I walked into the back door of my little house then turned to hang up my hat. I breathed a sigh of satisfaction knowing that my yardwork was complete for now. Looking up, I noticed a daddy long legs spider on the wall. It’s been several years since the last time any of them made an appearance in my home.
I’ve often marvelled at how they can stay in one place for long stretches of time. Once I kept track of a daddy long legs to see how long she remained in vigil for prey. It was three and a half days. I don’t know if she moved away when I was sleeping or away from home then moved back to precisely the same place and pose when I returned. I doubt it.
I can’t imagine standing on a vertical surface for any length of time, let alone three days without moving a muscle. I find it somewhat hard to sit on my cushion for more than an hour without twitching or wanting to scratch an itch or wanting to get up for a sip of coffee.
I wondered if any entomologists have investigated the tiny brains of daddy long legs or any spiders. I’ve seen studies of brain scans made on Buddhist monks that reveal parts of the brain that are more active during silent meditation. Perhaps spider brains react the same way?
In the evening, I decided to get away from the constant drone of fans and the air conditioning for awhile. I wanted some silence. I grabbed my cup of decaf and sat on my front step.
One of the benefits of a drought, is the lack of evening insect noises. Normally crickets and other bugs chirp during the dark hours. I took note of that lack. The slight breeze caused the elm trees to rustle their leaves.
A block away, someone’s dog began barking. A minute later, another dog responded a few blocks further in another direction. The air conditioner unit next door began buzzing and whirring. A few houses down the street, some young men had come out of a house laughing drunkenly at each other. One slid into the driver’s seat of a pickup truck, started the oversized engine then drove past me. The truck needed a more effective muffler. The other young men returned to the inside of their house.
Finally, it was quiet again, except for the neighbor’s air conditioning compressor. Then I heard a large semi-truck’s engine braking to slow down at the city limits on the highway near my home. A high-pitched motorcycle raced by on the main drag a couple of blocks to my north. Another loud pickup truck drove past my house, the stereo blasting country music out of the speakers.
I then decided to return to the sanctuary of my relatively quiet home with the droning fans for company. My mind was noisy with resentment about the lack of peace and quiet.
Then, I sat in my easy chair, closed my eyes and took three deep breaths. My ears were still ringing. I opened my eyes and saw another daddy long legs spider on the wall.
The Blue Jay of Happiness likes to attract attention with his noisy calls.