that determines the idea of perfection, permanence, and completeness.

This is a good reminder about our selves too. We all are gloriously imperfect. We have spiders in the crevices of our mind that annoy us. Nevertheless, they need to live and breathe and teach us about our compulsions. We might discover the creepy crawlies of our unconscious minds are the keys to our happiness—if we don’t try to suppress them. Better to create a compassionate inner environment by allowing the little buggers some space.

You may also like...