Essay: Spiders on the Ceiling

Aug 28, 2020

Spiders on the Ceiling 

Sometimes our family rented a cottage for a couple weeks in the summer and nearby was a soda shop with a wide front porch.  My girlfriends and I liked to hang out on this porch where we could watch the world go by and eat our chocolate sodas.

We spent hours sitting at little round tables in wrought-iron chairs, leaning in to gossip and leaning back to laugh.  It was our favorite place to be—and we were there almost every night, feeling comfortable and safe.

Then one night, I happened to glance up and discovered—to my horror—that the ceiling was absolutely crawling with spiders!  Hundreds of spiders just above our heads and we never realized.  Spiders that could drop into our sodas or down our necks!

How could we ever enjoy sitting there again?  And yet, where else was there to go?  And somehow I glimpsed, even then, the larger truth that life was always going to be like this.  That even in the most wonderful places, there could be danger.  And even in the dangerous places, there could be joy.

The spiders would always be overhead—and we could either worry or we could gossip and eat our ice cream.